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"Like many other pet owners, we attributed Norah's vomiting to having eaten something bad. Dogs vomit all the time, as did Norah. HGE is a terrible disease, and if we had known more about it, we might have done some things differently. While I am thankful that Norah went quickly and didn't have to suffer a long illness or the terrible things that come with old age, I miss her dearly and can't help wondering why."

 Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis HGE (at least in terms of veterinary medicine) stands for Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis, and it is a disease of dogs.  This one of those disease dog owners at least need to know basics about.  The sudden onset of bloody diarrhea in a previously healthy dog, usually tandem with vomiting, not eating (anorexia), and listlessness are also seen. Dehydration is not usually clinically seen on initial presentation, but shock can develop quickly without treatment.

 "The last couple days have been incredibly difficult, but learning a bit more about HGE has helped me come to terms with what has happened to Norah." The sudden symptoms can even befuddle the best of vets as Rainbow Norah's owners explained recently.. " ...our Norah  got sick and passed in less than a day. It only took 6 1/2 hours after the first signs of blood for the disease to take our beloved Norah. I'm glad that there is on going research to find out more about this mysterious disease. The hardest thing for a pet owner is to be told that your perfectly healthy, young pet died of a something that sounds a lot like a catch-all when there is no other good explanation for what just happened."

 Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis  (HGE) Another Mysterious Disease

At this time, the exact cause of this disease is unknown. There are many theories - diet, a bacterial 0003infection 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. Also some dogs get HGE more than once.
Apparently HGE shows up in all breeds, genders and age.

" She stopped eating Wednesday morning and would not eat again until we visited her in the hospital Friday evening. With hindsight, we realized that she had had her first bloody vomit and bloody diarrhea at least as early as Tuesday. We didn't see it before that because she has a dog door which is usually unlocked, but was locked on Tuesday. Wednesday was marked by disinterest in food; Thursday the severe diarrhea & vomiting began. Even after 48 hours of IV treatment, she still had bloody diarrhea as of late Friday night. If that stops, the hospital will allow her to come home Saturday afternoon."

 IS there a way to confirm a diagnosis, you will want to know that is the main problem.

WhelpingNewbornPuppyDied023 Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is usually diagnosed by a process of elimination, since there are several other disorders that produce bloody vomiting and diarrhea.¹ The sudden appearance of bloody diarrhea and a high packed cell volume (PCV) in a previously healthy dog rule in favor of the HGE diagnosis. Other causes of gastrointestinal bleeding that must be considered as possibilities and subsequently ruled out. Left untreated, this can be a deadly disease. However, with prompt veterinary care, most dogs respond to treatment and recover.

The main treatment is aggressive supportive care -- no food or water by mouth for 1-4 days (while on IV fluid therapy), and intravenous (IV) fluid therapy with Potassium added to the fluids. Antibiotics are also recommended (IV, subcutaneous). Food should be reintroduced slowly and, in the event that the HGE is food related, a new (novel) protein should be given that the dog doesn't usually eat, i.e. chicken, lamb or cottage cheese.The good news is most dogs recover within a few days. Some dogs can have repeated episodes of HGE.

"Gibbs has been in the hospital since Friday of last week. He has been diagnosed and treated for HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis). I have read all I can find on this, but would like to know more about what, if any modifications (diet, behavior, etc) anyone has made at home after initial treatment to prevent recurrence! Thanks!" This is a common plea from stunned dog owners who are suddenly confronted with this mysterious disease they have never heard of.

"What should I do if I see vomiting or diarrhea in my pet? Is it an emergency?" is another common question. Because there are so many causes for vomiting and / or diarrhea. As for any situation that is "not normal" for your pet, it is always recommended that you call your veterinarian and discuss what is going on. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you if it is a situation that can wait or if it sounds like an emergency. ANOTHER REASON WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR EMERGENCY VETS NUMBER WHERE YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER CAN FIND IT QUICKLY!  You know that most questionable symptoms will seem to always happen after normal vet clinic hours or on weekends and holidays...

"Her most noticeable symptom was lethargy. She was severely dehydrated due to the fact that she was not eating, therefore she was not showing the most common symptoms of bloody diarrhea and vomit. After being in the hospital and getting IV fluids she began to show these signs. The most important thing to do if your dog is showing these symptoms is get them to a vet." Advise from another dog owner.
Yes in the big picture this is considered a rare but serious disorder.  But, HGE can happen suddenly and "out of nowhere" so being aware of potential danger signs is critical. As always, if your pet is bleeding from anywhere, please call your veterinarian immediately.

Teresa B. " I have Boston's but years ago had a bout of this with one of my Rotties. It took quite a while to clear up (over a month). During that time I had to totally modify his diet. He got nothing but rice cooked in chicken broth with the meat added in also. Eventually his regular food was slowly reintroduced."
From our research we learned that HGE has not been shown to be caused by bacterial infections, parasites, fungal infections, viruses, or any other specific pathogens, many veterinarians prescribe medications that address these agents. In addition, patients may be given medications that treat ulcers, soothe the gastrointestinal tract, or prevent nausea, vomiting, or pain.

" It is so scary and frustrating because there is so much not known of the cause. Everything is always the same with our guy, we do a lot of off leashing in forested areas, is it possible he's eating something he shouldn't, we don't know. It's a sudden, scary illness and quite expensive to treat."

"My purebred Yorkie is 6 years old, started having diarrhea on Tuesday night which I was not too concerned of. I thought it must of been something he ate. He showed no signs of depression or discomfort. As time went on (now Wednesday morning about 2 am), My Yorkie started vomiting up his food. Around 4 am he had explosive diarrhea in his crate and started vomiting clear mucus. I cleaned it all up and got him to drink some water thinking it would clear out his system. About ten minutes later he was vomiting again but this time it was bloody mucus and the more he barfed the more bloody it got. I started to panic. The veterinarian took his temperature,  she said he was perfectly fine. No sign of a fever. I felt relieved hearing that, but a minute later explosive blood came out. It smelt foul and very strong of blood. The veterinarian ended up taking a sample and sent it out checking if my Yorkie had parvo or parasites. He was connected to an intravenous right away and ended up staying the night there." This was traumatic to both the dog and the owner they had never be apart before.  "I was given a few items to bring back home. 1. Metronidazole 2. Sulcrate Suspension 3. Panacur Dog Dewormer 4. Hill's I/D gastrointestinal wet food. It's quite a job nursing your dog back to health when they had hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. He is currently on a tight schedule with meals and medication. His diet currently consists of baby food, Hill's I/D wet food and white rice with boiled ground beef. It's been close to 5 days now since the incident and my Yorkie is showing signs of his normal self again. I really believe that the intravenous fluids saved my Yorke's life. I was told that there is a small chance of him relapsing,  Best of luck with everyone who's going through the same scare."

"Gem's sudden onset  was of explosive bloody diarrhea and bloody vomiting. If this happens to you, get a professional carpet cleaning team in as soon as you can. They were successfully able to lift the stains even though it took me 48 hours to get around to calling them (because we were at the hospital with our poor sick dog). Possible stressors for Gem: the sudden and permanent presence of a new spayedcoingdogwettowelfan bitch in the household, about ten days before her symptoms; possible lymphoma (cancer); and the heat wave of July 2011, which produced temperatures over 100 F in our northern Virginia home, for over a week. Even with air conditioning, the heat has been oppressive."

Readers Respond - Please share your story with us if you have had a dog with HEG thank you

one of many sources used:

whole dog journal¹