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    Includes Expert Content
    Heart Attack in Dogs
    csm1234 posted:
    I took my 10.5 year old golden for her usual 1.5 to 2 mile walk one night. After the walk we got in the car and within 20 minutes we were home. So she had time to rest from the walk. We came in the house and within 10 feet her front legs and head became stiff. She also urinated at the same time.I grabbed her and put her on her side before she fell. Within a minute or two she lifted her head up and started panting heavily. I checked her stomach and it WAS NOT bloated. Her gums were fine. I felt her entire body and she didn't make a noise. At no time did she whimper or whine. Just breath heavily. Her breathing would slow down then speed up for the next 30 minutes. I thought maybe it was a seizure at first. Then she threw up. Then she seemed to be better. She even handed me her paw while I was laying next to her. Her breathing was more normal. So I thought she was getting better. 15 minutes later her breathing got faster then before and it started to scare me. I then decided to get her to the vet. Before we left she stopped breathing. Was at the vet within 10 minutes but they couldn't revive her. A heart attack never came into my mind until after the fact. She went on 1.5 to 2 mile walk 5 times a week. Jumped in and out of the car with no problems. She didn't limp, no cough, no weight loss. Ate her food every day. Always up and perky when it was time for a walk. The only thing she would do once in awhile was stop briefly while on a walk. Not all the time. Just occasionally. Maybe she had a heart issue of some kind. I feel guilty a little for not taking her to the vet immediately. Maybe they could of helped her out or possibly her heart or hear valves were in to bad of shape to be helped. I was always afraid of her getting cancer or hip dysplasia. Go figure. Heart broken as hell.
    Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
    I am so sorry to year about your golden. How heart broken you must feel. In retrospect, yes I would have felt like I should have taken her immediately to the veterinarian but you did a good job of checking her vital signs. And honestly, something that causes a dog to die so suddenly is hard for us to identify and treat immediately. You just never know. Sounds like this may have started with some type of seizure...or heart arrythmia. There are some tumors of the adrenal glands that cause periods of sudden significant hypertension. Some diseases cause blood clots that if they enter vital organs like the lungs and the heart, cause a quick death. I know it is a small thought to ease your sadness, but sounds like she had a wonderful walk with you and then went very quickly. As you guessed, it is primarily heart problems that quickly take our pets and they really feel little pain, and don't suffer. I hate treating chronic disease like cancer or arthritis in my pets but the suddenness of losing a beloved companion like you did is indescribably hard. Thank you for sharing your story. Dr. Sandy
    csm1234 replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
    Thanks so much for the reply. My golden Ginger was big (not fat) for a female. She was 95 pounds and a gentle giant. Maybe her unusual size had something to do with it. I gave her vitamins and glucosamine along with a few other all natural herbs. I contacted the all natural store online and they said nothing I ordered would have hurt the heart. Everything I gave here was a mild herb. So that was a relief. This tragedy occurred at 11pm. We always went for a late night walk at the park. The vet emergency hospital I took her to narrowed it down to a heart issue or blood cot. But my dogs mind was their because she handed me her paw at one point during this horrible night. So it wasn't a blood clot in the brain. It just sucks not knowing 100%. I could of had a Necropsy done but didn't. We went out and got another golden. We can't stand not having a little fur buddy in the house.

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