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Why did my puppy die?

Species: Dog
Breed: Bichon x Cavalier ki
Age: 3-6 months
Hello,

I'm in the UK and I hope you can give me some idea as to why my seemingly very healthy, strong, 14 week old puppy, Louis, died as i'm finding not knowing why, very hard indeed. We were on the beach and he was running around really fast, like he always did, having fun and ran up to me. I was just about to give him a small treat, when he looked as though he was going to be sick, but I very quickly realised, he couldn't breathe. He hadn't picked up anything in his mouth, so I knew he wasn't choking on something and he had nothing in his mouth. There was no spluttering, no breath at all. After what seemed like forever, his little body finally went limp and blood started to come out of his mouth and he died. It was horrendous and I just can't understand why, he was not a weak puppy in any way; full of energy and confidence.

Do you have any idea what may have made him bleed so much that he couldn't breathe?

Kind Regards,


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that this happened.

It's possible that your little pup had something called an idiopathic thymic rupture. The thymus is an organ in the chest of young dogs. Although it is rare, it can occasionally suddenly rupture and cause a dog to bleed into his chest. We don't know what causes this and there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it.

The two other possibilities (that sound less likely) are if the dog had eaten rat poison, or if there was some type of trauma. But, neither of these seem likely.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.