My husband and I suddenly lost our 2 Labrador Retrievers this summer within a week of each other in July 2013. Both were healthy 9 year old male labs. Our yellow lab was seen eating wild mushrooms on a walk on a Tuesday near our home in Massachusetts. This was the same day that my husband opened a new bag of his Royal Canin Renal MP Modified dog food. My dog had minor kidney damage and was recommended this low protein food by out vet this past spring. By Wednesday, our yellow lab was acting lethargic and starting throwing up his food. We thought that it was the mushroom he ate, so we were monitoring him thinking it just upset his stomach. On Thursday he was extremely lethargic and started having seizures. We took him to the vet straight away who immediately sent us to the local animal hospital since his liver and pancreas were failing. We had him treated with everything the vets recommended and gave him 2 rounds of blood transfusions to try and flush out the toxins. He did not respond at all to any of the treatments and was euthanized Friday evening. With broken hearts and many tears, we simply thought this was mushroom poisoning.
Our chocolate lab was home being his normal energetic and crazy self! On Sunday, we combined the rest of the Royal Canin food with our chocolate lab’s Eukanuba dog food. On Monday evening, our chocolate lab threw up his food. On Tuesday morning, our food obsessed dog did not eat his food (1/2 Royal Canin, ½ Eukanuba). We thought that perhaps he realized our yellow lab was not coming home and he had a case of doggy depression. We added some ketchup to his food to make it more fun for him to eat. He finally ate it late Tuesday night. We also noticed him being a little sad. Again, figuring it was just him mourning his “brother”. We said if he threw up the food, we would take him to the vet to be checked out. Sure enough, Wednesday morning he threw up the food and did not touch his breakfast. We went straight to the vet who said his kidneys were failing. We are now back at the animal hospital who was doing everything they could to save his life. His kidneys simply could not recover and all the IVs they were giving him were not coming back out of his system. He was euthanized early Thursday morning.
We had the vets do an autopsy and toxicology screening to see what happened to him. We also called Royal Canin right away since we knew both dogs ate that food. We never saw our chocolate lab eat a mushroom, he was never interested in them. The autopsy and toxicology screenings came back with normal levels for everything they tested for – viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, anti-freeze, all of the “normal” tests they run on dogs were all within normal limits. The only thing higher than normal was his calcium levels. Our vet said this is something they see with the anti-freeze, but they confirmed again it was not that. Royal Canin said they did their own test of the dog food which was also normal for everything. We are looking at having the food tested ourselves.
Everything shows that it was some kind of toxin that killed our dogs – mushroom, food, something else? Has anyone heard of anything similar happening with their dog or a friend’s dog dying unexpectedly? We are just trying to see if there are any other cases out there to try and help us figure out what happened to our canine companions and to make sure it does not happen to other animals if we can help it.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
I’m very sorry to hear about your dogs. I just lost a dog to unexpected acute kidney failure back in June so I know what you’re going through. 🙁
A few months back there was a story in the news about unexpected deaths associated with Royal Canin – I believe it was a little of puppies?? I for the life of me can’t remember where I saw the article and can’t remember enough details about it to pull it up in an online search. 🙁 Maybe someone else will know something about it and chime in.
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Hound Dog Mom.
I remember it too. It was about feeding the nursing mother RC and the puppies dying.
WOW!! Just google Royal Canin Killing or Royal Canin Killing Puppies!!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Ah, thanks now I’ve found it!
I’m not sure what I googled before but all I was pulling up was forum posts and consumer affairs lol
My sister, who lives in Covington, LA, almost lost her 9 month old Great Dane/Weimaraner mix recently due to a poisonous mushroom, so obviously it is a possibility – my dad is a doctor & he didn’t know about the mushroom, but he knew something was horribly wrong & sent her to the ER vet clinic & they said if she had gotten there 5 mins later the dog would have died….
I am so sorry about you losing your dogs- I lost my 22 month old British lab import in March & we still don’t know what killed him 🙁 He woke up next to the bed w/me yelping, running around, & w/in 2 mins had a major grand Mal seizure ( this dog was NEVER sick a day in life – I got him @ 8 weeks) – he came out of the seizure a little bit, but w/in a min or so had 2 more smaller ones back to back & never came out of them – I kept his airway open, but there was nothing I could do. He died w/12 mins of waking up. He had been eating EVO grain free RIGHt before the recall, but after his autopsy, food testing, they still don’t know what killed him. The pathologist thought it was definitely Clostridium Perfergens UNTIL he got the anaerobic cultures back & they came back negative, so I will probably never know. What I do know, however, is that we have sheep herders who still put out poison for coyotes even though it is illegal – after a LOT of research I have found that not all poisons will kill a dog immediately – there are a variety of rodenticides that are second-generation & although most dogs will show symptoms & you can usually get them to a vet in time, there are quite a few cases where the dog has absolutely NO symptoms ( no vomiting/diarrhea, etc) like mine did. I did send the pathology report (autopsy) to a number of vets in the country & most say they have no idea what killed him. Did have one vet who said that even though he showed no aneurysm in the brain (I had them do brain tissue slides), it is still possible that he had a stroke that was so severe……found out later they didn’t dissect the whole brain, so unless they happen to cut right into where there is damage, they can miss it…
Anyway…..sorry for the long post, but it has taken a VERY long time for me to recover from this, so I can not imagine how you must feel after losing both of your dogs – my heart goes out to you…
I just got a British lab (22 months old) in mid June, & rescued a wire-haired doxie mix (9 months) from Crowley, LA in July from a kill shelter & I now feed them Honest Kitchen Preference (base mix)supplemented with our raw game meat & they are doing great on it & love it.
There is invaluable advice here in this website/forum & I hope you find some answers – I am a newbie here, wish I had found it sooner….
Again, I am so sorry for your losses…..
Oh, the EVO did come back positive for Salmonella, but all of the vets said that he didn’t die from that. But, after researching dry kibble brands forever, I feel more comfortable feeding raw. Not to say that there aren’t some very good kibble brands out there, but I would have to have everything shipped to me because where we live is VERY remote, & it just wasn’t practical….
I am so very sorry for your losses
Could you go and get some sample of the mushroom and find out if they are poisonous to dogs? It does sound suspicious that it would be the mushrooms but the food could have been contaminated. I would have that tested as well!
The mushroom thing worries me about my dog too because she is a vacuum cleaner and will scarf up everything. We’ll be walking down the street and suddenly she will stop and eat something on the road before I can even know what’s happening. UGH! It will already be gone before I look so I don’t know what she’s even eaten.
Sorry for your losses! So sad!
When I was researching rodenticide poisoning, I remember that they (vets) recommend a medicine that everyone should have on hand in case your dog got into something that could be fatal, especially if you are more than a few mins from a vet clinic – time is literally life or death in many of these situations. I will have to look up what that med is….I teach all of my dogs the ‘leave it’ command & strictly enforce it. I even set them up as a training exercise – in the last month I have read (from friends) about dogs going to dog parks, picking up a toy that was on the ground, & then either becoming gravely ill or dying cause some sicko put poison on the toy. Yes, it takes a lot of time to teach a dog to not touch a yummy piece of elk that I’ve dropped on the floor, but it is possible. I even train them outside to ignore live rabbits, horse poop, deer poop, etc.
Here’s the big reason why……people put out poison for mice, coyotes, etc. – if your dog eats that dead mouse, or dead coyote, then your dog just ingested poison, indirectly. Even if that mouse/coyote/bird has been dead for 2 months that poison is still toxic – most of them have a half-life of YEARS! And if your dog dies, & you think it was from poison, you still may never know exactly what happened. I suspected poison when my dog died so unexpectedly (asleep for 8 hrs on my bed & jumped off yelping @5 am) but the pathologist told me (the day my dog died) that i had to know which poison because they don’t do like a ‘total poison screen’ test – they have to test for each individual possible poison! Well, hell, do you know how many poisons there are out there? I didn’t then, but there are a LOT & yes, most of them will kill your dog in less than a day, but, now there are some ‘newer’ poisons that take longer to work & many dogs show no symptoms & then if they do start showing signs, by then it is too late to save them. Sorry if I am scaring you guys, but there are a lot of dogs dying from suspicious causes & there is no single test that the pathologist can use to determine cause of death. I will try & find out what that med is that they say you can give your dog if you suspect poisoning….. & also, they don’t always advise making your dog throw up, it can actually make the situation worse in some cases.
Activated charcoal is one thing they suggest. It absorbs toxins.
Yes, activated charcoal can help, but this was a Rx – I’ll find it 🙂
MandySim, I just lost my chocolate lab and had a notion it was the food I was giving her. It was a Roayal Canin product. The scary thing is that I gave my sister my dogs leftover food (new bag) because when her dog would come over she would gobble the food up. Her dog fell sick today. So, it led to me researching the food. I have come up with some not so favorable comments and news but none of it leads to much else. Did you have the food tested? I would really like to talk to you further on this as the symptoms are very similar.
Hello tallevato. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Is your sister’s dog OK now? This is very interesting. We had Royal Canin test the food and we tested it with some mice, but the mice who ate the food were fine, so we did not have it further tested. We chatted with Cornell University who could have tested the food, but what they tested for were things our chocolate lab’s autopsy came back normal for and we would have had to pay for the testing so we passed. I agree that my research also lead nowhere and we still do not know what happened to our dogs. We have a new puppy now who is thriving and we are staying far away from Royal Canin. I would love to chat further. What did your dog die from?
To all of you who lost yours, my condolences. My then-bf lost one of our babies (he and I bred mom and dad and each kept a pup) back in March. Three vet trips and 48 hours later, he was gone, quite literally in my arms; it’s enough to make me want to not own any other dogs after the three I’ve got now go. 🙁
@Colorado Huntress — Did you find out what the name of the Rx is? I would LOVE to know, as Rex (the one who passed in March) was fed activated charcoal and even though I had to force a LOT into him, it seemed to do nothing to save him or allieviate anything he was experieincing while sufferring. I’m a huge softie with an emotional regulation disorder and two dogs who are uber-curious about EVERYTHING they sniff, so I would really Really REALLY like to know if you do find it. Then again, I notice you’ve not been on this thread in months so…hope you yourself are okay.
After some research, could it be something off the list in this link?? (scroll to very bottom of page, it will list various meds, and yes, activated charcoal apparently has it’s own trademark name to be given as a script…)
Sorry for all the unexplained deaths….it is horrible isn’t it? It’s bad enough to lose them when they are so young, but to NOT know what killed them is agonizing….
I remember finding that Rx on the Merck vet website, I believe….I have a brain injury so my short term memory isn’t so good, lol…..anyway, will try & look it up. Just came in from duck hunting w/ my new dog (she is great!) & pheasant starts tomorrow, so I’ll do my best to track it down.
Here is my email if anyone wants it: [email protected]
I feed Honest Kitchen Preference (premix) & Wendy Volhard’s nd2 formula, which I love…just add game meats & some coconut oil or butter…..I’ll never go back to kibble after all the recent ‘truths’ about the ingredients…
I found this site due to trying to find info on royal canin dog food.. we just lost our yorkie suddenly. three weeks ago we bought a new bag of food. after a day or so we noticed something was not right with our dog. we took him to the Vet and one question after some test and spending the night was did he get into poison.. I am very careful about that and there was no poison around. they had an IV in him over night and gave us some pills to give him and soon he was ALMOST back to normal. he never seemed liked he was his full self. we never gave it a thought about his dog food till last night it dawned on me. we never got a different bag because who would have thought that was the problem. well yesterday he just all of a sudden died on us. it was a devastating loss to our family.
has anyone done anyother investigating on toxins in this dog food? we are thinking of getting it tested. thanks
I fed my dog a new food Natures valley instinct lamb I just opend the new bag of food 15 mins my dog looked intoxicated and falling over. I took him outside and he laid down and pooped then got up stumbled a bit fell on his head and threw up and laid there I thought he was dead. I called the company where I bought the food from Chewy and they said he was having an allergic reaction but I told him my dog was stumbling like he was intoxicated and falling over and there’s nothing wrong with the dog prior to giving him the food he said he was having an allergic reaction. My dog kept continually falling over and throwing up I did call natures Valley and told them about the food and they finally called me back and said it was nothing with the food. I don’t understand what happened I fed my dogs food 15 minutes later he acted like he was intoxicated and 12 hours later my dog died I did take him to a vet but this was on a Saturday and I had to freeze my dog before him and took him on Monday and they opened him up and they said and they said there was blood around his heart sack that it could be from rat poison or an anticoagulant he was a blue healer and he never left my side I stay at home 24 hours a day 365 days a year except when I have to to the store and that’s only for maybe less than an hour Twice a month. I had the liver sent to a laboratory for the results. I am totally devastated as I tryed to put my dog on a higher quality food that was $75 for 20 pound bag and he ate one cup for and become extremely sick and died.
I am so sorry about your loss. I hope you investigate and find out exactly what happened. Keep us posted.
Monday July 2, 2018 we lost our American Bulldog. We were completely at a loss as to why. I noticed that for the past few months he had lost interest in his toys, and he didn’t want to play as much. We thought it was because of the new puppy. Then the weekend that he passed, he became very weak, and he ate very little, and he developed a fever. We tried to keep him hydrated and tried to bring his fever down. For a little while it worked. That Sunday he looked as if he was getting stronger. Then monday, he refused to eat, he drank a little. Then that night he layed down and died. When he did he bled out of the mouth almost as if something had ruptured. The whole time he was sick he never threw up, there was no visible swelling anywhere. He didn’t seem to be in any pain. We didn’t really change anything up. Our puppy is still fine.
@ Jessica R
Ask a vet, of course there is no way of knowing……
However, there are some aggressive forms of cancer that can take a dog out within a few months.
Hemangiosarcoma for example, the tumors are internal and not visible or felt by physical examination. When the tumors get large they burst and the dog bleeds out and dies.
Often by the time symptoms develop it is to late. It is diagnosed by bloodwork, white count off (sometimes positive for anemia), x-rays/ultrasound. Often a temperature is noted during physical exam.
It tends to be genetic and occurs more often in certain breeds. Tends to occur between ages 8-10.
Sorry for your loss.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by anon101.
Thank you. That is actually quite helpful.
My sons 2 year old pomeranian puppy just passed away yesterday morning all of a sudden I was looking for my newfie mix puppy I hadnt seen in 2 days and found her laying on the couch throwing up yellow slime she then looked at me and jumped down to go outside then again started throwing up in front of the door then she went onto the porch and threw up more then all of a sudden she fell on her side and started to stretch which I call the death stretch and she went limp but she was still breathing so I rushed her over to my husband and he said it looked like she had been poisoned then she died I tried chest compressions for about 5 min but she was gone and now I found my puppy and she isn’t walking very well or acting like herself she is normally a very happy hyper 6 month old pup but now I have to carry her up the stairs and she doesn’t want to eat unless you hold it up to her mouth and she eats very slow normally she eats like a pig she drinks water but her gums are pale on one side and pink on the other she still wags her tail and acts happy but she can’t get up when she is sitting or laying down and I just got fired so have no money to take her to the vet
Why haven’t you seen your dog in two days? Were any of these dogs vaccinated? Sounds like they all had parvo. Which is usually a gruousome way to die for the dog if left untreated. And its fatal. It can be treated but it’s not cheap. I think at this point I would beg any emergency vet near you to put it out of its misery if u can’t afford treatment. Then don’t get another dog until you can afford to vaccinate them and give them proper care. Dogs sometimes need expensive care it’s a given when owning a dog.
WTF?! You haven’t seen your puppy in two days? Wonderful.
I don’t even know why you haven’t seen your puppy in 2 days…where was it? Don’t you feed it 2-3 times a day?
I can understand postponing annual wellness exams a few months because of losing a job. But an medical emergency, like the one you’re describing, requires vet assistance immediately. If you can’t afford to treat a dog that is that sick, then you should consider surrendering it to a rescue or organization that can get it the help it needs. What you’re describing doesn’t sound like something that will resolve itself on it’s own. Pale gums are an indicator that something is seriously wrong. Inability to stand, sit upright, or walk is an indicator that something is seriously wrong. This dog needs medical attention before it’s too late.
Haven’t seen your puppy in two days???????????? Please find someone who will care for this puppy and be responsible for it’s well being so the poor thing has a good life in a forever home.
Mandysim Very sorry for your loss of your two labs. I happened upon this on the Dog food advisor f/b page. Were your two related by any chance.
We almost lost our Lab last spring because of liver failure caused by her inability to rid herself of copper which collects in the liver. Copper is in the ingredients of virtually all dog food. To add more is ridiculous. She recovered amazingly well but is on a special diet for the rest of her life. Her intolerance of copper was caused by a genetic issue.
Its really so sad. 2 dogs within a week is really hard to bear with. Three years back, my puppy also lost 🙁 Sorry for your losses.
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