Travel Dog Health Watch: Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis

Posted by Raja on December 6th, 2011 — Posted in Health, Safety

  Tags: , , ,

In your vet's loving care is where you want to be when you're feeling bad.

As most dog travelers know, tummy troubles go with the territory of travel, but as we have previously blogged, careful management of local foods and water along with added probiotics can pretty much prevent tummy trouble on the road.  Especially for dogs who enjoy the nomadic life. 

Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis (HGE), however, is serious tummy trouble and it can strike dogs on their home turf without warning.  While all dogs can and do get HGE, small dogs between the ages of 2 and 4 are the prime targets and, as we know, small dogs dehydrate fast. 

Symptoms of HGE are fairly horrible: sudden onslaught of bloody diarrhea and, sometimes, vomiting.  Dehydration can happen quickly and shock quickly follows. 

HGE is not the kind of stomach trouble that can be treated with canned pumpkin.  Your dog needs IV fluids with potassium and subcutaneous antibiotics NOW.  This is not an illness where you can watch and wait. Do not mop up the rug, but wrap your dog in a soft, warm towel and take her to the vet, or after hours, to the emergency vet service. 

Who knows what causes HGE!  A strange new food, anxiety, a bacterium, a virus, a parasite are causes that have been investigated, but thus far the cause of HGE is undetermined.  Your vet will diagnose HGE because of the symptoms as well as through the blood test that will reveal a high packed cell volume (PCV) of hemoglobin. 

Ask your vet to look for Coccidia, a parasite that causes the same symptoms and request a titer with the blood test to see about Parvo Virus (that has been cropping up in New Jersey and New York shelters), just to be safe.  (A titer is a test that measures the amount of antibodies in the blood.  High concentrations of antibodies to a certain virus mean your dog is usually immune.) 

Holiday times, like travel times, cause both good and bad stress for pets.  Both happiness and anxiety can affect the tummy similarly. 

Raja and I wish you Happiness and Health and Love and Peace this Holiday Season and Always!


Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Woof Raja,

Thank you for all the information.

Tell me you are not sick? No, your mommy would not let anything hurt you little darling.

Are both your big brother’s going to be home with you? I bet they sure are! And your sister (IL) too.

Kisses little darling boy.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:59 am

Comment by Raja

Oh no Aunt Sheryll, I’m not sick at all. I’m healthy as a horse. But this happened to one of my best dog friends and the onset was really sudden, so we want to warn others so everybody knows what to do just incase. Sometimes people just give a dog in that condition a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin and act as if it will all be fine, but giving more food and not taking the dog to the vet is the worst decision. Thanks for worrying about me! xoxo, Raja

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

Comment by Cy

Thanks for getting the word out about this scary and sudden illness. I know first hand how bad it can make you feel very quickly. I have been recovering several days now and I’m still not feeling quite back to my normal excited self. I’m sure glad my mom took me to the vet and got me some medication and some special food. I know I will be okay now, I’m just resting a little while longer and watching what I eat. Sure wish I knew what got this started. I haven’t had any friends over or been anywhere to visit so just know it can strike anyone at anytime. I’m very glad to report my brother (CT) and sister (Tasha) have not been sick at all.

Your Pal,

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

Comment by Buttercup & Pat

Raja.. you are always a wealth of great information ! Thanks !

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Comment by Cy

Thank you for getting this word out. You know I just had this happen to me and it was very scary and happened sooooo fast. I was fine one hour and the next I was feeling very sick. We don’t know what caused it to happen to me but I’m sure glad my mom took me to the vet. She said if it ever happens again (and we really hope it won’t) she will get me there even faster!

Every doggy mom and dad should google this and read some of the sad stories about what can happen with this fast acting GED. We don’t want to scare people but this is important and you are so right Raja, pumpkin is not going to help. Any time you see blood in your dogs stool, please get them to the vet right away. I am feeling better now, still not quite my normal self, I’m still eating special food and taking it easy but without that trip to the vet I would probably not be writing this now.

Your Pal,

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment