Posts Tagged ‘Parvo Virus’

Travel Dog Health Watch: Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

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!