Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) In Dogs: Signs, Treatment & Prevention

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) In Dogs: Signs, Treatment & Prevention

Our furry friends are more than just pets; they're beloved members of our families. So when a dog falls ill, it's important for owners to know what to look out for and how to help. A particularly alarming condition that can affect dogs is Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE), a sudden and severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. 

As a responsible dog parent, it's crucial to be informed about the signs, treatment, and prevention of HGE. Read on to find out everything you need to know to protect your four-legged friend.

What Is Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis In Dogs?

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) is a serious condition that affects dogs, causing inflammation and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract

HGE can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

According to the Handbook of Small Animal Practice (Fifth Edition, 2008), Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) typically affects young to middle-age, small breed dogs. To this day, the cause of its appearance is unknown.


Hopefully, you pick up your dog poop. If you need help with that, we got you covered by our 100% Home Compostable Dog Poop Bags.

Signs Of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

If your dog is suffering from HGE, you may notice the following signs:

  • Severe vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy

When to Worry

If your dog exhibits any of the signs mentioned above, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

HGE in dogs can progress rapidly and lead to severe complications if left untreated. Early intervention is key to a successful recovery.

What to Do

If you suspect your dog has HGE, follow these steps:

  1. Contact your veterinarian: Explain the symptoms and seek their advice.
  2. Follow their instructions: Your vet may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination or provide guidance on home care.
  3. Provide supportive care: Offer small amounts of water to prevent dehydration. Avoid feeding your dog until advised by your vet.
  4. Administer prescribed medication: If your vet prescribes medication, follow the instructions carefully.
  5. Monitor your dog's condition: Keep a close eye on your dog's symptoms and report any changes to your vet.

Treatment For HGE In Dogs

The treatment for HGE in dogs may include:

  • Intravenous fluids: To rehydrate your dog and correct electrolyte imbalances.
  • Anti-nausea medication: To alleviate vomiting and promote appetite.
  • Antibiotics: To combat bacterial infections that may be contributing to the condition.
  • Other medications: Depending on the severity of the case, additional medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms.

Tips for Preventing Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

While HGE in dogs cannot always be prevented, you can take certain measures to reduce the risk:

  • Proper hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling other dogs or cleaning up after them.
  • Dietary management: Feed your dog a balanced diet and avoid sudden changes in their food.
  • Avoid table scraps: Human food can be difficult for dogs to digest and may trigger gastrointestinal issues.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Schedule routine visits to monitor your dog's overall health and catch any potential issues early.
  • Stress reduction: Minimize stress in your dog's environment, as stress can contribute to gastrointestinal problems.
for more dog owners’ tips

Remember, if you suspect your dog has HGE, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve your dog's chances of a full recovery.


 Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) In Dogs: Signs, Treatment & Prevention

Can A Dog Survive Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis?

Yes, a dog can survive hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) with the appropriate treatments and therapies. In fact, the survival rate for HGE in dogs can be as high as 95%. However, it's important to note that the prognosis can be guarded to poor for dogs that have developed hypovolemic shock and sepsis in conjunction with HGE. It's crucial to seek prompt veterinary care for any dog suspected of having HGE to maximize the chances of a full recovery.

How Long Can A Dog Survive With Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis?

The length of time a dog can survive with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) depends on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the dog's overall health, and how quickly treatment is started.

With prompt and appropriate veterinary care, most dogs can recover from HGE within a few days to a week. However, without treatment, HGE can quickly become life-threatening due to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. 

Is Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis In Dogs Painful?

Yes, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) in dogs can be painful. It is a sudden, severe disorder that typically causes vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), and abdominal pain. The abdominal pain can be evident when a dog shows signs of discomfort, such as restlessness, reluctance to move, hunching over, or vocalizing when touched in the abdomen.

What Causes Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis In Dogs?

The exact cause of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) in dogs is unknown. While experts have studied the condition extensively, a definitive cause has yet to be identified. Several theories have been proposed, including:

  1. Adverse reactions to food or food additives.
  2. Intestinal parasites.
  3. Bacterial infections.
  4. Toxins or poisons.
  5. Immune-mediated responses.
  6. Stress or anxiety.
  7. Underlying gastrointestinal disorders.

Despite these theories, no single cause has been proven.


Take a look at our 100% plastic-free waste bags.

Related Posts

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Mentally Stimulating Dog Toys
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Mentally Stimulating Dog Toys
Discover the importance of mentally stimulating toys for dogs: challenge their minds, prevent boredom, and foster cognitive health. Learn about the best toys to keep your furry friend engaged, happy, and healthy.
Read More
Understanding Dog Poop Mucus Casing: What It Tells You About Your Pet's Health
Understanding Dog Poop Mucus Casing: What It Tells You About Your Pet's Health
Discover what it means when you spot mucus in your dog's poop. We break down the common causes, from dietary adjustments to potential health concerns, and offer guidance on when to seek veterinary care.  
Read More
Envelope System for Dog Owners: Streamlining Your Pet Care Budget with Ease
Envelope System for Dog Owners: Streamlining Your Pet Care Budget with Ease
Adopt the envelope system to manage your dog's expenses effectively. This budgeting method ensures you never overspend, preparing you for both regular and unexpected costs, fostering financial discipline and peace of mind in your pet care routine.  
Read More


  • Antonella - Give a Sh!t

    Hi Janet, you should contact your vet so that he can check the pup.

  • Janet Littlewolf

    Need Help helping 12 day old pup to 💩 just have soft stool an not very often

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published