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Dog died suddenly.

Species: Dog
Breed: lab
Age: 1-2 years
My dog Piper, suddenly died today for no apparent reason. She has been eating/drinking fine and going to the bathroom fine. She was as playful as she always is. I was treating her ears for mites.The last few days she found a chew toy that she hadn't seen if a while but it has been inside and she kinda whinned over it if she lost site of it. My son left for the military a few weeks ago and they were very close. He talked to her on the phone the other night(the first time since he left). Today she was curled up on her bed as my husband and other son played xbox. Piper let out a loud yell and then another and then she was gone. This has been so shocking to us and we have no idea what happened. Can you tell us what you think might have happened? Our daugher is distraugt and I really dread tell our son that is away.

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Wow, I am so sorry to hear that this happened.

It is really uncommon for a young dog to die suddenly like this. It's really going to be hard to say what happened, but here are a few possibilities.

The first is something called a thymic rupture. The thymus is in the chest of young dogs. It can occasionally spontaneously rupture and bleed into the chest. This is really rare.

It's also possible that she was born with a heart condition. However, if she ever had a vet exam, the vet should have noticed a heart murmur if there was a problem.

It's possible that she had eaten something unusual that had penetrated her intestines or stomach, but this really shouldn't cause a sudden death.

I wish I could give you a more definite answer.

If you would like to, you are welcome to send me a picture and a story of Piper's life for me to post on her blog. I have started to publish pet memorials as a service to people who use Ask A Vet Question. Here is my first one that I published:

In memory of Emmy

If you'd like to send me info on Piper, you can send it to photos@askavetquestion.com.

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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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.