HEMORRHAGIC GASTROENTERITIS

HGE

 

 

 

HGE or HEMORRHAGIC GASTROENTERITIS**--- is particularly dangerous to the toy and smaller breed dogs, although dogs of all ages and breeds can be affected by it. Fever is not usually present in HGE.  Signs of HGE usually begin with a very sudden onset of acute vomiting, anorexia,  followed by severe bloody diarrhea, dehydration and depression,  They progress rapidly, become severe within hours ( usually 8 to 12).   The blood may be bright red (fresh blood) or dark (digested blood). 

The symptoms start with vomiting, lethargy, refusing to eat, and progress to mucous covered stools, loose stools, severe diarrhea and bloody diarrhea. Dogs affected by this condition get very sick, very fast. Any kind of bacterial diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a dog, and the tinies are at greater risk, as they have little weight to lose before they are dehydrated and need IV rehydration. 

Your dog can get infected anywhere. Then it can be from 2-10 days after exposure, that your dog can come down with this problem.  Just as there are no specific tests for HGE, there is no established cause for the illness.  

HGE is most common in toy and miniature breeds of dogs, ages 2 to 4, but can affect any breed, gender and age. The blood count of affected dogs is frequently characterized by an elevated red blood cell count. Most normal dogs have  red blood cell counts of 37-55%, while dogs with HGE may have  red blood cell counts well above 60%. The elevated  red blood cell count provides the veterinarian with an important clue that the dog may have HGE.


At present, the exact cause of this disease is unknown. There are many theories -- diet, a bacterial infection or bacterial toxin, virus, reaction to an intestinal parasite, etc. -- but nothing has been proven. Stress may play a role in the development of HGE. Dogs that have an episode of HGE may be prone to another occurrence. Many dogs never experience HGE. 

The main treatment for HGE is intravenous fluid replacement to restore hydration.  If intravenous fluid therapy is not given, the dog's red blood count will continue to elevate due to dehydration.  Eventually, the blood may become so thick that the flow through the blood vessels gets very slow.  If this happens it is possible for the dog to get a potentially fatal clotting disorder called, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).  Once this happens, it is often irreversible and may result in death for the animal.  In some cases it is necessary to give plasma to correct loss of protein and antibiotics to combat the suspected Clostridium infection, or blood transfusions may be needed if blood loss is severe.. In a few dogs, it is necessary to give fast acting cortisones to counter shock, which is a problem due to the very rapid onset of dehydration in dogs with HGE.  It is generally necessary to totally restrict oral food and water for one or two days when treating this problem. This makes hospitalization necessary for several days for most dogs with HGE.  Relatively large doses of fluids are usually needed to replace fluids lost into the intestinal tract and to reverse shock, if present. Fluids are continued as long as the diarrhea persists.   Antibiotics are used because many times bacteria may be a causing factor.  Most animals with HGE recover fully with prompt treatment.  Recurrences are possible, but they are not common.

Since the cause of HGE is not completely understood, at present no known preventive measures exist

 

DO NOT waste time, especially with the tiny toy dogs , as they do not have the spare fluids to lose thru diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea.

   

 

 

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Mystic Moon Yorkies
Valparaiso, IN 46385