Status: 24.09.2023, 09:42 a.m.
By: Sina Lück
With an impressive size of 104.6 centimeters, Great Dane Zeus is in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest dog in the world. Now the male has died.
Drinking from the sink and mopping food from the kitchen counter: This was no problem for Great Dane Zeus. In March 2022, he won the title of "Largest Dog in the World", securing a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The dog measured an impressive 2.13 meters on its hind legs, towering over even the tallest men. Now the gentle giant has died due to complications after surgery.
Zeus has bone cancer in her front leg – owner loses battle for beloved dog
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Zeus was diagnosed with cancer this week. He has a very aggressive osteocarcinoma [editor's note: bone cancer] on his leg," owner Brittany Davis announced to the 17,200 followers on Instagram at the end of August (@zeus_king_dane). For the Texan from Bedford, this was the beginning of the fight for her beloved dog. It quickly became clear that in order to save Zeus, the veterinarians would have to amputate his right front leg. Because she could not pay for the expensive treatment alone, Brittany called on people on the net to help. The "GoFundMe" platform thus raised around 12,000 dollars in donations.
After the operation, everything seemed fine at first. But a few days later the shock: Zeus does not want to eat, has a fever and a bluish discoloration around his mouth. "Blood tests and chest X-rays were performed. It was found that he has aspiration pneumonia, which means he has fluid and bacteria in his lungs," Brittany told the community in an update, which initially had hope that the drugs would work quickly. Just one day later, she got back to her followers on Instagram – with a devastating message. "My Zeusy is gone. Now nothing hurts him. His doctors really tried everything, but he was too sick."
With the Davis family, people on the net are also grieving. Under the emotional post, fans express their condolences in numerous comments. "We are very sorry to hear this. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Zeus had the best life because of your family," writes one user.
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Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland: How old do large dog breeds get?
In November, the giant Great Dane, which weighed around 77 kilograms, would have turned four years old. But what age can dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds or Newfoundlands, which are among the largest dog breeds in the world, reach at all? As a rough guideline, the smaller the breed, the higher the life expectancy. In a study, scientist Dr. Cornelia Kraus from the University of Göttingen researched the topic.
Their results confirmed: Larger dog breeds have a lower life expectancy because they age faster. Even as puppies, the dogs develop faster than small breeds. The accelerated growth rate could lead to cells growing unusually fast or pathologically, and large breeds thus have a higher risk of cancer.
- Small breeds (up to approx. 15 kilograms body weight): 10 to 15 years
- Medium breeds (approx. 15 to 45 kilograms body weight): 10 to 13 years
- Large breeds (approx. 45 to 60 kilograms body weight): 8 to 12 years
- Giant breeds (more than 60 kilograms of body weight): 8 to 10 years
However, the classification of life expectancy is only a rough guideline. Factors such as nutrition, care and exercise are also decisive for the age of the dog.