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Readers Respond: Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis - Prompt veterinary care is critical

Responses: 630


Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis (HGE) in dogs is a sudden-onset episode of vomiting and diarrhea, often very bloody in nature. The exact cause is unknown, but there are many theories: diet, allergy, a bacterial infection or bacterial toxin, virus, reaction to an intestinal parasite, etc. Stress may play a role in the development of HGE. HGE can affect any breed, gender, and age. Quick veterinary treatment and supportive care is essential.

Have you experienced HGE with a pet? What were the first presenting signs? What was the main course of treatment? Read stories from other viewers. Share your stories here. HGE episodes with my pet

Very sick Bassett hound

My first clue anything was wrong with my dog was a huge amount of vomit in her crate. This happened four times, about once an hour. It was about half a gallon of fluid. Then the bloody diarrhea began. By the time I reached the vet that afternoon,she needed an iv for dehydration. Her blood was so thick, they couldn't draw a sample. She is now recovering. I would encourage anyone to pay attention to any vomiting, especially large amounts.
—Guest Paula

We were lucky

I came home at lunch to find diarrhea in a few rooms in the house, Lily hid under a chair, very sad and looked very sorry. She was fine the rest of the day, eating and drinking well. Went to bed around 10 and woke an hour later because she was vomiting, and continued to do so thru the night. At about 4 am she had foul, explosive diarrhea that was pink and frothy, and about 15 minutes later, vomit that looked identical. We live fairly close to a 24 hour vet clinic and I rushed her there. She was immediately put on an IV with anti-nauseant, pain meds and antibiotics. She had a few X-rays and they were normal. Even her blood work was normal initially! She spent the day and night in the hospital, and was doing so well that she was released 36 hours later. She's tired but happy to be home, and we feel so lucky we still have her. She just turned 2. I'm so glad I took her in when I did, things could be so different. Act fast! It could be the difference between life and death.
—Guest Lily's Mum

Daisy in hospital now

She woke up with "bubble guts" this morning and didn't eat her breakfast. My husband took her outside and she pooped big twice, then had bloody diarrhea the third time. She vomited, as well. It all presented in about an hour! As soon as we saw the bloody diarrhea my husband started getting ready to take her to the vet. She is staying the night and is being treated for HGE with IV and fluids. I had no idea what is was nor how deadly it can be. I'm so sorry for your losses and am now praying our dear baby pulls through. I had our first baby two weeks ago and op his parents just left yesterday after spending a week with us. I highly suspect stress due to so much change so fast is the culprit here. I love our son but i consider Daisy my firstborn in her own way. She has been with me for so much in her two years.
—Guest Daisy'smom

They go down so fast!

It's been a week ago today when we lost one of our precious five Chihuahas, Charlene. One day she was fine, the next she was gone. She started by throwing up clear watery fluid. Seemed to be terribly thirsty? I really thought she had just taken it down too fast. She seemed a little lethargic, cold.... I wrapped her in her favorite blanket and got up to a pool of blood. Still breathing, I rushed her to the vet but it was too late. When I got home, Bicky, the youngest one was throwing up frothy fluid. I immediately took her to the Vet. At once she was hooked up to an I.V. Stayed 2 days and survived !!!! I'm reading that it isn't unusual for more episodes to occur? It's heartbreaking. All I can say is "act quickly". One symptom can vary in different animals . Don't look for bloody stools to happen first . Bicky didn't have them but was diagnosed with HGE. The other dogs seem fine but I 'm not taking any chances. Everything I feed them now, I made myself... Chicken, rice.
—Guest Lorraine Vandergriff

7 year old Golden Retriever Buddy

My Golden Retriever Buddy just came home last night after 3 days at the vet after being diagnosed with HGE. He didn't feel good for a couple of days and was throwing up some but he was already on antibiotics for a skin problem so I just thought they were upsetting his stomach. Then came the bloody diareah. It was very bD and I rushed him to the vet and after 3 days on IV and antibiotics he seems to be responding well. On a very bland diet of rice and chicken. I will watch very closley for this in the future.
—Guest Debbie

Ciao Bella

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I stumbled across this website. My sweet mini toy apricot poodle basically died before my eyes. I have 5 toy poodles, 2 are rescues and three are the mini toys. Ciao Bella was always by my side wherever i went regardless of the day or hour. She was a very jealous loud rambunctious little girl who had back surgery couple of years ago... occasionally she would overdo it and her back would become sore. At 5:00pm hubby gave her some pain meds. She had one bowel movement of diarrhea (never any blood) and threw up clear liquid. I came home a 7:30pm. She wouldn’t eat her favorite chicken, but was still drinking water. When I went to bed, she was right beside me but kept getting up and laying at other places on the floor, still drinking water and throwing up. I fell asleep at 3:00am… When I woke up at 6:00am, she was beside me in a pool of blood & she wasn’t breathing. I tried CPR, but it was too late. I am numb with grief, guilt & shock.

Our 4yr lab is recovering from HGE

Our healthy labrador threw up breakfast yesterday, that was the first sign there was a problem. We managed to stop him re-eating it (!) and then let him into the garden to eat some grass if he wanted to, as he likes to if he's a bit crook. I kept an eye on him and saw him defecate a big fountain of blood. What a shock! We took him straight to the vet where they put him on fluids, antibiotics and painkillers and kept him overnight. We brought him home this morning and he slept for about three hours. He is up and bright now and have given him some rice and chicken stock. He's looking good. Fingers crossed.
—Guest Louise

Keep your dog on a bland diet!

I gave my precious dog a knee bone as a treat that I had purchased from an organic dog food store. Within hours she developed HGE. We took her to the emergency room and she was in the hospital for 3 days with IV's and aggressive treatment. Had we not taken her, she would have definitely passed away. The vet believes it was bacteria from the knee bone. Since then I do not give my dog any treats that are not vegetables or fruit or homemade. She eats boiled chicken, rice, and steamed vegetables. It is costly but it's worth my dog's life. I barely give her any treats and when I do it's turkey or ham. I highly recommend if your dog had HGE, stay with this diet. It's healthy, you can monitor the ingredients, and you won't ever have to go through the terrible pain of watching your precious animal die before your eyes.
—Guest Brandi

Horrific death.

My 6 month old puppy bean to throw up on a Monday. I made him an emergency appointment at the vets the next morning when the vomiting continued & he became withdrawn. He was put on a drip & given an anti-sickness and antibiotic injections. I took him home attached to the drip. I returned to the vets everyday for follow up injections. One evening, we had just sat down in the reception & he passed a huge amount of blood in the waiting area, it smelled foul (this was the first time this had happened). From this evening onwards, he continued to pass large amounts of blood & continued to vomit if not given the anti-sickness injection. The following Monday I had to make the decision to let him go, his suffering was horrific & his symptoms had not responded to treatment at all. The vet informed me that there was currently an epidemic, four other dogs were taken in with HGE the same day alone, there were further (same area)cases throughout his treatment & there had been cases the week before.
—Guest Katie


Our Australian Shepherd came down with this. Its super scary. She was fine and eating.and the next day. she then started having diaria then throwing up and then had a little blood in it one day then the next day all blood hard and fast. We rushed her to ER they started her on fluid shot and metronidazole( flagle) Than the next day got a little worse. Took her to our regular vet the next morning. He immediately gave her a steroid shot to stop the bleeding and continued with the flagle 250 mg 1 1/2 tablets 2 x a day for 7 days and an anti nausea pills(cerenia)60 mg 1x a day for 4 days as needed and a sedative (diphoxylate 2.5 mg)..1 tablet 3 x a day for diarea.. She was not eating for a few days,lethargic and depressed. But then got a little better and then she is way better now. Get your baby to the vet asap and on meds as soon as you see vomiting and diarea. I think it was the streroid shot that saved her life or i think she would have bled to death..
—Guest Allie

Act Fast

My Deerhound is in vets at moment, she was totally healthy dog and started vomiting white foam and had gushing bloody diarrhea, I rang my vet and they said they couldn't fit her in for another day!!! I decided to contact another vet and even though she was not registered with them they took her in as an emergency, she is still there on iv fluids and anti biotics. The sickness and diarrhea has stopped, but she is still very poorly, she is going to stay in vets for scans and to make sure her fluids stay ok. I really hope I get her back home, I am so worried, ACT FAST, CHANGE VETS IF NEED BE, you know your dog best, you know when something is really not right, act on it quickly x
—Guest Shar Jordan


My gorgeous boy Buddy, mixed bichon/Maltese suddenly vomiting, white thick foamy emesis. I rushed him to the vet.they hydrated him, gave him a shot for vomiting, while there he had an episode of explosive diarrhea, they told me to take him to animal ER . He had an ultrasound, meds to stop diarrhea hydrated & sent home. Next morning I woke to find him lethargic, lying in a pool of blood. I broke the sound barrier driving to animal ER .he was going into shock, kidney failure bleeding time elevated. They started 4 iv's, pain meds, antibiotics, plasma...he survived! After 2 days in ICU he came home continued his recovery. The ER vets call him the miracle dog. He was 22lbs at first vet visit, 18lbs after hemorrhage. Today my Yorkie started with similar symptoms, although not as severe. At the vets in a heart beat, still no news if she'll make it. Her name is Precious, I rescued her from New Orleans after Katrina, everyone please say a prayer my my sweet puppy.
—Guest Teresa

house full of blood

My Sunnie had vomited so much blood, even in the bed, by the time I got home from work, I thought he would die. The vets at Rocky Gorge in Laurel treated him and kept him overnight and the next day he was much better. Without that kind of emergency treatment I am sure he would have passed. His illness probably caused by a bad reaction to flea bites from a previous weekend to a friend's house. Sunnie is a Maltese with glaucoma which was also diagnosed in an emergency situation by the same veterinary outfit.
—Guest linda

7 year old Yorkie

I have a 7 year old Yorkie that I rescued in February . I found out about hge a few months ago when I almost lost her . I have learned quite a bit about the disease since then . She can not eat anything but the food her vet puts her on. I'm freaking out a little bit right now bc she got a hold of a peice of bread outside to quick for me to stop her . She seems to be fine now but I plan on keeping an extra eye on her . Anyone think a small peice of bread that was left outside may cause her to get sick ? I'm really worried. She has been healthy for awhile now. She is acting fine so fingers crossed . I agree this disease needs to be more well known !
—Guest Meag

my uncle pitt has hge

This beautiful playful Pitt is only about 5months old and he was very active and hyper now he's been throwing up, doesn't want to play , bowel movements of blood. And he's so sad and sick I'm afraid he's gonna die idk what to do :(
—Guest shiane

HGE episodes with my pet

Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis - Prompt veterinary care is critical

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