Dog Dies After Playing Favorite Game, Now Owners Warning Others About The Dangers

It started out as a perfect day spent outdoors with family. But, unfortunately, the day ended quite tragically for a California family whose dog died from playing fetch.

Jen Walsh was enjoying a day at the lake for her nephew’s birthday with her husband, 8-year-old daughter, and their dog Hanz, a 2-year-old schnauzer.

Hanz loved to play fetch and swim. So, the family didn’t think anything of it when they would toss balls and sticks into the lake so that Hanz could catch them.

Source: Jen Walsh

The dog looked like he was having the time of his life. He must have fetched in and out of the water at least 20 times within an hour and a half.

“He was very active, very excited, chasing the stick, and we were all having fun,” Walsh told Inside Edition.

But that suddenly changed. Hanz all of a sudden stopped while he was in the water and started shivering. He walked out of the lake and didn’t shake himself dry like he normally does.

Source: Jen Walsh

That’s when Walsh said she realized something was wrong with Hanz.

“Dogs always shake themselves off when they’re wet,” she said.

Hanz then urinated on someone’s bag which was very out of character for the schnauzer. Walsh now knows that uncontrollable urination is one of the first symptoms of water intoxication. Soon after that Hanz started to become lethargic.

Source: YouTube Screenshot

Walsh said he looked “like he was drunk.” He also seemed cold and began to breathe unevenly with his tongue out.

“We needed to take him to the vet,” Walsh said. “At that point, he wasn’t even walking. We carried him.”

They attempted to rush him to the vet but Hanz stopped breathing in the car.

Walsh’s husband tried to administer CPR to no avail. Hanz died before they reached the vet. He passed away about 45 minutes after he started to exhibit symptoms. The veterinarian determined that Hanz died of water intoxication.

“If we had known about water intoxication, maybe there would have been something more we could have done to save him,” Walsh said. “It was awful. [My daughter] is very traumatized by all this.”

Source: YouTube Screenshot

Water intoxication is caused when one swallows too much water. This caused Hanz to come down with hyponatremia, a condition caused when sodium levels become drastically low in the blood.

The result can end with fatal brain damage which is what happened in Hanz’s case.

“You hear about dogs that do swimming competitions and you never hear about that being a concern for them,” Walsh said. “It can apparently happen to any dog.”

Source: Jen Walsh

The family adopted Hanz earlier in the summer and though they had never taken him swimming, they knew Hanz used to always play in his former owner’s pond.

They had never heard of water intoxication. The condition is more like to happen in dogs that are smaller, leaner, have less body fat, are energetic, and love to play in water.

Children are also susceptible to water intoxication by swallowing too much water. You should rush your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect it has water intoxication. Symptoms include loss of coordination, staggering, vomiting, nausea, lethargy, bloating, glazed, eyes, dilated pupils, excessive salivating, light-colored gums, collapse, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, seizures, and coma.

Source: YouTube Screenshot

The Walshs decided to publicize their story in the hopes of making more pet owners aware of water intoxication so they can keep their pets safe.

“We all know about chocolate, grapes, and raisins, but this is terrible too and I want you to know so it doesn’t happen to you. Look it up. 200,000 dogs die of this every year. Our family is mourning after going to a fun, family event. This will never happen to us again, but I wish we had been warned of the possibility. It would have saved Hanz’ life. He was the best dog EVER,” Walsh wrote on Facebook.

Learn more about this story in the video below.

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