The World’s Tallest Dog Zeus Dies at Age Three After Battling Cancer

Nevena Nacic
by Nevena Nacic
Gary Wondrash/Shutterstock

Zeus, the tallest male dog in the world, has sadly passed away after being diagnosed with bone cancer. The three-year-old Great Dane was scheduled to have his right front leg amputated on Friday. After the surgery, the pooch still had to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

But in a shocking turn of events Zeus, developed pneumonia after his amputation surgery and passed away in the early hours of September 12. 

Our baby boy is gone. Our hearts are broken. He had the absolute best doctors who sat on the floor and cried with us. He fought hard, but the pneumonia was just too much. He is not in pain anymore. He is resting peacefully,” shared Brittany Davis on her GoFundMe page

Davis, who got Zeus when he was only eight weeks old, shared that her beloved dog was diagnosed with bone cancer in August. Veterinarians informed the family that Zeus needed to have his front right leg amputated.

In an attempt to provide the best possible care for the gentle giant, Davis set up a GoFundMe page. According to the account, the family raised $12,000 to cover the cost of cancer treatment for Zevs.

On September 8, Zeus went into surgery, and the next day Davis shared an update saying the surgery went well. 

“Zeus is out of surgery! The doctor said it couldn’t have gone better. He did so well. He is awake from anesthesia and on a bunch of pain medicine. He will stay for the weekend, but he’s doing very well and everyone loves him already.”

Unfortunately, Zeus developed complications after the surgery. Three days later, doctors called the family to inform them about the dog’s condition. 

They noticed he didn’t want to eat and he was more lethargic. He had a slight fever last night, which has cleared, but he’s still lethargic. He also has some bluing around his mouth.”

The team of doctors treating Zeus did blood work and chest X-rays. The results indicated Zeus had aspiration pneumonia, meaning he had fluid and bacteria in his lungs. Doctors administered antibiotics, hoping that the pooch would start to feel better in the next 24 hours. 

Sadly, pneumonia was too much for Zeus. The pooch passed away surrounded by his family with his head in his owner’s lap. 

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved dog, Zeus the Guinness World Record Holder of the Tallest Living Male Dog. Zeus died Tuesday morning of amputation-related pneumonia. Zeus died with his head on his Mom’s lap getting ear scratches and kisses until the very end. He was 3 ½ years old.

Zeus was truly a special dog. He was gentle, loving, very stubborn, but always happy to see his family and many, many friends on his adventures around Dallas & Fort Worth. Zeus packed a lot of life into three short years and was primed to beat cancer’s butt. 

We are so grateful for the time we had with Zeus. He brought so much joy and happiness to so many people. He will be deeply missed by our entire family. We are so thankful for the amazing team of humans who have been with us through this. Zeus had the absolute best doctors and nurses working around the clock to help him, but in the end, he was just too sick. We would also like to thank everyone who has reached out to us with their condolences. It means a lot to us during this difficult time.

We know that Zeus is in a better place now, running free and eating the good stuff off of the countertops in Heaven. We will never forget him. Goodbye Zeusy, we love you! Cancer sucks,” said the Davis family in a statement for WFAA following Zeus’ death.

Rest in peace, Zeus! You’ll forever have a place in our hearts. 

Nevena Nacic
Nevena Nacic

Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!

More by Nevena Nacic