Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a Nightmare

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Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a Nightmare

This is a discussion on Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a Nightmare within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello all, I am brand new to Dogforums. After a long scary week for my dog and I, I decided to reach out to others ...

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Old 11-03-2017, 10:29 PM
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Unhappy Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a Nightmare

Hello all,
I am brand new to Dogforums. After a long scary week for my dog and I, I decided to reach out to others that are passionate about their dogs and hopefully find others who have had or have a dog with H.G.E. After a long spell of enjoying the pets of friends and family, I decided I was ready for a new partner in crime. I was calm, I planned, I saved. I sought out a good breeder to ensure a healthy animal and be certain I was not supporting any kind of breeding practice that treats animal poorly or inhumanly. Then came one of my happiest moments in this life, I was picking up my West Highland White Terrier Pup. Being of Scottish ancestry had always loved the breed and I melted as soon as he looked at me. They are very active, clever little dogs. I realized I had my hands full with a dog that was from the birthplace of Stubborn and he was definitely playing chess, not checkers! Everything was going great until a year old then what no dog lover ever wants to see happened, sick puppy. Vomiting first and shortly after blood/mucus in his stools. I rushed him to our vet immediately. Blood panel and exam revealed nothing so they suggested a deworming and ''tylosen?'' Another episode followed. They needed to rule out many diseases known to effect Westies (Addison's, White Shaker etc.) After x-rays they suggested an ultrasound by a specialist. It came back clear, all normal but the H.G.E attacks have reappeared many times. My vet has basically given up since he can not tell if it is food or environmental issues triggering his H.G.E. Any advice would be a tremendous help to my best friend and I.
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:32 PM
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Giving up is really not an option. You have yet to find the right Vet specialist, and you have to for your pups sake, as well as your own. Is there an educational Vet program at a college or clinic that you could take him to? I think in that environment you might have a better chance of connecting with the resources you need.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:53 PM
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Several comments... I have to agree... 'giving up' seems a pretty inappropriate phrase and I hope that your vet did not actually say that. We treat hundreds of vomiting puppies and adult dogs yearly that have bloody, mucousy diarrhea (or sometimes just pure red, jam-like mucus) and vomiting and ill and almost always have excellent success (not 100% though). A client may give up if they reach the limit of what they can afford, or feel their pet is suffering and not getting better, but a doctor rarely gives up without coming to some sore of agreement with the client (at least in a situation like this). Referral is the usual next step when a professional feels overwhelmed or over his/her head.

But those symptoms do not necessarily mean true "HGE" (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis). By definition, dogs with that disease have very abnormal blood work (elevated PCVs, usually over 65%) while still having normal or even low protein levels (only 1 in a 100 dogs with these symptoms will actually fit into the 'real' HGE category).. and those rare dogs are indeed extremely sick- very dehydrated, toxic, often septic, and often do not do well (though still many will eventually survive if treated aggressively... maybe 75%?).

The term HGE is often used carelessly to describe any dog with bloody diarrhea or bleeding from the rectum/anus. Lot of different conditions can lead to those symptoms, most which are related to toxic ingestion of something ('something' being a pretty broad category of possibilities all which include things a dog does not normally eat- rotting food, plant material, stool, stagnant water, dirt, table food, changes in dog food etc.). But dogs with bleeding colon tumors, anaphylaxis, extreme hyperthermia (heat shock), parasites, inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal foreign bodies can have the same symptoms.
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