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What Caused My Dog to Pass Away?

I lost my little French Bulldog on 25 September. I had to make that most stressing of decisions to put her to sleep. I am...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Oct 21st 2011


I lost my little French Bulldog on 25 September. I had to make that most stressing of decisions to put her to sleep. I am going through the usual grief process and am hoping you could tell me if what I suspect was the cause of her distress.

She was 11 years and 8 months old and had a tracheotomy 18 months earlier. She had started having seizures about five or six weeks before she died, which had increased from one a week to one every four hours to one every hour. Am I right in believing that her stoma (which, by the way, I was having to dilate almost constantly!) was likely to be the cause eventually of everything I have said above? I am just trying to find a little peace and confirmation that my diagnosis is possibly correct.

Thank you,

Nick

I am very sorry to learn of your loss.

Tracheotomies are performed not uncommonly in dogs with snubbed noses, such as Bulldogs. These types of dogs, called brachycephalics, are prone to redundant tissues in the sinuses and back of the throat that can make breathing difficult, and this surgery sometimes relieves these breathing issues.

Although tracheotomies can predispose dogs to certain problems (such as lung infections and, in swimming breeds, drowning) they are not linked to seizures.

Rapidly progressive seizures in elderly dogs most frequently are caused by intracranial disease. This term is used to signify any sort of pathology that occurs within the skull; the most common is a brain tumor. It is unfortunately most probable that your dog developed a brain tumor independently of any other medical conditions from which she suffered. Based upon what you have said, I do not suspect that the tracheostomy or the stoma was involved in your dog’s sad demise.

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