FORT WORTH, Texas — NOTE: The video above was filmed before Zeus' surgery.
He was big in name and in size.
Zeus, a 3 ft., 5 in. Great Dane from Fort Worth, made headlines in 2022 when Guinness World Records named him the largest male dog in the world. The three-year-old dog was more than seven feet tall when standing on his hind legs.
“When he actually won, it was pretty shocking,” his owner, Brittany Davis told WFAA. “He’s part of our family.”
On Sept. 7, Zeus underwent surgery to have his entire front leg amputated.
The following Tuesday, his family confirmed with WFAA that he had passed away on Monday, Sept. 11. His owners said he had developed pneumonia after his amputation.
“We don’t want him to hurt anymore,” Davis told WFAA before Zeus' surgery.
The Great Dane had bone cancer on his front right leg. If he didn't have his leg amputated, he may have had only three months left to live, Davis told WFAA.
“It was very upsetting, very overwhelming,” Davis said of the moment she learned of Zeus' diagnosis. “I was a mess.”
Davis, who received Zeus as a gift, fondly remembers his early days, when his fast growth stunned the family.
“He just grew and grew,” Davis said. “He’s like my dog-child.”
The family pulled together a GoFundMe page to cover Zeus’s veterinary expenses. They were hopeful the surgery would allow them to keep the gentle giant around longer.
"We are now faced not only with emotional challenges but also financial burdens that come with providing the best possible care for our beloved Zeus," said a statement in the GoFundMe page.
“He’s hurting now,” Davis said. “We don’t want him to hurt. We don’t want him to be in pain. I want him to be as healthy as he can be. Mostly, I want him to be pain free and enjoy what time we have left."
Following Zeus' death, the Davis family sent WFAA the following statement:
"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved dog, Zeus, the Guinness World Record Holder for the Tallest Living Male Dog. Zeus died Tuesday Morning of amputation-related pneumonia. Zeus died with his head in his Mom’s lap getting ear scratches and kisses until the very end. He was 3 1/2 years old.
Zeus was a truly 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 3 short years and was primed to beat Cancer’s Butt.
We are so grateful for the time we had with Zeus. He brought us 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!"