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How did my dog die?
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How did my dog die?

5668625?1273591067
I had a 2 yr old Shepard Rottwieler mix,this Sunday he threw up his dog food,after a few hours he threw up blood and was drinking lots of water,I took him to the vet emergency and he died overnight.
How could my healthy young dog just die like that? any ideas?
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942557_tn?1272698419
Ulcers can sometimes develope when there is a mast cell tumor.They release strong stimulants that increase acid production in the stomach.The main symptoms of a stomach ulcer is vomiting.Sometimes there can be weight lose and anemia..When he was vomiting what did it look like.Ulcers can rupture and cause waste to go into other areas of the body and then they become really sick and have to be treated with antibiotics and iv fluids and then if needed the vet has to repair where the ulcer ruptured and flush out the area..I will keep you in my prayers.May God Bless You. Take care
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm very sorry to hear that. It Sounds like he was either poisened or parvo if he had no previous symptoms I would go with poison. Check your yard for bones you didn't give him or dark spots on the ground where something could have been poured. If you still have any of his vomit you may be able to take it to a animal hospital and have them check it.
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Avatar_m_tn
oh my gosh there is vomit there still from before it became bloody, what makes me wonder is how thirsty he was he just "changed quickley"
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry for your loss.  It is hard to say what killed him.  In addition to poison or parvo as mentioned by debspencer, some other possibilities that I can think of are sudden cardiac death, GI obstruction from ingesting a foreign body, or GI puncture from eating a bone that splintered.  

There is also at least one form of cancer, hemangiosarcoma, that can cause sudden death in an apparently healthy dog.  If that was what happened to him, he would have bled to death internally, and if any blood work was done at the clinic, it should show low hemoglobin and low hematocrit, consistent with bleeding.  He would have looked shocky.  I just don't know if hemangiosarcoma is common in your dog's breed or common in dogs of his age; maybe not.

For future reference (God forbid), when an animal dies suddenly or unexpectedly, the owner can request a necropsy to find out the cause of death.  ("Necropsy" is the word used for an autopsy on an animal.)  Generally, a necropsy does cost you, although I don't know how much.  Sometimes, if your pet dies at the office of your longtime veterinarian, the doctor will do it for little or nothing, just to find out for himself what happened.  If you are not sure, at the time of death, whether you want to have a necropsy done, the doctor might agree to keep the body overnight or for a day or two in the freezer, to give you time to decide.  

The only other thing I can think of is to talk to some knowledgable Rott or German Shepherd breeders and see if there are any hereditary condition that can cause something like this.  I have some friends who owned a Vizsla who dropped dead in the middle of playing fetch.  It turned out that there is a cardiac syndrome in certain lines of Vizslas that can cause sudden cardiac death such as happened to their dog.  So maybe there is some condition in Rotts or German Shepherds that is suspect in this situation.

Again, I'm sorry.  He was very handsome.  I'm sure he was a great dog, and it is such a shock to lose them in the prime of life like this.  Please accept my condolences.
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Avatar_f_tn
May I ask, for the edification of the group, did the emergency vet have any idea what might have happened?  

And I'm sorry, it was rmjmj who mentioned parvo and poison.  I misread that; my bad.
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Avatar_m_tn
The vet looked at him 10pm sunday night, he started an iv for fluids, said he was dehydrated. He also gave him a shot to control vomiting, he told me that he would ad an antibiotic also. He told me he would have to stay in the hospital over night.
When I came back as the vet clinic opened at 8 am ...I found him there in the cage dead laying in blood.
He said he couldnt tell what it was...I would have ordered the necropsy but it cost me almost $500 and he was gone so I didnt, had he of lived I would have payed anything to fix him.
This dog was only with me for 8 months and he had never been inside before I came along. He was skinny but never ate much...I would coax him and make him hambuger dinner with carrots sometimes...we got another dog and the compition for the food seemed to make him eat more which was great.  But he never seemed to gain much wieght...I wondered if that may have been linked but how do you explain the thirst?
It just came on so fast!
Thanks for all yr help...this is the only thing that helps...talking about it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Deb, thanks for your follow-up.  I understand totally about refusing the necropsy; it's a lot of money, and it wouldn't have brought him back.  I'll keep thinking about it some more.
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Avatar_f_tn
In reference to the possibility of parvo and also your comment that your dog never seemed to gain much weight, do you mind if I ask whether he had regular preventive veterinary care such as worming and vaccinations?  

If the dog was never vaccinated against parvo, I would say parvo is a very high possibility.  Your dog's symptoms and course were consistent with parvo, as was first pointed out by rmjmj, above.  Parvo is an intestinal infection that can kill very fast.  I have heard of people leaving for work in the morning, and their dog appeared fine, and they came home in the afternoon, and the dog was critically ill with parvo or even dead.  Dogs that have other intestinal parasites, such as worms, are more vulnerable to parvo than are dogs that are parasite-free.  

Parvo virus is endemic in the environment, so dogs that are not vaccinated against it are at extremely high risk.  The same is  true of distemper (which usually presents as a respiratory illness, but I have read that it sometimes does have gastrointestinal signs and symptoms).  In my personal opinion, it is almost inevitable that unvaccinated dogs will get either parvo or distemper, at some point.  Both illnesses are usually fatal.  

I'm not offering this information about parvo and distemper to try to make you feel worse, if your dog was unvaccinated.  Obviously you loved him and would have done anything for him that you were aware he needed.  My only intention is to try to respond to your request for help in figuring out what happened.  So I hope you can take my question in the spirit in which it is offered, which I mean to be a spirit of concern and kindness.  If you don't want to answer the question about his vaccinations, it's okay.

If there is any possibility that your dog died of parvo, you should be aware that parvo virus can perist on premises for up to nine months.  You can kill the virus with a bleach solution on indoor surfaces, assuming you clean every possible surface.  I don't know how you clean carpets and furniture.  It is also pretty much impossible to disinfect the ground and folliage outdoors.  That means that you must be certain that any new dog you bring home is absolutely immune to parvo, or else you need to wait nine months before bringing any other dogs onto your property.  I'm sorry for that, in case it is an issue.  

If your dog was ever vaccinated against parvo, I would not be particularly worried about parvo virus on the property, because it is unlikely he had parvo.  There is a small percentage of vaccine failures, but those cases are very few in number.  If he was vaccinated more than once against parvo, then I would say there is pretty much no chance that he had parvo.  Any given dog might be unlucky enough to have some weird vaccine fluke once, but generally not twice.  So if he had a good set of puppy vaccinations, and then he was re-vaccinated at one year of age, then that pretty much rules out parvo, to my way of thinking.
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82861_tn?1333457511
It sounds like something was wrong long before the final crisis.  Something is definitely wrong when a young dog does not to gain sufficient weight and experiences lack of appetite - especially with homemade food.  There are so many things it could have been, but without a necropsy there is absolutely no way to determine the cause of death.  I'm so sorry both of you had to go through something so terrible.
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Avatar_f_tn
You asked how to explain the thirst.  I imagine the thirst was from dehydration, secondary to the vomiting.  
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Avatar_m_tn
He wasnt vacinated against Parvo....honestly I have not heard of this before, I will google that...but I have a second dog on site and he seems fine, I have gone over the property to look for any antifreeze or other sources of poisons.
Thanks for your help.  As far as the food goes, I may have sent the wrong message...it was the dog food that he wasnt that fussy over...he would eat the hamburg meal right up...., But looking back now, mabe the lack of interest in dog food was a sign of something wrong on the inside,When we got the second dog, Max came alive around him...I found that the compition for food would make max more eager to eat it.
I would seperate them so Max would get all of his at feeding time,where as before the second dog came...Max had a dish always full.
The vet never suggested Parvo...he thought perhaps an ulcer?
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Avatar_f_tn
The vet may not have realized that Max wasn't vaccinated against parvo, and perhaps that's why he did not mention it as a possibility.  If, in fact, it was parvo that killed Max, possibly your other dog was vaccinated against it before you got him?  Again, IF it was parvo, that would explain why Max was vulnerable to the virus and not the other dog.  

Or maybe Max had some kind of intestinal parasite all along, and that weakened his immunity to either parvo or some other infectious disease that killed him.  I don't know how strongly to believe that.  Some dogs will naturally stay pretty skinny until they get to be about three years old or so, and maybe he was one of those.  Or maybe he just didn't like the kind of commercial dog food that you bought.  On the other hand, if he never had a stool test, and he never was wormed while you had him, the chances are high that he did have some kind of little critters in his gut that didn't belong there.  

I agree with Jaybay -- unfortunately, we're never going to absolutely know the cause of death.  We can only narrow it down to a few possibilities that are pretty common occurrences and that fit the symptoms.  Parvo, poison, and ingestion of a foreign body that either obstructed or punctured his GI tract would be the main ones I can think of.  

Or maybe an ulcer, as the vet suggested.  As far as I know, ulcers are much less common in dogs than either parvo or foreign body ingestion.  I really don't even know anyone whose dog has had an ulcer.  I have heard of all of the other above-mentioned things happening, including both accidental and deliberate poisoning, among my own friends or at least my friends of friends.

My heartfelt suggestion, and again I offer this in a spirit of concern and kindness, is to take some of the money that you saved by not doing the necropsy on Max, and take your other dog in for a good, thorough well-dog checkup, a stool test, heartworm test, and vaccinations for parvo, distemper, hepatitis, and rabies.  You don't want to go through this again, and we don't want you to.  Every pet passes away at some point, but preventive veterinary care is something that you can do for them to help extend their lives to the maximum.
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Avatar_f_tn
Parvo has more symptoms, more vomiting....it sounds like he bled out, possibly DIC, or maybe even cancer, if he hadnt been eating much, but I really suspect rat poison. I am so very sorry for your loss. Not knowing makes it harder for sure. That is the hardest thing about working at a Veterinary Hospital, is that occasionally, something will happen so fast, the owner doesn't realize it until it is too late.
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942557_tn?1272698419
Ulcers can sometimes develope when there is a mast cell tumor.They release strong stimulants that increase acid production in the stomach.The main symptoms of a stomach ulcer is vomiting.Sometimes there can be weight lose and anemia..When he was vomiting what did it look like.Ulcers can rupture and cause waste to go into other areas of the body and then they become really sick and have to be treated with antibiotics and iv fluids and then if needed the vet has to repair where the ulcer ruptured and flush out the area..I will keep you in my prayers.May God Bless You. Take care
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for all your comments , God Bless you all.
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