Walker, our English Setter, died yesterday from a ruptured spleen. It was sudden and unexpected.
Carey and I acquired Walker in 2003 as a six month old rescue from a puppy mill. He had some minor health problems throughout his life, and in the back of our minds knew there would be a chance that Walker may not make it to experience the ripe old age of twelve. The veterinarian (and Carey's former employer) informed her the rupture was more than likely due to a congenital defect of the spleen, which is not an uncommon malformation associated with this particular breed.
He now rests under three oak trees with Bob the goldfish, a parakeet, and a bearded dragon for neighbors.