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Avatar universal

Our greyhound collapsed and died

Our almost 6 year old greyhound was fine this morning. He is never off lead. I took him out in the backyard, he peed & pooped normally, then started running around in circles on his leash as he has done almost every day for the last 4 years since we adopted him. All of a sudden he lay down or collapsed and whined oddly, then had what appeared to be a seizure lasting maybe 30 seconds. As soon as he collapsed his eyes became unfocused and he appeared to stop breathing. The vet says heart attacks are rare in greyhounds, but I don't know what else could cause an apparently healthy dog to die so suddenly. He tested negative for Heartworm a couple of months ago, and has been on Heartgard since.
11 Responses
1436598 tn?1332896533
I am so sorry for your loss. That is horrible. It could have been a massive stroke, especially since there was seizure activity. You probably won't ever know unless you get a necropsy performed.

Sending hugs to you. I've had 3 dogs die suddenly and it is truly awful for those of us left behind. The only consolation I could find is at least they didn't suffer a long drawn out illness with pain. Yours died doing what he loved, running!

Take care.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much. I've had dogs all my life (almost 60 years), and this is the first time one has died suddenly. You are right that at least he died doing what he loved best and didn't suffer.
974371 tn?1424653129
I used to help with Greyhound rescue and we adopted one ourselves that died from Lymphoma.
Could have been heart related, a stroke, some internal issue that went undetected.  Unless a necropsy is done, no way to know for sure.  I have lost Two dogs (not Grey's) over the years to sudden death.  One had an undetected liver tumor that ruptured, was absolutely fine that morning.
So sorry for your loss and thank you for adopting your Grey and giving it a loving home!
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hello. First and foremost, I am truly sorry for your loss. For it to have happened so quickly and suddenly and without warning, this must be an awful shock for you. I have a rescued greyhound myself and have had two rescued lurchers prior to Sally joining us. Greys are fantastic dogs and so adorable. They grab your heart and hang on to it throughout their lives.

I can't really add much to what others have said. There are several possibilities, though a heart attack does seem likely. This may have had nothing to do with heartworm, but could simply have been a genetic and physiological flaw.

I was reading something earlier which I found rather interesting ... apparently there are reports of dogs living in and around Memphis that have been dying through heartworm, even though they have all been on Heartguard, some for years. It would seem that some dogs are becoming immune to the medication ... though most vets still assure dog owners that Heartguard is a good product (as long as it is not an imported cheaper brand bought off the internet).

From what you have said it seems unlikely your grey had heartworm, Though only a necropsy can uncover the facts.

You did a fantastic thing by providing your dog with four fabulous years in a loving home, where undoubtedly every wish of his was fulfilled. Although he died all too young, please remember that without you coming into his life, he may not have experienced so much or have had someone special to share his adventures and to love him. If he could, he would say a huge thank you to you.

My heartfelt condolences. Tony x
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your sympathetic comments. I keep expecting to see our greyhound lying on the couch or looking out the picture window. Even the cats seem to miss him.  
Avatar universal
Thank you. I have to wonder in retrospect whether our greyhound was retired early because he didn't have the stamina to race - though he certainly seemed to have plenty of energy. I always thought he was retired early because he was actually rather fond of rabbits, and had no interest in chasing the wild ones.
974371 tn?1424653129
If you have your Grey's tattoo number, you can actually try to trace his race history.  Our Grey was born in Colorado, didn't do much at the track and was sold off to a smaller track in Mexico, which is often the case.  He didn't do well there either and was fortunate enough to end up in a holding kennel where a Southern California group took him out and he was in a transport up to one of the groups in Northern Calif.  so, he was off the track by age 3 1/2.  He wasn't much into running either unless we got them together and he would run around with the other dogs.
If you haven't heard of the site Greytalk.com, you should check it out.  
Avatar universal
Thanks - I actually just registered at Greytalk this morning. Our greyhound came from Florida. I do have paperwork with his tattoo, so I will look up his history. He was less than 2 when we adopted him.
974371 tn?1424653129
Glad you signed up.  Maybe you will get another.  Great website with a lot of info!!  Bless you.  Florida has the most active tracks and lots of dogs being transported trying to find good homes.  God bless the rescue groups and the guys that haul these dogs to a better place!
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. We have the same kind of problem with greyhounds, lurchers and whippets here in the UK. My most recent rescue is a 3yr old greyhound called Sally. She was retired/thrown-out after 3 yrs, but she had tattoos in her ears and when we looked it up online we found her racing name and history racing card. To our amazement, her last race was in 2012 when she won her race, going 480 meters in 22 seconds. It made us wonder whether we would ever find her again if she decided to run off along the beach off-lead. Ha.

Anyone that rescues a greyhound or lurcher is a true godsend, because so many are used to earn their owners money, and when the money stops coming in they are discarded like an old shoe. It's so sad. Greys are fabulous dogs and all they need is a loving home. Tony x
Avatar universal
Sounds like he had a syncope episode and this is def heart related. My max had a few when overly excited and when when we took him for test he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  My deepest condolences to you and your family.
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