Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) is an intestinal condition shown as a sudden onset of bloody diarrhea. Left untreated, the dog can quickly go into shock from the rapid blood loss and die. With prompt medical attention, most dogs recover.
The exact cause is unknown, but some theories include:
• Eating decaying material
• Immune-mediated disease
Small breed dogs have a higher chance of HGE, but any breed can be affected.
The onset of HGE happens very quickly with no previous warning signs.
The most notable sign seen with HGE is sudden bloody diarrhea in a healthy dog.
Other signs include:
• Vomiting and dehydration
• Loss of appetite
These signs progress rapidly and cause shock, collapse, and death. It is crucial to get to A Pet's Place of Clearwater, Inc. as soon as you notice any signs.
I generally suspect HGE if your dog was healthy and suddenly develops bloody diarrhea. After performing a physical to rule out other diseases that cause bloody diarrhea (ulcers, colitis, parvovirus, coronavirus, cancer, etc.); I will need to perform some tests.
Tests necessary may include:
• Complete blood count (CBC)
• Fecal examination
• Clotting tests
Dogs with HGE must be hospitalized for aggressive treatment.
Treatment may include:
• IV fluid replacement: key treatment brings PCV back to normal and keeps your dog out of shock
• Hetastarch: thickens fluid and helps stop loss
• Transfusion: If anemia is so severe
• Medication: for nausea, diarrhea, IV antibiotics
• Diet: food is withheld until the vomiting has resolved, and then a bland diet is re-introduced
Since the cause is unknown, there is no preventative measure against HGE.
There is an excellent prognosis if you catch the disease early and get veterinary care right away.
Relapses can occur.