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Puppy died suddenly.

Species: Dog
Breed: Pom
Age: Less than 3 mon
I came home after being gone for 3 hours. We have baby Pomeranians 6 weeks old. They were in their bed, one of them was gasping for air. Rattles came when I picked him up, then more gasping. Cough and a little blood, then a bubble of clear out his nose. Then he went limp. :( I was only home 5 minutes with him in my hands it only lasted a few minutes.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that you are having problems. Just to be clear before I answer...is Captain still alive or did he pass away?

Did he have any unusual symptoms before this happened? Was he gaining weight at the same rate as his littermates?

Thanks,
Dr. Marie.


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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.

Customer reply:

He did pass away. He was gaining weight, playful...It was a strange rattle, gasping. I looked to see if something was in his airway...nothing.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I'm so sorry that he has died. While I won't be able to tell you for sure what happened, let me give you a few of my thoughts.

If a puppy this young suddenly has respiratory symptoms and dies then the most common reason for this would be if he was born with a heart condition. Some dogs with heart conditions will have less weight gain than their siblings, but not always.

The rattling that you heard sounds like fluid in the chest. Heart failure can cause a dog to suddenly have fluid in the chest.

It's also possible that he had something called "idiopathic thymic hemorrhage". The thymus is a gland in the chest of puppies. Although it is rare, it can happen that the thymus just ruptures and we don't know why.

Yes, a choking of some sort is possible as well.

Ultimately the only way to know what has happened would be to have your vet do a post mortem exam. It does sound like this was unpreventable though.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss.



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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.