stefanie0597 avatar image

My bulldog died suddenly and I need some answers

Meatball was 8 1/2 yrs old. She was my everything. Last Saturday (5 days before she died) my husband took her to the vet because she was getting "jumpy" if he touched her  where normally this wouldn't happen. The vet said she has a major ear infection and they did blood work, and we were waiting to get the culture back to put her on antibiotics. She was acting mopey but Meatball had a lot of allergies and when they were bad they were bad. She was on atopica AND allergy shots once a week but her folds and ears still got bad and had to be cleaned everyday. Monday I noticed her breathing was a little off and that her mouth was really dry. Since my husband works with Vets (did I mention that) I mentioned it and he said her ears were really bothering her. She left a piece of food on the ground (which is TOTALLY out of character) and I started to get really alarmed. My husband said he would take her in Thursday morning. Wed night she weezed so badly and had a hard time sleeping and breathing- so loud thought that I couldn't sleep at all. When we got up Thursday she ran to eat but when I tried to help her eat one at a time she walked away and went to the couch. I calmed her down and my husband pickd her up and put her in the car. He called me 3 hours later to say the vet had her in the oxygen tank and she had crashed but they had gotten her back and she was stable. Then half an hour later I get a call that she had passed. The vet says he listened to her heart, lungs, etc when she wa there on Saturday and she was normal. They think she had a heart condition that just came on and quick????? Could it have been the ear infection? I feel like I let my baby down. Why didn't I take her in on Monday? Would it have made a differece? Please- does anyone know. Do bulldogs live plast 8 typically? So they die suddenly? Heart condition that no one caught? My heart is broken. Any peace of mind right now or just to know would be helpful.

I'm so sorry about Meatball :(

I'm sorry to hear about your baby -

Bullies (as most breeds) have an 'average' lifespan - 8-9 years seems 'average'  there are some that do live longer. Our bullies though have alot of medical issues that do tend to lead to a shorter than average lifespan than other breeds.

Do they die suddenly ? yes at times they do. - But I think you know these answers - but your heart hurts so badly, and you feel so much confusion, that you need to ask these questions, and to be reassured.

Should you of done something monday? Could you of done something differently?  We all could of /should of done something more/less sooner/later - you are grieving the loss of your baby, and you will be asking yourself so many of these questons, and they are questions without answers unfortuately :(

The cause of her death? I can not help you here, as I wouldnt even want to try to guess, and I'm by far not an expert on life.

Did you let your baby down? I dont think you did.

again, I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby :(



Last steps taken May 26, 2014 -- Been rolling along ever since . . . . 

AmyandSophia's picture

Sadly, a heart condition can come on quickly,

Without us realizing it. I know several bully's that have passed suddenly of heart conditions. Certain cancers can move very quickly as well, and if not diagnosed can be life ending without us even knowing what happened for sure.

Whatever the cause, I extend my deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your beloved Bully.


Amy and Sophia

animal005's picture

Sorry for the loss of Meatball

We lost Kilmore without warning.  He was 9.  We woke up and found him.  We were given a choice to do an autopsy, but decided that wouldn't change anything.  We would still be upset either way.  We had him in the vet a month before for routine exam.  So we did beat ourselves up over why this happened when he was healthy.  He did have allergy issues, ear issues, etc.  no matter if you find out or decide not to know it will be tough.  Know that you did the best you could for him and made him happy.  Someone recommended the book Bill At Rainbow Bridge.  It is a quick read but also a book to have with tissue next to you.  My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.


Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

I'm so sorry about your girl...

we lost our first bulldog suddenly before he was 2 years old.  He was playing and fine all day and that night, he threw up and couldn't breathe and 3 hours later he was gone.  I still miss him and have sadness for the years he missed.  They think he either had valley fever or some kind of tumors in his lungs.  But they can pass very suddenly and sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent it.  They say that time helps heal us and it does, but they will always have a place in your heart.

I am so sorry...

for the loss of your beloved bully. May your memories of all the good times you had together help to get you through this terrible time.

RobinandLeo's picture

My Condolences

My condolences on your loss of Meatball.

Several things come to mind - heart condition, cancer, pneumonia.

I think most people would say 8 to 10 years is typical for a Bulldog. The oldest ones I know of have been 13 and 14 years old, but that is quite rare.

carmiesmommy's picture

So Very Sorry!

I am sure you gave Meatball a wonderful life full of love. Sometimes, no matter how careful you may be, things like this happen. Just know that you and your husband did your very best and that circumstances out of your control, took over. Time will heal your pain for sure. Know that all of us feel your sorrow and are wishing you comfort in this very sad time.

Very sorry for your loss....

Unfortunately, sometimes there are no answers.  Sudden unexplained deaths do happen, even to people.  You have my sincere sympathy.  Take care and God bless.

judy wilson's picture

what did the blood work say.....

sadly i know of two buldogs that passed becasue of atopica...not that ...that could of been the casue...but i would want to know what her liver count was...and how long she had been on  it????

dogs also get bloodclots like could of gone to her heart???    i lost a bulldog and i was in the vet office she had been a little off...and the vet went to take her to get  x rayed...and she just dropped...she had a tumor on her spleen ....i was devasted and i am till this day...and i am vet tech with years of experience...

sadly some times we just dont know...becasue our dogs cant tell us what is going on.....

you did not let her down you did the best you dont beat yourself up..over what you could not of known...just remember how happy she was...

stefanie0597's picture


Thank you So much for all of the thoughtful posts about Meatball. I am still in shock and very sad. I still don't have any answers since we didn't do an autopsy. She was an amazing daughter and I will never forget her.


My condolences

So sorry for the loss of your bully. I know it's been some time but you blog caught my attention. My bulldog is 8 years old. She had a terrible infection in her mouth after all the tests we figured out she had a nasal tumor. They are very aggressive and can affect any where in the head region (brain, eye, ears, mouth). That eat infection was caused by something... Dogs don't just develop a major ear problem. The painting sounds like and pain. My bulldog dog did nt sleep for 2 days because I think she feared her breathing might stop. Hopefully these past months you were able to find closure. Glad she didn't suffer and it was quick. 


~Bridget :)