HGE can kill but if treated early and appropriately, your pet can overcome it.
Clinical signs to watch for in your dog:
- vomiting that can become bloody
- diarrhea, bloody and mucusy
- rapid lethargy
Why does it occur?
- clostridium bacteria?
- other viruses and bacteria
- packed cell volume (amount of red blood cell) is elevated because the patient is severely dehydrated. The bowel is a large organ and water content of the body effuses in it with blood
- radiographs – no foreign body,no obstruction
- ultrasound – unremarkable early on -if late, necrosis can be notes and fluid in abdomen
- rule out parvovirus
- rule out pancreatitis
Treatment must include
- high rate of fluids IV
- monitor protein levels and may need to supplement with protein replacement (vetstarch or plasma)
- antibiotics: usually metronidazole for clostridium but some studies support amoxicillin/clavunate (clavamox/unasyn)
- anti nausea and anti acid medications
- pain medication
- hyperbaric oxygen therapy to recover bowel damage is an amazing treatment for HGE and the hospital stay is significantly reduced hence reducing costs.
For more questions about HGE, please contact your veterinarian or Critical Vet Care.