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Old 12-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Our shepard died with no apparent cause.

Our 10 yr old shepherd seemed fine on Sunday and died on Tues. I know you all know how this feels. I am at such a loss. I want so badly to understand why. Monday evening he came to greet me from work, with his head held low and very lethargic. We brought him in the house to feed him, but he had no appetite. We live in a farm area, and more than once he has gnawed on dead animals. Since he recently brought one into the yard, we were relatively sure this is why he felt unwell. Tues evening he again would not eat, barely moving from his bed. Wed morning he was gone. There was no vomiting, no diarrhea, no blood. If any of you have any ideas of why this may have happened, I would love you to share them with me.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very sorry for your loss

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Old 12-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish I had something for you but I'm unsure myself. Only thing that comes to my mind is hemangiosarcoma and that could be way off base. I hope the other members with more experience with the symptoms you described are able to provide better information. Did you consider having an autopsy done?
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Soooo sorry for your loss. Wish I had some insight as to way this happened to your boy.
Hugs...
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Symptoms, as you describe them, sound very much like hemangiosarcoma. You could be more sure of this if he'd not had access to wild/dead animals, or ingesting other things you might not be aware of, tho he did not have any usual symptoms of GI distress like vomiting or diarrhea, or pacing. Looking back, over the past month or so, did you notice any periods of low energy...what sometimes happens with hemangio is that they have small bleeds (tumor is usually associated with the spleen), which sap their energy, then the blood is resorbed until the next time. Until "the next time" is a large (internal), bleed, which takes their life. There is also a vascular bleeding disorder that has similar symptoms, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

I am so sorry you lost your boy, 10 is a common age for these issues to surface, and unfortunately is way too little time to have them with us, but is the reality of their life span. Perhaps when your heart has healed, or maybe to even help heal it, you will decide to know another one...they are all so incredibly special. Take care, welcome to the board.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So very sorry for your loss. This is a long shot but if you live in the Pacific North West it might apply if you eat salmon or live near a river. Salmon Poisoning Disease
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am guessing hemangiosarcoma too. I have lost three to this. It is a cancer of the spleen or heart *which grows very rapidly and then it ruptures and the dog either dies immediately or has a bleed, gets tired, recovers, and the cycle repeats until the end. It is very common in the GSD.

From what I understand it is not thought to be particularly painful

I am sorry for your loss. Take some comfort in the rapid death, and that you were lucky to be there at the time. There is not much that can be done. Even a splenectomy typically only buys a few months and is a risky surgery at that.


*Grim had it in the shoulder, not the spleen but it still progressed rapidly. Toby had several bleeds over about a 3 month period and Cyra was fine one day and gone the next with no warning.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you all so much! I will pass this along to my husband. We won't have an autopsy done, of that I am sure. The "need to know" thing has been difficult for me, however.
You are all so very supportive!
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for you loss. When I was reading your message hemangiosarcoma is the first thing that popped into my mind ... it's a dreadful disease, usually there are no symptoms until shortly before they pass on (I've lost four of the Hooligans to this dreadful form of cancer).
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I know that sometimes having an answer to why your dog was sick helps with closure. and it's very hard for those that don't have an answer. Not that this losing a dog is ever easy. I'm so sorry I hope that the answers here help you I feel a little better and know that there was nothing that you did
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