Sudden deaths of pets can be traumatic and emotionally devastating.
Let’s have a look at what causes them and how we can prevent them.
What is sudden death?
In the case of animals, sudden death does not always mean instantaneous death.
It could occur in a few hours.
Animal deaths are considered sudden if the cause is unknown.
How vulnerable are domestic animals?
Farm animals are particularly vulnerable to bacterial infections that can cause such deaths.
Domestic pets are also not immune to these.
Thanks to past research, we now know the most frequently occurring causes for such deaths.
What causes sudden animal deaths?
Sudden deaths in animals can come from traumatic or non-traumatic causes.
What are traumatic causes?
Traumatic causes happen without notice.
Falling from a height or being involved in a road accident are examples of traumatic causes.
Can they be prevented?
You may not be able to altogether prevent accidents from happening, but you take precautions to minimize the chances.
If a traumatic event does happen, you can take steps to save your pet.
Well, see more about this later.
What are the Non-traumatic causes?
Non-traumatic causes build up over time.
Without you knowing it, your dog could be suffering from serious internal illnesses.
When they reach a breaking point, the dog might collapse.
Examples include cardiac and respiratory problems.
Non-traumatic causes are more difficult to detect and guard against.
What are the common cardiac problems in dogs?
Diseases related to the heart muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, and clotting of the blood are among the most prevalent causes of pets’ sudden death, particularly dogs.
Another condition of the heart, called cardiac tamponade, causes fluid to accumulate near the heart, obstructing its ability to expand.
Is there any cure?
There is no cure for most heart ailments.
Does it mean that there’s nothing I can do?
Not at all. You can manage the illness to minimize the chances of sudden death.
What does that mean?
The first step in the management of illnesses is to understand the symptoms.
Don’t worry too much if you cannot understand all the symptoms.
That’s a veterinarian’s job; yours is to act if you notice things going awry.
Based on the symptoms and the dog’s breed, the veterinarian will tell you whether any tests are required.
She will also prescribe drugs, if necessary.
You should ensure that medicines are given at the proper time and that the dog gets the right diet.
What is internal bleeding?
Internal bleeding is a significant cause of sudden deaths.
When there is no external sign of bleeding, there is a loss of blood internally.
What causes internal bleeding?
Internal bleeding can result from traumatic as well as non-traumatic causes.
Traumatic incidents can happen to any dog and come without prior notice.
How will you know if it happens?
Usually, you will know if there is an injury after a traumatic event.
That makes it easier to manage. Don’t take that for granted, though.
Sometimes, there may be no visible signs.
Better get the pet checked if it has undergone any agonizing event, even if there is no external injury.
What are the non-traumatic causes of internal bleeding?
Non-traumatic causes are less noticeable. They could include rodent bites and cancer.
A type of cancer called hemangiosarcoma can go undetected for a long time as the pet might show no external symptoms.
How can I prevent non-traumatic causes?
A regular check-up is an obvious candidate.
There are also some other things that you can do to prevent traumatic causes.
Keep the dog tethered while going out and bar all open windows inside the house.
Can toxins cause sudden deaths?
Poisoning is another common cause of sudden death in pets.
Poisoning can occur from many sources.
These include prescription medicines, certain types of foods and beverages, and bites from poisonous reptiles or rodents.
What are the symptoms of poisoning?
Poisoning is easier to detect than other causes.
They manifest symptoms that can be easily observed.
The source of the problem can be identified by anyone who has a little knowledge about the symptoms.
For example, poisoning by rodents will generally result in seizures.
These symptoms may not occur in all cases.
Prevention is better than cure.
Although easier to detect, it is better to protect the pet from poisoning in the first place.
This will be more difficult if the pet spends a lot of time outdoors.
If you notice a problem, look at the foods you are giving the dog and whether they might be causing it.
Keep the pet away from such foods.
What about articles of daily use other than food?
Apart from foods and beverages, some household goods and articles of daily use can also cause poisoning.
Keeping these articles away from the reach of the pet is an important preventive measure.
Mosquito bites can transmit heartworms, which lead to what is known as caval syndrome in the pet.
This blocks blood flow and causes the collapse of the respiratory system.
What are the symptoms?
Several symptoms accompany this syndrome.
Some of these are labored breathing, coughing, loss of weight, and pink gums.
These symptoms can be easily missed or misunderstood as something else.
You should, therefore, understand them well.
Dogs are more prone to this problem.
The problem manifests itself through the bulging stomach, excessive dribbling, and dry heating.
What causes this problem?
The exact causes of this problem are unknown.
It is generally believed that it may be caused by overeating, drinking too much water, or high anxiety levels.
Is there anything you can do?
Whatever may be the cause, this condition can sometimes escalate into a major problem very quickly.
Therefore, it is best to consult a veterinary doctor as soon as they are seen.
Dogs are prone to many illnesses.
Some of them might become fatal.
The good news is that you can easily protect your dogs from them.
Monitor the movements and eating habits of the dog.
This can help in preventing problems.
If problems do occur, take the dog to a veterinarian immediately.