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Thank you to anyone reading and I appreciate all help or suggestions.

We had a 15 month old female lurcher, much loved and adored, who yesterday died. I was hoping by describing this sequence of events someone out there would be able to point me to a possible cause.

She was in general good health, lots of energy, reasonable appetite and was rescued from an animal shelter at 9 months. her only ailments was a hernia on her stomach which had been operated on.

At about 21.30 the previous night she was acting a little sluggish and a bit down but otherwise OK. She did not eat her food that morning or evening. She went to the toilet, number 2, and after this she was noticeably slower and sluggish. At about 11 she seemed to be in some discomfort with labored breathing.

At 3.00am we awoke to her wheezing and when she stood up it seemed to improve slightly, she had urinated on herself and had diarrhea at some stage in the night on the floor, she attempted to go to the toilet again with nothing happening, some clear liquid.

at 6am she was worse and while she was still walking around slowly, she was making wheezing sounds while breathing.

at 7.30am she lay on the floor and when I heard she was sounding like she was choking I picked her up with an extreme about of blood coming out of her mouth, pouring from her mouth.

She died then minutes later.

I'm obviously very upset, and didn't want to get a postmortem, but now I can't stop wondering what it might be.

Possibilities are: She was in a friends garden 2 days before and could have eaten something. She also likes to chew plastic bottles, but never caused a problem before.

The vet mentioned Parvo, but she is fully vaccinated.

Any help would be so much appreciated.
 

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Cancer, tumor, pneumonia, intestinal blockage, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, poisoning...

It's hard to even narrow it down.

What food does your dog eat?
It does not sound like parvo to me.

I am REALLY, REALLY sorry for your loss :(
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you very much for the reply and kind words.

She eats Royal Canin dry food, we usually pour water over it to soften it slightly. She's never had a problem with her stools, and never regurgitates.

She had a habbit of tearing up paper or cardboard and was doing this the day she got sick, but no staples or anything sharp.

We started keeping her indoors up to about 4 days before this, as the weather had started to get cold, and she was fine up to that, she slept in an enclosed porch at the back of the house.

I've never heard of something killing a dog this fast, in less than 8 hours, and only 1 hour from when she was standing.

I had considered poisoning, but the vet said you would see bleeding of her gums, which she did not have, they said lung worm would show up as bleeding from her eyes in that advanced stage.

Cancer I could live with, as we gave her a fantastic last 5 months of her life.
 

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With the blood pouring from her mouth, I'd guess she ate something that cut up her intestines. At 15mo, and with good energy before the episode, I'd doubt some of the more serious diseases such as cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, etc. These diseases occur with greater frequency in older dogs, and generally result in a slow decline.

I'm sorry for your loss.
 

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Towards the end was her stomach hard, distended, red, warm?
No, she had no external symptoms, he stomach wasn't even sore, I was pushing it gently in the middle of the night to see if she was reacting to it or in pain, and nothing. Just the difficulty breathing and the lethargy. In the end she was gasping for breath. I was guessing that her lungs might have been filling with blood. She had a lot of clear saliva coming from her mouth, that smelled quite strong.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is there a chance she got into anything like D-Con or another poison? Thats' what it sounds like to me. Does your vet offer necropsy services to try to figure it out?
There is a possibility she got at rat poison, she was in a friends garden (who also has a dog) and she may have found something his dog hadn't. I was told the symptoms of poisoning by rat poison would show bleeding of the gums and lips. Which I didn't see.

Also that it would make her very thirsty which she wasn't.

my vet offered to arrange for the university to do an post mortem, at the time (only yesterday) I said no, I just didn't want her being cut up.
 

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There is a possibility she got at rat poison, she was in a friends garden (who also has a dog) and she may have found something his dog hadn't. I was told the symptoms of poisoning by rat poison would show bleeding of the gums and lips. Which I didn't see.

Also that it would make her very thirsty which she wasn't.

my vet offered to arrange for the university to do an post mortem, at the time (only yesterday) I said no, I just didn't want her being cut up.
Rat poisons are anti-coagulants and cause bleeding. If that bleeding happens to be in the gums and lips that is where you will see it. Less commonly, it can also cause internal bleeding into the chest or abdomen and in that case you won't necessarily see any bleeding of the gums. Her symptoms make perfect sense if your dog were bleeding into her chest. I'm so sorry for your loss, such a shame. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's what I kind of thought, that she was drowning in blood or that the blood was pressing into her chest. I thought if she had eaten something sharp I would have seen blood in her diarrhea, which wasn't there.

The two reasons I want to know are, Naturally I'm beating myself up that I didn't take her to the vet at 3am (if I could locate one) and wonder could she have been saved. More importantly I want to know so if I do decide to find another dog, I will recognize the symptoms.
 

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You know what... I don't think it would have made a difference. They would have performed high cost exploratory surgery and if she was all cut up inside... and severly bleeding internally - what could they have done. I know you don't want to but you can still consider the University doing a dissection. It's a good experience for them and maybe it can give you some closure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know you are right, they would not have done anything, or would not have been able to do anything. That's just human nature, "what if"

It's just frustrating that everything I find, Poisoning (too quick for rat poisoning), lung worm (no bleeding externally), internal damage from sharp object (no blood in her stools), there are always one or two symptoms that rule any of them out.
 

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I know you are right, they would not have done anything, or would not have been able to do anything. That's just human nature, "what if"

It's just frustrating that everything I find, Poisoning (too quick for rat poisoning), lung worm (no bleeding externally), internal damage from sharp object (no blood in her stools), there are always one or two symptoms that rule any of them out.

One thing to remember is that symptoms aren't always solid. On one hand, someone could exhibit all the symptoms of a disease or illness, while on the other hand someone may exhibit only a few symptoms, yet have the same disease or illness.
The only way I think you could really know for sure is a postmortem, but I understand it can be hard.

That said, I am REALLY sorry for your loss. It's so tough. :(
 

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I am very sorry for your loss and saddened by your story. It is a shame. Thoughts and prayers go out to you all.
 
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