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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
my Dane just died this morning out of the blue ...

... and I have no CLUE why! My Dane... Dauber Von Kaiser... my love... I write this with tears in my eyes for him. I just got back from dropping him off at the vet to be cremated... He would have been 10 on November 5th. (yes that's him in my avatar)

Today was like any other typical morning with the herd... Dauber was Happy, even playful with Diego our 3 year old lab that was his typical play thing. They bounced around the dog run together, and Dauber ate GREAT last night like he usually does. In his aging days I had noticed his breathing had become a bit laboured (but I had contributed that to damage that a case of lung worm might have caused) and he had a hard time making it around the block (whick I attributed to his age). Nothing would have prepared me for what happened next.

We were in the kitchen (hubby, me and my 4 year only standing in the doorway). I had just let the dogs in probably about 10 minutes prior to this happening. They went on about doing their thing, then Dauber started to walk into the kitchen and COLLAPSED practically knocking my 4 year old thru the wall (yes he literally fell ON him which was NOT Dauber's nature at all... he was EXTREMELY cautious around Garrett and always had been. He wasn't the most graceful large beast but I loved his clutty nature). His front legs got all stiff and his eyes rolled and I thought SEIZURE... with in 5 minutes he was gone.

I've worked with dogs for 17 years and have never seen or heard of such a thing happening. As I took Dauber to the vet my husband got online and started searching everything to find out what could have possibly made this happen. 2 things kept popping up for Sudden death in great danes...

My question is this... has anyone ever heard of or dealt with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)? The other one he found was Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Lastly the final culprit could have been Aortic Stenosis.

I know it wasn't heart worm because he was recently tested and cleared... so anyone that knows anything about any of these diseases , any info would be greatly appreciated... unless you might know of any other reason a perfectly healthy almost 10 year old intact male dane might just suddenly drop dead. (another thing I noticed between last night and today is that there was a strong odor of cat pee in the house. I don't own a cat and they're never in my house. Dauber's final elimination also reaked of cat pee).

I am sooo heart broken right now I can barely think.
 

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Oh, I'm so very sorry for your loss! I don't have any answers for your questions regarding DCM and HCM, but I just wanted to offer my most profound sympathy, and you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. What a horrible thing to have happen.
 

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Oh wow - i just got goose bumps. I am so so so sorry for your loss... i dont know anything about those conditions but just wanted to offer my condolences
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Kuna's Mom... I am just at such a loss... everything I know of dogs NEVER prepared me for this. I don't know HOW I'm gonna explain this to my 13 year old when he gets home from school. It's gonna KILL him... I can't stand to see my kids hurting. My 4 year old (who has a mild understanding of death since he lost a pet bunny) says "it's ok mom... he's up in the clouds and he'll be there for 20 years then he'll come back to us" OMG just brings tears to my eyes thinking about his blind innocence. I sooo wish it was true and I that I could live in his dream world where everything is perfect and death is never permanent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Yom... DJ'sMom... The well wishes help. 20 minutes until the 13 year old gets home and we start all over :( not looking forward to this at ALL!
 

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I'm so sorry. It is shocking to have one die suddenly. I had a 10 yr old (Large) Cocker Spaniel that dropped dead suddenly. We had been at the vets an hour before to have 3 stitches removed from a stitched cut from playing with the other dog. Vet said he looked great. He had a complete blood workup within the last 8 months, and everything looked great. I brought him to Petsmart on the way home to pick out a new toy, dropped him off at the house, and ran to the mini mart. Came home 10 min later and he was dead on the floor. Tried CPR, didn't work, rushed to vet, and he was definitely dead. Vet thought something heart related.

I've put animals down in the past, and used to think that it would be so much easier if they just died easily on their own. But actually it was so shocking and unexpected that the shock/grief lasted much longer for me. I kept thinking that there must have been some signs that I missed.

I'm so sorry that not only do you have to deal with your own grief/shock, but also have to comfort your child. Kind of a double whammy.Sending prayers for strength and peace to you and your family.
 

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Prayers and good vibes heading your way. I'm so sorry for your loss, I wish I could help you about what it could be but I just don't know. Is it possible he might have had a heart attack?
 

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I have no medical related thoughts for you, unfortunately. Only condolences. He was beautiful. I'm sorry for your family's loss.
 

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So sorry for your loss. My first thought from what you describe would have been some sort of heart problem. From your research it sounds like a probability for danes. Also from the pee smell there may have possibly been a kidney problem as well. When pets go into renal(kidney) failure their urine starts to smell like finger nail polish, for some people it a rather sweet smell, either way it's a very destinctive smell. The only way to know exactly what took your boy would be to have a ncropsy done and even then there may not be many answers.
 

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Dogshrink. I am so sorry. What a shock.

Heart disease is common in danes and others of the giant breeds. The exercise intolerance is first sign of heart disease. I think that without a necropsy you won't know for sure but cardiomyopathy is the most likely cause.

My sympathies.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks so much guys. I don't keep a lot of friends IRL and the support and well wishes from everyone here is definately helpful. I do but I don't want to have the necropsy done like I said earlier if it was something I missed or could have avoided or prevented I'll just never forgive myself. I do think it was a major cardiac episode with how fast it all happened and you're right nike having them die on their own versus putting them down...I'm having a much harder time with this than any dog I ever put down. I just dunno... just so many questions...
 

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Oh my. I am so sorry! I usually never leave the picture forum but i was searching around and just reading and found this sad news. Me and Bello will pray for you. I know your grief very well!:(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Again thanks so much everyone for your well wishes... hanging out here most of the day has really helped me keep Dauber off my mind (if that can make any sense) I guess when I'm helping others I forget about myself... any time I stop reading or typing all I can do is think of him :( God this is so hard... it's barely been 13 hours yet it feels like a lifetime.
 

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I remember the feeling of losing my dog, Lizzy - like it was yesterday. I feel your pain Dog Shrink. If I were near you I would offer you a hug. I hope that this gets easier to deal with. I am very sorry for your loss.
 

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I'm so sorry, RIP. very sad, sending you prayers and hugs.

Last year that's exactly how my son and his wife dane died.
they don't no why.
 
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