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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19985
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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, my german shepherd has just died on 16 march. I took him

Resolved Question:

Hi, my german shepherd has just died on 16 march. I took him out and after view minates, he was walking very slowly, when I got in, I gave him water and then he slumped down, panting. In the early hours of March 16th, he let out a howl and was dead. However, just days earlier, he was full of life, but then began panting heavier than usual, would or could not eat his food, but was drinking more water than usual. When I felt his belly, it felt full and shuddering with his breathing. On the night before he died, I took him out to releve himself, he chased a cat and then slumped down. I got him back in and cooled him down, and he checked his belly again, he was calm and breathing normal.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Dr Scott Nimmo :

So sorry to hear of your loss, my name is***** and I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today.

Dr Scott Nimmo :

How was Jake's health in the years prior to this incident, has he ever suffered from any significant diseases in the past?

Dr Scott Nimmo :

The situation is that only way you would find out for sure what happened is to have had a post mortem carried out. Many of my clients were against this because they did not want their pets cut about and as a pet owner myself I do not blame them in the slightest for feeling that way.

However in my experience when I did carry out post mortems in dogs of Jake's age group then most sudden death cases if you discount poisoning either accidental or otherwise, were usually related to some form of previously undiscovered heart disease.

Dr Scott Nimmo :

The history of what happened in particular the breathing more heavy than normal would certainly fit in with this diagnosis.

Dr Scott Nimmo :

I know this is no comfort to you but eleven years of age could be the allotted time span for a GSD in his age group.

Dr Scott Nimmo :

Again sorry for your loss ...

Dr Scott Nimmo :
I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr Scott, sorry for losing connection. Prior to Jake starting to breath heavier than normal, the day befor, when he got fed, he gulped his tea down. He was playing as normal and walking fine. But it was the next day where he would or could not eat, and started taking in more water than normal. It was only on Sunday evening when I noticed the slowness of his walking. And when I took him out for the last time early Monday morning, he relieved himself as far as I could tell, but must have seen a cat, and bulted for it. I stopped him, and after taking a few paces, slumped down. After getting him in, I wet him down to cool him, checked his belly, and he felt calm, and 3 hours later, I awoke to a bowl and then he was gone. Prior to all this, Jake was very healthy as he was my retired guide dog and was always out with me. You stated about a pm, this has been done, but I am still waiting on answers.

bl

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello again and thanks for waiting. No problem with the lost connection, sorry for the delay I am in a different time zone to you and have just come online first thing this morning and found your reply. However I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think. This sort of situation as happened to Jake is far from normal of course but it does occur sometimes, as a rough estimate I used to see such sudden death cases like yours around twice a year in my busy three vet practice.However at the end of the day the only way you would find out for sure what happened is to have had a post mortem carried out. Many of my clients were against this because they did not want their pets cut about and as a dog owner myself I do not blame them in the slightest for feeling that way.However in my experience when I did carry out post mortems in most cases if you discount poisoning either accidental or otherwise, sudden deaths like Jakes were related to some form of previously undiscovered heart disease. Of course in his age group which really corresponds to a human geriatric this diagnosis would not be surprising, the fact he was breathing heavily the day before and some of the other points you mention do fit in with this. Again sorry for your loss, as he was your guide dog you must have been very close to him ...I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.Regards, ***** be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your reply, I am still waiting on the p.m results and yes, he was my life. I never once thought he could have a heart problem, as he was so fit and healthy. Would anything been done, do you think?, I know this won't biting Jake back, but sometime in the future, I may decide to take another shepherd on, also, would Jake have been in pain in any way, as I do blame myself very bitterly.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Adrian,
Please don't blame yourself, in these sorts of cases it would be very doubtful if anything could have been done to make things turn out differently.
And from what you have told me it was all over for him very quickly so he could not have suffered much ...
Again sorry for your loss,
Kindest regards,
Scott
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr Scott, thanks for taking the time to continue talking with me regarding my late guide dog Jake. As of yet, I still don't have the p.m results, but do now have Jake's ashes to keep. My one main regret I do still have is, not taking him to my vets on Thursday 12 march while he could still walk fine even though he had only just started panting heavy, but I just put it down to him being very warm, and not eating, , to him just being fussy.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hi Adrian, It's not easy for you I know ... Please let me know the PM results when they come through. Regards, ***** be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr Scott, just today I have been given a preliminary answer about jake, but should get the full report some time next week. But at the moment, it looks like he had a tumer rupture in his spliene. I have also ordered some books on shepherds, just in case I decide to train with another one, and when I get the rest of the p.m results, I will let you know, thanks again for taking time to talk with me.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Adrian, Having thought about it a tumour of the spleen is also possible in Jake's case. You see these tumours often do not show any symptoms of any sort until they start to bleed. { The spleen is a very vascular organ you see } Sometimes there is a sudden massive haemorrhage from the spleen and this can cause sudden death. More information HERE Regards, Scott
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, sorry for the late reply, for some reason this response was sent to my junk folder. The final report came back stating, he had a non-cancerous tumour and some internal bruising. He had some nodules on his liver, but no other health issues. It was suggested, he may have been knocked, but I think it is more likely due to the amount of times he kept getting attacked by smaller dogs.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Adrian,
Thanks for the update.
Still all a bit unclear unfortunately, all you can do is to try and move on if possible.
Again my condolences...
Regards, *****
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I will be able to eventually, I have to I know. Some time in the future, I may decide to train with another shepherd, this might make things a little easier, as it takes at least 5 weeks to qualify with a new guide dog, and I won't get much time to worry about jake. Thanks for all your help and support you have given me, I guess we will never know how or why I lost Jake so suddenly, all I know is I looked after him and cared for him just as my other dogs I have had.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Good luck my friend ...
Regards,
Dr Scott.
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19985
Experience: BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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