Dogs Community
10.3k Members
Avatar universal

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.
80 Responses
441382 tn?1452814169
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.

Avatar universal
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.
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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....
Avatar universal
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.  
Have an Answer?
Top Dogs Answerers
675347 tn?1365464245
United Kingdom
974371 tn?1424656729
Central Valley, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Members of our Pet Communities share their Halloween pet photos.
Like to travel but hate to leave your pooch at home? Dr. Carol Osborne talks tips on how (and where!) to take a trip with your pampered pet
Ooh and aah your way through these too-cute photos of MedHelp members' best friends
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child