dog with tongue out while passing

Dog Died Suddenly With Tongue Out! Meaning?

Last updated on October 21st, 2023 at 07:09 am

Reading Time: 4 minutes

My Dog Died Suddenly With His Tongue Out! 

A sudden death in your dog can be very traumatic for you and your family. While your dog may not have realized what was coming, it’s likely that you did. Pets are able to sense things in their environment that we humans aren’t always able to pick up on. Your dog dying suddenly with their tongue out could mean one of many different things. If this has happened to your dog and you’re wondering what this means for them, don’t panic! 

Let’s Dive In!

Sudden Death in Dogs? 

When a pet dies suddenly, it can be really shocking to you and your family. In many cases, the vet will be able to tell you what caused your pet to die through the autopsy (Ultrasound). If you are not able to get an autopsy done, or you are having a difficult time processing the news and need someone to talk to, seek out a grief counselor, psychologist, or other pet-friendly professional. 

It’s also helpful to talk to other pet owners about their own experiences. We can learn so much from others. Reading books or articles online will give you a good idea of what to expect, but talking to people who have been through it helps you process the news and find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. 

Tongue Out Death in Dogs What Does It Mean? 

When an animal dies, their entire body relaxes. That includes their jaws and tongue, so as their jaws relax, they are no longer physically holding the tongue inside the mouth. This is often seen during euthanasia, although the technician will often slightly tuck the tongue back into the mouth as well as close their eyes (yes, they die with their eyes open). 

One of the ways this process of a dog dying is sped up is by the dog contracting massive amounts of saliva in their mouth. This causes a foamy saliva build-down in the mouth, which can cause problems for the person trying to euthanize the dog as well as others in the room. Which can lead to their tongue being out while they passed away. 

Common Reasons For a Sudden Death With Tongue Out

1. Heart Attack 

A sudden death can indicate a heart attack, but it’s important to note that this is often misreported as a dying with tongue out. Heart attacks in dogs often don’t cause the dog to “die with their mouth open” and almost always result in the dog’s jaws relaxing while they are alive.

heart attack in dogs

2. Injury 

It’s important to note that a dog dying suddenly with tongue out can be an indication of an injury. A sudden injury to the mouth could cause the dog to contract massive amounts of saliva in their mouth, which could lead to the foamy saliva build-down described earlier. 

3. Infection 

It’s important to note that a sudden death in your dog can be an indication of an infection as well. If your dog is neutered or spayed and not protected from infection, a bacterial infection could cause the sudden death. 

4. Respiratory Issue 

Can be an indication of a respiratory issue. Often, a dog will struggle to breathe when they are dying as they are struggling to get air going in their lungs. This could cause the dog to struggle to close their mouth and relax their jaws, resulting in the tongue sticking out.

5. Vomiting and Stooling before dying 

It’s important to note that a sudden death in your dog can be an indication of vomiting and/or diarrhea before they die. If your dog vomited before they died and/or passed loose stool, their death could be an indication that this was happening while they were dying. 

Read More – Dog Ate Grease?


There are a number of reasons a dog may die suddenly with tongue out. Additionally, a number of other issues could cause a dog to have their tongue stick out, including an injury, infection, vomiting and/or diarrhea, or respiratory issues. If your dog has had a sudden death, it’s important to get it checked out by a veterinarian right away. 

While there are a number of things that could cause your dog to die suddenly, there are a number of things that could help prevent it. There are also a number of things that you can do to reduce your dog’s risk of dying suddenly with tongue out. 

If You Have Any More Questions Call Your Vet To Try and Get Them properly Answered. 

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

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