HGE (Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) in Dogs also known as acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS) is a serious (sudden) disorder of dogs with vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Most cases occur without warning in healthy dogs. The main and most disturbing clinical sign is large amounts of bloody diarrhea, most often bright red. Some dogs may have abdominal pain, loss of appetite, lethargy (fatigue), or fever.
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis can affect any breed, age, size, or breed of dog, but it is most common in small and toy breed dogs. Young miniature poodles, miniature snoozers and Yorkshire Terriers are most affected.
Other species commonly affected include Pekingese, Dutch, Maltese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shetland sheepdog, and Poodle.
What is HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) in dogs?
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis in dogs occurs when large amounts of fluid enter the gut. It is not known what causes all cases of HGE in dogs, but it can lead to severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea in dogs.
Sometimes diarrhea contains a lot of blood, which is similar to raspberry jam. HGE can be found in dogs of all ages and breeds, affecting small and toy dogs in general, especially small pinchers, miniature snorers, miniature poodles, Maltese, and Yorkshire Terriers. The average age of dogs with HGE is five, and most cases occur without warning.
What to do if your dog shows HGE (Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) signs?
HGE is a deadly condition. If left untreated, it can quickly lead to hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, or hypovolemic shock, which occurs when dog blood or fluid levels drop dramatically.
If your dog or puppy shows signs of disease you should consult your veterinarian immediately as it can be fatal.
What Causes Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis In Dogs?
The cause of HGE in dogs has been the subject of intense debate and research, but it is not known. Theories range from allergic reactions to food, parasites, and toxins to bacterial infections.
It often affects overly sticky dogs, so stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity have been cited as possible causes.
How is HGE diagnosed in dogs?
Your veterinarian should be able to diagnose you based on your dog’s symptoms and blood test results. Dogs with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis usually have a larger than normal packed cell volume (PCV), which is a measure of the ratio of red blood cells in their bloodstream.
Your vet may also take steps to eliminate gastrointestinal problems and other causes of blood in the stool such as parvovirus, Addison’s disease, intestinal parasites and rat poison anesthesia.
This may include additional tests such as X-ray, ultrasound, biochemistry panel and taking urine and stool samples.
Why is my dog not eating after HGE?
Dogs with HGE often appear seriously ill and, in most cases, are unable to regain their appetite for at least a few days. It is unlikely that your veterinarian will feed your dog within the first 24 hours of treatment. After that, once their condition starts to improve and they are no longer sick, water and small, soft meals can be provided.
HGE treatment for dogs
Because HGE can lead to severe dehydration, aggressive intravenous fluid therapy is usually the mainstay of treatment. Anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medications may also be given if antibiotics are prescribed if there is evidence of antibacterial infection if your dog becomes repeatedly ill.
In the most severe cases, plasma treatment is required to correct low blood protein levels.
HGE survival rate
The prognosis for HGE in dogs is usually good at the beginning, as long as it is appropriate and aggressive. In most cases, dogs with HGE should be hospitalized for at least 24 hours.
It is estimated that less than 10% of dogs treated for HGE die. However, there is a 10 to 15% chance that the condition will recur. The outcome can be worse for very young dogs or those with other ailments.
Prevention of HGE in dogs
Prevention advice is based primarily on common sense. For example, owners should try to make sure their dogs live in a low-stress environment, provide a high-quality balanced diet, and provide antimicrobial medications as prescribed by a veterinarian during the day.