Posted by: MS | 2009/11/19

Injuries on dead dog

Hi Doc

Last night I found my 12 year old Min Pin dead in the garden. She did have a heart condition. I also have a Great Dane (9 mnths old) and 2 Bassets (2 years old). When I picked my little girl up I saw that her tongue was blue/purple, she was in a state of rigamortis, but the shocking thing was the injuries to one side of her body, as if my other dogs had savagely attacked her (large deep gaping wounds , but the strange thing is there was no blood on her or the surrounding area at all - nothing. Also no blood on any of my other dogs. Could my dogs have done this after her death? I am so worried as I have 2 other little dogs. My abovementioned larger dogs have never displayed aggression of this kind before.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear MS

Usually if there is no signs of bleeding the attack may have happened after death.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Cybervet | 2009/11/30

Dear MS

Usually if there is no signs of bleeding the attack may have happened after death.

Reply to Cybervet
Posted by: Chill | 2009/11/20

If the dog was wheezing and in distress, then that could have provoked the interest of the other dogs - if she then perhaps whined or snapped at them, it' s not inconceivable that they may have instinctively gone into ' attack'  mode.

However, MJ' s point about post-mortem bleeding is very valid, so perhaps the injuries were caused after death. I don' t think the idea about the crows is at all silly - this is another possibility.

From your descriptions, it doesn' t sound like there are any dominance issues.

A very unhappy event, and I guess there' s a good likelihood that you' ll never really know what happened.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: MJ | 2009/11/20

As far as I can remember animals and humans do not bleed much if they get an " injury"  after they' ve died, as the heart is not pumping anymore and the blood already turned cold. That could be why there was hardly any blood. I guess dogs are naturally curious and scavengers and just like mother dogs could eat their own pups, it' s possible that your other dogs cause the wounds after your dog died of heart failure.

Reply to MJ
Posted by: Sharon | 2009/11/20


I know this may sound stupid but do you have crows in your area?
Remember they also feed on dead animals and if she was already dead for a while and outside this is not impossible.

Reply to Sharon
Posted by: MS | 2009/11/20

Hi Chill

Thanks for your reply. No-one heard anything. The Dane and one of the Bassets is female (Basset very placid) and the other Basset a male - all neutered/spayed. My nanny told me last night that on that day the min-pin was wheezing quite badly - she had an enlarged heart and was on medication - and it was also thundering in the afternoon, which absolutely terrified her. My dogs are unable to get out of my property so I would be surprised if it occurred elsewhere. The Dane is slightly bossy but not in a malicious manner. The male Basset and Dane love to chase my cats, but even if they catch up with them the worst that happens is that the cats walk away a bit soggy, and the cats often instigate the game (if you can call it that). I am at a total loss. Unfortunately, I have already buried my little girl, so an autopsy is out of the question. My bigger dogs are only outside during the day, and are house dogs when we get home and over weekends (sleep on the couch, bed, etc... well trained, I know) so all my dogs interact with one another every day, and the little ones have access to the yard through the burglar door as well. So they are not actually separated if you know what I mean.

Reply to MS
Posted by: Chill | 2009/11/19

Sounds pretty awful. If there was no blood in the vicinity, and no signs of a struggle, could she not have been injured elsewhere (ie, off your property) and then brought back by someone?

If you want to know if the injuries are consistent with a dog attack, you' ll need to get your vet to take a look.

Also, it seems to me that if your dogs caused this, you might have heard something - I doubt such an incident would take place silently.

You also don' t give information about your other dogs that might point to something - are they male/female? Neutered/spayed? Do any of them show signs of dominance or bossiness? etc etc

Reply to Chill

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