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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17072
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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our 9 year old collie cross female dog died suddenly on Thursday,

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our 9 year old collie cross female dog died suddenly on Thursday, she had been fine all day & had eaten half an hour before she died. I heard this terrible screaming noise and rushed downstairs to discover it was her. I picked her up thinking she was dreaming & she died in my arms. She did have an eye problem and two theories are brain haemorrhage or heart. I am tearing my hair out wondering was it was & whether the screaming was sheer pain?
I am so sorry to hear what happened to Molly and that her passing was so sudden and traumatic. My sincere condolences for your loss.
I am a veterinarian,and will do my best to help.
I agree, the most likely reason for sudden death would be heart or blood clot/haemorrhage. Only an autopsy could tell you for sure.
The screaming could have been pain. If it was a brain haemorrhage, she could have had a sudden terrible headache as she went unconscious and died.
The scream may also have been altered mental status, from a brain hemorrhage: confusion, fear, loss of normal mental function.
I have seen and heard of dogs making sounds the owner had never heard just before passing away from various causes, even with chronic illnesses. It may be some presentiment of death or loss, or going wherever we go in the moment of death, as we move toward Shakespeare's "undiscovered country from which no traveler returns".
I am so sorry your last moment with your beloved Molly was so sad and traumatic. It may have been pain, or some other frightening or confusing moment. At least you were with her, she was in your arms, and she must have been aware of your being close.
Again, my sincere condolences. Please let me know if I can help with or answer anything else.
Rebecca and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for your reply, it was my biggest fear that she died in terrible pain. she did have a problem with eye cysts that got worse and was on medication & eye drops. Is there a possibility that there was something going on behind the eye which ruptured? We decided on not doing an autopsy, not about cost, but we didn't want her opened up.

It is not very likely that the eye cysts were related. The haemorrhage could have been behind the eye, or anywhere in the brain.
If there was a swelling behind an eye, you usually see the eye bulge out.
I understand about not wanting an autopsy. That is the only way to know cause of death, but even an autopsy would not tell you if there was pain or not.
How are you doing?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok thanks, ***** ***** believe she has gone, and difficult to accept that we are not going to know why.

It is hard to accept that; time will help. Only an autopsy can tell you the cause of death, and sometimes even then it is hard to find the cause.