Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a common cause of bloody vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The exact cause of HGE is unknown, although bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens and immune reactions have been implicated to play a causative role in some cases. HGE can affect all dogs but is more common in some small breeds, such as miniature schnauzers, dachshunds, miniature poodles, and Yorkshire terriers.
Diagnosis of HGE is largely based on clinical signs of bloody vomiting and diarrhea, bloodwork that demonstrates hemoncentration with elevated hematocrit, as well as normal to decreased plasma total protein concentration. Your experienced veterinarian will recommend bloodwork, x-rays of the abdomen, and fecal examination to rule out other causes of bloody vomit and diarrhea.
The gold standard of treatment is to administer intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medications. Most dogs usually will require monitoring in the hospital for one to several days until it is able to hold down food and water without vomiting. During hospitalization, it may become necessary to monitor coagulation tests and EKG if abnormalities develop. Some animals may require plasma or albumin transfusions to help replenish the protein that is lost in the diarrhea. After your pet returns home, it will be necessary to administer antibiotics and a bland diet for several days to a week. You can purchase a bland diet from us or can cook a bland diet for your pet. Feed the diet for 2-3 days then gradually re-introduce their regular diet over a period of 24-48 hours.
Watch your pet carefully for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, or difficulty breathing. If your pet shows any of these abnormal signs, please contact Pet Menders Animal Hospital immediately.
How to Prepare a Bland Diet for Your Dog:
Boil hamburger or chicken in boiling water until cooked through. Place the meat in a strainer and rinse the excess fat away. Boil white or brown rice until thoroughly cooked. Mix 2/3 meat with 1/3 rice and feed an amount as directed by your veterinarian. You can add several tablespoons of low-fat cottage cheese to the mixture for taste.
Your pet has just been hit by a moving vehicle. Although injuries may not be apparent at this moment, it is very important for your pet to be monitored closely for the next 24-48 hours. Internal bleeding, severe bruising or collapse of the lungs or a ruptured urinary or gall bladder can be present and can cause life-threatening illness if not recognized and treated promptly.
When your pet goes home, injuries that occurred at the time of the accidents may not become apparent for days to weeks after the event. Your animal should be kept indoors and allowed outside only on a leash for the next 7 days or until your veterinarian says that restricted activity is no longer necessary. Excessive play, running, and jumping are not allowed even if your pet looks completely normal.
Monitor your animal’s gum and tongue color. Make sure that it stays nice and pink. Pale pink, purplish, or gray discoloration to the gums or tongue can occur with anemia or breathing problems. Make sure that your animal is urinating and defecating normally.
Monitor your pet’s appetite. Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, difficulty breathing, lethargy, weakness, or collapse. If your pet has any of these abnormal signs, please contact a veterinarian immediately.
Getting hit by a car is a traumatic event for both you and your pet. With the proper diagnostics and treatment, many animals can survive and lead healthy lives. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, problems, or concerns.