Trying to determine my best friend's cause of death

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Trying to determine my best friend's cause of death

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Old 11-25-2016, 10:25 PM
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Trying to determine my best friend's cause of death

I'm trying to determine if my dog was severely constipated when he passed away & if this might have led to his death.

His passing was so sudden & I don't know why. The only hints I have to go off of are his recent history of strokes, the question below, and that his back legs must have become limp (there was no rigor mortis after passing).

After passing, his body released roughly a "large softball" sized amount of feces (~12" circumference).

Is this normal? It seems like an absurdly large amount.
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:34 PM
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First, I'm so sorry that you buddy has passed away ��

Second, when a pet dies, dogs and cats I am speaking for, but this may well apply to any living mammal...

Immediately (or soon after, or when the body is disturbed) the sphincter muscles relax and the bowels are released. It's typically a very messy and smelly event.

Rigor mortis: begins around the 3 hour mark and takes up to 12 hours to completely set in. It is a gradual process, affecting the body and it's extremities gradually, in different stages, sweeping across the body. Eventually the entire body becomes rigid. This process slowly recedes as the process decomposition begins.

So, the symptoms you describe are actually very typical of the process that occurs upon death, regardless of the cause of the death.

A necropsy could be performed by a DVM to attempt to determine "cause of death ", however there is no guarantee that you would receive a definitive answer.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss ��
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewydog View Post
So, the symptoms you describe are actually very typical of the process that occurs upon death, regardless of the cause of the death.
Thanks for the reply and your kind words.

Yeah, I understand it's a normal process but it's just the sheer amount of it that I'm unclear about. I don't know if the amount is normal… or if it would indicate severe constipation.

Regarding rigor mortis, his hind legs took significantly longer to stiffen compared to the rest of his body. His body stiffened after ~3 hours (like you mention) but his hind legs remained completely limp & only became semi-stiff after maybe 8 hours. It just seemed unusual. But maybe you're right in that it takes a long time to completely set in.

Last edited by travismlive; 11-26-2016 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:23 AM
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I am so sorry for your loss. Every time I have had to put a pet to sleep, the vet cautions about the possibility of a large bowel movement. What you describe, while horrible to find, do not sound abnormal to me.
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