A woman is suing a Manhattan animal clinic which she claims let her bulldog bark himself death, and then covered up the details of the death to avoid litigation. Marie Moore claims in her lawsuit that she dropped off her bulldog Cowboy at the Riverside Animal Clinic at W 187th Street for a few days, only to be told that he died from congestive heart failure during the stay. But an autopsy found that his heart was fine and that he'd actually suffocated, which she says was caused by over-barking. But can a dog really bark himself to death?

In her suit, Moore charged the clinic and kennel with veterinary malpractice: "Defendants ignored obvious signs of Cowboy's distress, allowing Cowboy to continue barking for days without proper care or intervention, until his severely swollen throat suffocated him and caused his death." Moorse said that she had been assured by staff that Cowboy, who had never been in a kennel for an extended period of time, would be treated well when she dropped him off on March 9th. she checked in and "was told that everything was fine," but "one day later, Cowboy was dead." She was told by Dr. Javier Ramos that Cowboy developed breathing problems that morning and an X-ray of his chest "showed an enlarged heart."

But the autopsy revealed there was nothing wrong with his heart: a "correct diagnosis of severe laryngeal edema and airway obstruction, followed by proper emergency procedures, would have saved Cowboy's life." According to Dr. Ann Hohenhaus of the Animal Medical Center, it's highly unlikely for a dog to suffocate from barking, but it is possible for English bulldogs like Cowboy. However, the, uh, "experts" at ChaCha beg to disagree: "A dog cannot bark itself to death, but people have taken dogs that bark too much to the pound and they have been euthanized."