Danielle d.W.: We just had a terrible scare with our dog and the disease HGE! I had never heard of this before and I think it would be great to let people know how serious, but treatable this is!
Answer: BVC Relief Veterinarian Dr. Vo explains Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) as an acute condition that leads to inflammation and bleeding of the intestines. This disease can also cause systemic infection, this means that bacteria can be absorbed into the body. Dr. Vo tells us that HGE presents with bloody diarrhea and vomiting. When this illness is present the stool is described as “raspberry jam.” When diagnosed by a veterinarian the treatment includes, hospitalization with fluids and pain management. Depending on the cause of the disease it may be treated by antibiotics as well. Symptoms of this illness can be severe and even fatal if not treated. Causes are still unknown, but may be due to abnormal reactions to food, bacteria or drugs. Dr. Vo reminds us that many other diseases can cause similar symptoms. If your dog suddenly displays bloody diarrhea you should seek medical attention immediately.
Erin: My 4-year old male cat (8.5 lbs) with a formally small appetite is suddenly, over the past few months, seemingly starving about an hour after eating and bugs me for the rest of the night. He also wakes me up in the morning now wanting food (which he never did, that was left to my other (fat) cat). I took him to the vet and they did a fecal and found nothing wrong, or no physical symptoms like weight loss, etc…is it worth getting blood work? They didn’t’ think so, unless his weight changes.
Answer: Dr. Vo explains that changes in dietary habits can be caused by both medical and behavioral issues. Endocrine problems, parasites and intestinal disease are some common medical causes of these symptoms. At 4 years old it would be rare for a cat to have hyperthyroidism. Blood work can indicate other issues and it is never a bad idea to check because doing this will also help in ruling out certain medical problems. Dr. Vo notes that if behavior is the cause of her increasing food demands, then it may be helpful to evaluate her environment and your own behavior to see if you may be enabling these changes. To learn more check out http://indoorpet.osu.edu/. Here you can find tips to help you identify sources of un-wanted behavior.
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