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I'm looking to get another dog after losing my best friend last week, and it bothers me not knowing what may have happened. If it was somehow my fault, I'd like to know so I don't let it happen again.

My 1 year old Boxer mix went from perfectly normal to foaming at the mouth and coughing up blood within a 2 or 3 hour period. Once he started coughing up blood, within a minute he was wobbling on his feet and finally fell down and never got up again. He kept fighting for another 10-12 hours before finally taking his last breath. While he laid there he was almost completely unresponsive, just breathing strangely, sometimes labored and heavy and sometimes shallow, and his mouth was open with his tongue hanging out and eyes partially open, staring blankly straight ahead. I think he still knew I was there because any time I would rub his head his breathing would change.

From what I have read, it could be a few things. Poison being one, but I don't think he could have gotten to any, as there are none that I know of in his reach, and he was with me 99% of the day, as I'm not working at the moment. Another thing I suspect is that he had a pig femur dog bone, and he maybe have swallowed a large, sharp shard of the bone and it perforated or punctured something in his GI tract.

If anyone has any guesses, please let me know. It would help me feel some kind of closure to his untimely death, and would also ease my mind when it comes to bringing another dog into the family.

Thanks.
 

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Did you bring him to a vet???? Could you get an autopsy done????????

I am so sorry to hear about this, and it brought tears to my eyes reading that but I would need to know what killed my dog if I was you. I would'nt rest until I knew.

Also what is your rush to get another dog??
 

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I agree with @Tuxi - an autopsy is the only way to know for sure. All we can do is guess based on the facts given, which doesn't really help you.

I'm very sorry for your loss.
 

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A necropsy is a good idea and the only way you'll know for sure.

I'm not a veterinarian or doctor but I have a history that includes extensive study of animal, particularly dog anatomy and physiology and studies in the medical field.

Some questions:
- did he have bloodloss from any other orifice?
- did he go cold after falling over, particularly in the paws?
- was it a lot of blood or just a bit?
- any chance of killing a rat or other small critter that day?
 

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My thoughts go either to rat poison or an undiagnosed cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). We had a persian cat have a similar sounding death, though he fell over and was dead in less than a minute, but bloody, frothy foam like you described. Cause of death was cardiomyopathy. So sorry for your loss.
 

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My thoughts go either to rat poison or an undiagnosed cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). We had a persian cat have a similar sounding death, though he fell over and was dead in less than a minute, but bloody, frothy foam like you described. Cause of death was cardiomyopathy. So sorry for your loss.
Boxer are very prone to cardiomyopathy, so that could very well be a possible cause. He's been in the ground for a week, and will stay that way, so I guess I'll never know for sure.

Maybe he could have been saved had I rushed him to an emergency clinic right away, but the symptoms initially didn't seem all that concerning to me, and by the time things did get bad, it already seemed too late. Once he fell to the ground, for the rest of the time he was alive, his heart rate and breathing was very erratic. Sometimes his heart felt like it was beating out of his chest, and other times it was so slow and faint I couldn't feel a pulse. His breathing went from fast and labored to slow and shallow. There were 4 or 5 times throughout the night and morning that I thought he was about to go, but he kept fighting it. I was surprised he lasted that long, after seeing the amount of blood he lost initially, I thought he was going to die in my arms within minutes.

Tuxi, not really a rush I guess. It's hard going from a 2 dog household to none in a 6 month time frame. I'm not used to having a home without dogs, and the silence and loneliness is killing me inside. I've done my crying and said my goodbyes, and while I still hurt, I think adopting a shelter pup would do my heart good, and I would be giving life to another dog in return.
 

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Boxer are very prone to cardiomyopathy, so that could very well be a possible cause. He's been in the ground for a week, and will stay that way, so I guess I'll never know for sure.

Maybe he could have been saved had I rushed him to an emergency clinic right away, but the symptoms initially didn't seem all that concerning to me, and by the time things did get bad, it already seemed too late. Once he fell to the ground, for the rest of the time he was alive, his heart rate and breathing was very erratic. Sometimes his heart felt like it was beating out of his chest, and other times it was so slow and faint I couldn't feel a pulse. His breathing went from fast and labored to slow and shallow. There were 4 or 5 times throughout the night and morning that I thought he was about to go, but he kept fighting it. I was surprised he lasted that long, after seeing the amount of blood he lost initially, I thought he was going to die in my arms within minutes.

Tuxi, not really a rush I guess. It's hard going from a 2 dog household to none in a 6 month time frame. I'm not used to having a home without dogs, and the silence and loneliness is killing me inside. I've done my crying and said my goodbyes, and while I still hurt, I think adopting a shelter pup would do my heart good, and I would be giving life to another dog in return.
I cannot imagine how hard that was for you to watch, that helpless feeling. And not knowing what happened. With all the dogs in shelters that need homes, adopting one is a great way to honor your baby. It doesn't sound like anything you did. Some things are out of our control. We just lost one of our dogs a few days ago, and my heart is breaking. Thankful we have 4 more to focus on though. Good luck to you, and I am so sorry.
 

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I cannot imagine how hard that was for you to watch, that helpless feeling. And not knowing what happened. With all the dogs in shelters that need homes, adopting one is a great way to honor your baby. It doesn't sound like anything you did. Some things are out of our control. We just lost one of our dogs a few days ago, and my heart is breaking. Thankful we have 4 more to focus on though. Good luck to you, and I am so sorry.
Thank you, and I'm also sorry for your loss. It was the most intense feeling of helplessness I've ever experience. All I could do was to drop to my knees and reach my hand towards him to let him know I was with him while he was bleeding.
 

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My 1 year old Boxer mix went from perfectly normal to foaming at the mouth and coughing up blood within a 2 or 3 hour period. Once he started coughing up blood, within a minute he was wobbling on his feet and finally fell down and never got up again. He kept fighting for another 10-12 hours before finally taking his last breath.
.Maybe he could have been saved had I rushed him to an emergency clinic right away, but the symptoms initially didn't seem all that concerning to me, and by the time things did get bad, it already seemed too late.
Im sorry I just cant get past the fact that the dog fought for 10-12 hours and you didn't rush him to a vet. Not to mention coughing up blood for 2-3 hours prior to 'wobbling on his feet and not getting back up'.
What is wrong with you??? obviously you felt helpless - you done nothing! You sat there for what im guessing was up to 15hours watching your dog die??? And then you buried him with out getting a post-mortem done and then come on here asking what happened???
Who knows if a vet would have been able to save him or not but now you will never know.
It does sound like poisoning of some sort but he wasn't even given that chance to try pull through. My mind boggles!!!!!!!!!
 
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