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Dog Died Suddenly with No Signs of Anything Particularly Wrong to Cause...
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Dog Died Suddenly with No Signs of Anything Particularly Wrong to Cause Death.

My family and I just lost our dog out of the blue around 6pm on August 22nd.

He was 8 years of age, approximately 80lbs, and showed no signs of being sick before he passed.

The night before he played like he always had and ate his dog food as usual. On the morning of his passing he was with me in my room most of the morning. He slept most of the time (which was normal for him) and I gave him crust from a sandwich I was eating. Before that my mother had put him outside before she went to work and he came in after a short time and ate some dog food then proceeded to my room. Around 1pm my father put him out and he urinated and came back in. My father saw him the whole time and he didn't do anything but his "business." My mother came home from work around 4pm. She cooked dinner approximately 30 minutes later and our dog was fine walking around the house observing everybody as he had always done. While my parents were eating in the living room around 5pm, my dog laid down on the floor as usual and went to sleep. This was a normal routine for him and nothing was out of the ordinary all day. After dinner around 5:30pm, I asked my mother to help me in my room.

We didn't notice anything wrong with our dog and stepped over him like we normally do when he's sleeping. There were no signs of death at the time.

We were in my room for 5 or 10 minutes. Mom left to go into the kitchen to get some water and noticed our dog was laying oddly with his back legs sprawled out like his front paws which was pretty unusual. My father looked at him and told my mother our dog was dead after noticing feces and vomit on the floor. My mother didn't believe it because our dog was absolutely fine all day and showed no symptoms/signs at any point. She thought my father was joking which was not a normal joke for him to say. He repeated our dog's passing after touching him. Our dog was still warm and felt life-like but he was limp with no breathing. My father believes it was a heart-attack.

The only thing we know was a week or less prior to his passing, our dog was having smelly gas which he's had many times before with no problems. He's had a benign tumor removed from between his toes on a front paw about a year or two years ago. The doctors told us we had nothing to worry about after that and our dog acted completely fine so we don't think that had anything to do with his passing. But the vomit was dark green with a long blade of grass in it but that's all we know.

It was so out of the blue and sudden that it's hit our family really hard because he wasn't just a family pet; he WAS family.

We just would like to know exactly what could of happened. Thank you.
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441382_tn?1329196690
I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  It's never easy to lose a beloved family member, no matter how old they are.  No matter how long we have them with us, it's never long enough.  :(

From your description of what happened, it does sound like it could have been either a cardiac or cerebral event, but the only way to tell for sure what it was would be to have your vet perform a necropsy (autopsy).  Many people don't want to put their pet through this, after all it won't bring them back and it does cost money to have done.  If you feel it would give you closure, however, contact your vet and arrange to have it done.  

Again, my most sincere sympathies to you on your loss.

Ghilly
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441382_tn?1329196690
I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  It's never easy to lose a beloved family member, no matter how old they are.  No matter how long we have them with us, it's never long enough.  :(

From your description of what happened, it does sound like it could have been either a cardiac or cerebral event, but the only way to tell for sure what it was would be to have your vet perform a necropsy (autopsy).  Many people don't want to put their pet through this, after all it won't bring them back and it does cost money to have done.  If you feel it would give you closure, however, contact your vet and arrange to have it done.  

Again, my most sincere sympathies to you on your loss.

Ghilly
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your condolences. It means so much.

I asked my parents about getting the vet to do an autopsy but truth be told we wouldn't have the money for it and couldn't deal with the pain of it all when we're already trying to get through the shock of his sudden death.

I thank you for telling me what closely resembled what I described in the overall story. Sadly, that is all I can truly know about his death.

I'm just truly thankful that he passed peacefully even though it still hurts me so much to lose him when he was such a close pet to me.

We have other pets that may have trouble transitioning to him not being here because he was the type to be like a father-figure to them all. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it easier on them as well? Especially our other house dog.

Before bed she kept looking at the front door as if to tell us we needed to bring him back inside because he's been out too long.
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675347_tn?1365464245
I am so very sorry too. Oh...how to cope with this great loss? It's hard, I know. To me, my dog is part of my family, not just a pet but more like a little brother or sister.
My best friend (human) died earlier this year and my dog was very very attached to him. He visited regularly, and the last year of his life he visited every day for at least an hour or two.
At first my dog was sentinel in my garden, waiting for his car to arrive, every day at the same time. I had to distract her, and refrained from mentioning his name, as if I did, she showed she expected to see him, and was disappointed. If I saw her watching for the car I would gently distract her with something she loved to do. I wouldn't exactly "reward" her with a treat or anything (as that could have made it worse) But very matter-of-fact would ask her if she wanted to go out to play frisbee in the field....that kind of thing. I noticed those things took her mind right off watching for him.
I kept her busy, basically.

I was given my friend's car by his family, so at first it was very difficult as the car smelled of him, and had many items in it which belonged to him. I noticed my dog went very quiet and rather "sad" when we got in. Well I took the car to the car wash, and cleaned well inside it and removed the items, and replaced them with her blanket and our own things. Then she was much better. And as time has gone by she is OK in the car now.

Dogs and other animals do grieve. But I think although their feelings run deep and loyal, they are also more easily distracted than us humans are. So that's the best plan.
But right now I know what you must be feeling. And I wish you all the best, and God Bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's still extremely hard for me and my mother to get over his passing because he was closest to both of us from the day he was born. It's even harder for me because I've been going through a lot already and our dog was by me everyday to make me feel better the best he could. It's the worst loss I've had thus far and knowing what it's doing to me now, it feels like I'll never get over it considering how close I was to him. It's hard to go anywhere in the house without him standing by me or behind me like he normally did.

He had a heart of gold and loved everyone and everything no matter what. It just kills me inside because he was there through all my hardest of times and I really have no one there for me constantly like he was. I make him sound human with the way our relationship was but I truly didn't see him as just a dog. I'm starting to believe that he was the only thing holding me together.

My mother is still in shock because he was fine then just gone which is surreal. She still can't believe that she didn't see it coming because we always took care of him and have no clue how this could've happened. We truly want to believe that it never happened but it did and that's the hardest thing right now.

Everything reminds me of our dog and I can't stop thinking of him considering he was always with me more than anyone because I was home the most. Every time I'm in my room or the kitchen I swear I hear him jumping down off the couch or bed down the hallway coming to hang out with me and I turn around and he's not there. This morning, there was a dog barking the exact same way he barked when he was letting me know he was ready to come back in and I just broke down. It may sound over-dramatic but he was always there for me and I can't deal now that he's not.

This is the only loss where I've not been able to eat much of anything or do things I normally would without crying. I don't want to ever forget him but at the same time it seems that's the only way I can live life again. But I know I'll never forget him so I have to find a way to get through this which is extremely hard.

I just loved him more than anything and I can truly say that without second guessing. I just want him back so much...and it's heartbreaking that he's never coming back.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know just how you feel my sweet boy died suddenly sst feb 23rd he was just fine i let h out it was a nice day snd i heard him bark to come in i was doing something so i tild him just a min bout 15 min later i called him in and he didnt come in he was laying i. Yard dead still warm and i just cant believe it he was just fine im totally devastated i cant sleep or hardley function.......i dont know its just awefull....
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Avatar_m_tn
I know its been a few years since your post.  I'm sorry for your loss.  We just lost our dog, in a similar way, so I was searching for answers and saw your post.  Our dog, Hugo, was only 6yrs old.  Healthy and energetic the day he died.  My kids were playing with him an hour before he died.  They didn't notice any odd behavior.  Energetic, happy Hugo.  Maybe 1/2 hr later, he was lying lifeless in his favorite spot by the back door.  No odd fecal matter, no vomit, his appetite was normal, he had plenty of water.  Just puzzles me what could've happened.  I can't afford a necropsy so I started searching the net.  I know Hugo is in a happy place, a good place full of love and fun.  I know your pain.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I completely understand how you feel and I am equally sorry for you and your family's loss. When we lost our dog, it was terribly hard to get past the fact that we will never truly know what happened. To this day, we still wish we knew. He meant so much to my family and I and it made it so much harder not knowing and the fact that it happened so suddenly. I learned to take comfort in reminding myself that Scooby is in a better place when I'd have a severe reminder of his and my time together. As you said, they're both in a happy place full of love and fun. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
my dog just died randomly yesterday. shes a pug-a-poo pomchi, very small dog, and she was only a year old. we had left to go do something, and she was very happy and energetic as normal before we left, and was fed and watered.. came back an hour or two later, she had passed. the neighbors(also the landlord) have been breaking in lately to steal stuff, and we think they might have poisoned her to get back at us. (they strongly dislike us for some reason even though we fixed their house and pay way too much for a 3 bedroom, 1500 sq ft.)

good thing were moving. i couldnt deal with crying over another one of our beloved animals because of stupid people.
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That is horrible! I am so sorry for your loss. When I was younger, our neighbor poisoned our dog with antifreeze...we lived in the middle of nowhere and they were the only neighbors we had for miles... Once more, I am so sorry for your loss and pray you find peace in knowing she's in a better place.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I was trying to look up what may have happened to my best friend also... And I came across your post. I can't help but compare your feelings to mine at the moment... It has been almost a week since we lost our best friend, our baby, our family member... We were also going through a rough phase and our dog was there to help us cope with the loss. It was because of him that we were able to heal after the loss of my grandfather. It was because of him that made life bearable for me at times. My family and I are devastated but are able to cope with this loss knowing he is in a better place. The same description you gave of how your dog laid and the symptoms that you described were present with our dog also. It's almost as if I have written the post myself. I can completely understand what you went through and I thank you for posting this online... I also wonder what may have happened to our dog... We didn't opt for an autopsy because we didn't want him to be cut up and the vet said that someone recently got an autopsy of their cat with no results. Reading your post made me feel like you took the words right out of my mouth; I can't eat or sleep... I can't help but search online about what I may have done wrong...We miss him so so much, but the most we want is that he be happy and at peace wherever he is.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know your post was a while back, but I too was searching for answers and came across your posting. I lost my 10 year old toy poodle Chiquita last Thursday night. I was devastated and I am left without answers. My Chiquita died in almost the exact same way, she was playing with my kids and being herself and not even an hour later we found her lifeless surrounded in her feces but no vomit. I wish I knew what happened and I can't help but feel we did something wrong. After processing how it all happened so suddenly, I have one thing that really bothers me, that we didn't keep up with her heartworm medicine. We loved her so much and always tried to protect her from harms way, but this was one thing we failed at. I am wondering if this was the case for anyone else here, not being consistent in preventing heartworms. It's the only thing I can think of that that could have caused her death, and that tears me apart, that it could be our fault. I know I have to deal with this guilt, whether or not this was the cause of her sudden death. We will never know. Please let me know if anyone can relate to this factor.
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I know your post was a while back, but I too was searching for answers and came across your posting. I lost my 10 year old toy poodle Chiquita last Thursday night. I was devastated and I am left without answers. My Chiquita died in almost the exact same way, she was playing with my kids and being herself and not even an hour later we found her lifeless surrounded in her feces but no vomit. I wish I knew what happened and I can't help but feel we did something wrong. After processing how it all happened so suddenly, I have one thing that really bothers me, that we didn't keep up with her heartworm medicine. We loved her so much and always tried to protect her from harms way, but this was one thing we failed at. I am wondering if this was the case for anyone else here, not being consistent in preventing heartworms. It's the only thing I can think of that that could have caused her death, and that tears me apart, that it could be our fault. I know I have to deal with this guilt, whether or not this was the cause of her sudden death. We will never know. Please let me know if anyone can relate to this factor.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry for your loss. With my dog, we never had him on heartworm medication. He never showed signs that he had heartworms either so we never thought that was the factor in his death. He was always playing and running around with no problems breathing or anything afterwards. If your dog showed signs of having heartworms, then that could possibly be the reasoning. But, either way, you shouldn't blame yourself in any way, shape, or form for your pet's death. It was just her time unfortunately... I pray you find peace in knowing she's in a better place and continue to remember the wonderful times with her and that they help to ease the pain of losing her.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think your dog would have had more signs if it was heartworm, no? I just lost my dog on Monday - very, very sudden.  Was sitting in a school parking lot waiting for my child to come out.  I was right next to him.  He stumbled then collapsed. I picked him up and he was like dead weight..  He died about a minute or less later.  My dog was 13 - he had heart disease and an irregular heartbeat.  My vet said 'he threw a blood clot'.  It was most likely produced in the heart.  Whenever you have an irregular heartbeat you are more susceptible to producing blood clots.  Vet told me many pets that die this way have an undiagnosed heart condition.  I am broken hearted -  He too was just fine the day he died up until that minute- he died in my car before my child even got out of school.  
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I, like the majority here have lost a loved one & searched the web for answers- finding your post. My baby Red (11 yrs) , wonderful corgi was fun, energetic, loyal and enjoyed eating as a hobby.
He passed last night 11/9/13. My dad said the morning walk was normal as usual, although he noticed My dog was walking slow and seemed dizzy.  My dad had to carry him because my dog appeared to have difficulty standing. Around 3p my dad looked at Red and was playing with him, my dog was just lying in his stomach slouching which seemed normal considering he's old already. But he just went back into his house.

His fecal matter was slightly darker than normal so that's probably a sign? Last week, he did move slower and didn't as much eat his food in large amounts like he always did. I should've taken him to the vet immediately but my dog was okay.

I wondered too what caused this but I wouldn't be able to do a necropsy either. It's just painful and expensive and I don't wanna put my dog thru it. He slept in the afternoon yesterday and never woke up.  He lied comfortably head on the side and his paws by his face like he always does. After accepting he's passed, my dad carried his body and noticed he might've bit his tongue and it was sorta sticking out. We believe it may have been a heart attack.  I just cannot imagine what my dog was going through before that. I miss him so much, all I do is cry when I think that I'll never see and hold him again.


The pain I feel is extreme and like all of you, he was and never was just a pet, rather my family. He was my little brother and baby.  I'm 30 and I know it would seem weird having to feel this down but I still cannot get passed this sad feeling.
I know he's in a better place but I wish I could've had more time to give him more than I have ever. I only hope he knew how much I loved him and how much he was loved and appreciated for being the joy in our lives for the past 11 years.

Thinking and remembering the great times makes me smile but the constant aching and crying is constant.  Losing a loved one is always so painful. I love you so much Reddie Poo
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I always understood that small dogs live 15 years or more, so I am surprised you lost you lovely dog at age 11.  My condolences.

Our estimated 9 year old Westie has had a bowel change to a very dark color, almost black.  I think in his case it is due to a prescription diet the vet put him on as we continue to search for a allergy he seems to have - yeast infection problems.  Did your dog have a change in diet before his death?  If no, then the change in color may be a warning sign... I'll watch this post to see if anything on that aspect develops.
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I'm so sorry for everyone's unexpected furbaby loses. I just lost my Erik the hound dog on October 15th and still am scouring for answers as to how I lost him. I've come up with numerous hypothesis and am so angry at myself that he left so quickly. He had GI problems off-and-on for years. He had been on probiotics, prednisone, I/D low fat dog food. I'm trying not to blame myself but it's hard not to return to the moment I stopped his probiotics after he had been on them for two months. I thought it was a temporary supplement and since he was doing better that it was okay to stop them. 2 weeks later the diaherra (diarrhea) returned (he hadn't had diaherra (diarrhea) since July). I started up the probiotics again, upped his prednisone, gave him a chicken and rice diet. His stools weren't improving and by day 10 we were at the emergency vet because he was in pain. 2 days after that visit they diagnosed him with pyothorax and kept him at the clinic. The next day he went into cardiac arrest when they returned him to his kennel and they saved him. But, the following day, he went into cardiac arrest again and passed away to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

He was 9.5 and I regret not treating him more carefully. I never realized he was so delicate. I can only believe I should've been more careful with the probiotics.

There are so many other factors, too ... I just feel the blame lays on me that my baby boy is no longer here in the physical world.

They leave so suddenly and can only be left searching for an answer that we did the best we could with what we knew....
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, these posts were awhile ago but like a lot of people here, I found them when I was searching for possible reasons for my dog's passing... My amazing, gorgeous Border Terrier died suddenly yesterday morning. He was only 7 years old and I'm devastated. I know people will think it's silly, but he was like a child to me or a best friend. I've had him since he was a puppy. He should have had at least three more years. I'm completely broken up.
I moved 3 months ago, and he had been in kennels for nearly two months while we waited for a flat. He would have been back with me in just over a month. I had a call yesterday to say that the lady who runs the kennels had gone in to clean him out and he was asleep, and had died in his sleep. The kennels were were very good and I can't imagine they did anything wrong. They were sure that he hadn't had any symptoms of illness, he seemed happy enough, was eating and drinking water, had been walked regularly, was going to the toilet normally, wasn't in any discomfort in any way. He had had all his innoculations. I just can't understand how this could have happened. It's worse that I wasn't with him and I can't know if there was something I could have done to prevent it.

I just can't believe it still. I'm going to miss him so much. It doesn't seem right that he isn't here.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello. My 12 year old male labrador died 3 weeks ago, I don't know from what, and it's killing me. He was perfectly healthy and well. He ate a delicious lunch and was happy, a bit later he was acting like he wanted to vomit but he couldn't. We called the vet right away, he said maybe his stomach needed surgery and we hurried there, he was really feeling sick and almost couldn't walk, and he gave him anesthesia and he checked his stomach and said it probably wasn't bloat, yet maybe he ate too much (but his meal wasn't much bigger than usual!), he emptied the gastric content and he didn't operate. The dog woke from anesthesia, but he could not move at all, except the head. Then we brought him home and after a while he started barking with a very tiny voice, like he was in pain or like he was asking for help. He barked desperately with this little voice for several hours...Then he stopped for a while, and then he died. He was dead 12 hours after the initial incident. What happened? It's killing me, I can't stop thinking about it and I'm so miserable about the way he died.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry for your loss. I lost my five year old last week suddenly. It sounds ike Parvo disease, read up on it and see other peoples testimonials. It sounds pretty close to Parvo to me. I took my dog in for an animal autopsy, $100.00 plus tax. Im waiting for my results. I need some closure to learn what not to do with the new puppy. Gus
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm adding to this post because sometimes it feels good just to get your feelings out to people who understand what you're going through. Three weeks ago, my husband and I lost our sweet yellow lab, Jaxson. He was only 4 years old and the picture of health, extremely fit and so full of life. He was completely normal when I came home from work. He greeted me at the door, ran for one of his toys and a few mintues later ate his dinner. When my husband came home, they went out to play in the snow for ~5 minutes tops (we usually play with him for at least an hour or more). They came in the house, Jax followed him and while my husband was taking his jacket off Jax collapsed and started briefly seizing. In the 10 seconds it took me to reach them, he was already gone. All in less than a minute. Even though I knew he was gone, I did chest compressions all the way to the emergency vet. We chose to get a necropsy done at the University here and the results showed no obvious indications on why he would have died so suddenly.  I was hoping for any sort of answer.

We are completely broken. We have no children so our world revolved around that beautiful boy. I think we both feel that it was our job to protect him and take care of him and we failed somehow. We know that we need another dog in our lives but I'm so worried that I will never love another as much as I love him. There is just a huge hole in my heart.
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Dear mindyjk, please read my comment above. My sweet 12 year-old labrador died in the early morning hours of January 20, and I am still miserable. I also posted another question, as a separate topic, "What caused my dog's death?". Because I still don't know what happened. In your case, it does sound a little like stomach bloat. I know the vet once told me never to play or walk the dog for at least 1 hour after the meal, because labradors as a breed are particularly prone to stomach bloat and they die from it. That's what at first I thought happened to my dog, but it probably wasn't. He didn't walk or play, and also when we rushed him to the vet, it didn't appear like bloat. You can imagine how I felt after 12,5 years of companionship. He also stood by me at difficult and lonely times, then he embraced my family when I married and had kids, he was always supportive and sweet to all of us and never jealous or competitive with the kids. Even though I have two kids, he was also like a kid of mine and noone else can ever fill that void and replace him. The fact that he died so suddenly is what's killing me the most, also that I don't know what caused his death or if I could have done things differently...
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Avatar_f_tn
Mariae1234, your story brought tears to my eyes. I don't think there is any easy way, whether we have to choose euthanasia or if they die suddenly like ours did. Like you, I think having a definitive answer to the cause would bring some sort of closure. I've done more research and although it's definitely not a textbook case, I think Jax may have died from a very severe case of Exercise Induced Collapse- a condition I'm just finding out about which is fairly common in Labradors. Fatal cases are rare but it can happen. It may be a stretch but its the only thing that makes any sort of sense.

From what I can tell, you were an amazing mom to that sweet pup of yours. Take comfort in knowing that he wasn't alone and you did everything you could. Hopefully time will help heal us both but in the meantime it is pretty miserable.
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Avatar_m_tn
My sweet pup died suddenly on Friday. He turned 6 this month. Everything was normal in the morning. He was outside for about 15 minutes, came in, and laid in his cage. When my boyfriend checked on him about 15 minutes later, he was laying their with his legs sprawled out, and a little bit of blood by his mouth. I did not do a necropsy. Money is tight, and it wouldn't bring my pup back anyway. But the suddenness and the lack of reason really is causing me to have a very hard time dealing with this. I hope it was a natural death and that no one did something that caused an internal injury. I don't know if he was outside in the cold too long, or his chronic anxiety possibly stressed him too much one too many times. Or possibly, he ate something? I don't know. I wish I did. My daughters are crying constantly as well. We are just so sad.
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Avatar_f_tn
Cynamil,

I am so sorry for your loss. Remember that we ended up spending the money for the necropsy and it still didn't gave us any answers. All it told us was that he was perfectly healthy which was more frustrating. Chances are the same would have happended to you. It sounds like your pup was extremely loved and taken care of. I'm sure it was a natural death that I'm finding out now is more common than I realized.

It's been about six weeks and Jax is still the first thing I think of every morning when I wake up. The pain is less sharp but it's still there and I miss him desperately. We've been looking at getting another pup but I don't think I'll be ready for a few months. I'm hoping by summer I'll be ready to give my love to a new dog.

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Avatar_m_tn
After reading your post I had a similar experience just happen.  My year and a half year old was out playing and within a hour was dead in the yard.  Was a healthy dog with no prior sickness.  No vomiting or abnormal poop.  We had a preliminary autopsy done and everything looked normal and healthy.  They sent him to the college for the necropsy.  We are awaiting results.  I just cant believe hes gone.  Just wish we knew what went on so fast.
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Avatar_m_tn
my sweet jazzy was just the best of all ..she was everything to her brother and she was his life .. to us she was the most protective and caring loving dog one could have ...she ate well last thursday i wished her goodbye ..2hurs later she screamed and died ...i cant eat or be happy in anyway since.i keep thinking what didn't i see and why? she was a lab.
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