Monday, May 04, 2009

In the case of Chanel

That's Chanel. She is a seven-year old Daschund, belonging to my friends Carole and Frank. Carole called called me yesterday to alert me to Chanel's medical problems. She told me that Chanel was in a New Jersey veterinarian hospital on the verge of death. The vet on duty was in the processing of diagnosing her but believed that she might have Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). HGE is a disease syndrome seen in dogs, characterized by the acute (sudden) onset of bloody diarrhea, accompanied by high packed cell volumes (red blood cells). The cause of HGE is unknown.

All breeds can be affected, although the incidence is greater in small breed dogs. Schnauzers, Dachshund, Yorkshire terriers, and miniature poodles are the most commonly affected by HGE which usually occurs in adult dogsm over 5 years. HGE is most often seen in city dogs, or dogs housed in urban areas.

Symptoms of HGE is acute vomiting, anorexia, depression and bloody diarrhea. The onset of HGE is usually very quick with no previous warning signs or health problems reported in the affected individuals. Signs progress rapidly and become severe within a few hours. Signs of shock, collapse, and sudden death have been reported.

Diagnostic efforts include:
Complete blood count (CBC)
Biochemical profile
Fecal examination
Elisa for parvovirus
Bacteria cultures and cytology of the stool
Coagulogram, or clotting profile
Abdominal radiographs (X-rays) should be obtained to eliminate a foreign body or other disease process.

Patients suspected of having HGE are hospitalized and treated aggressively because clinical deterioration is rapid and fatal. Treatment includes: aggressive fluid therapy. In most cases, Antibiotics are recommended. The patient should be kept off food and water until signs are clearly resolving, and the PCV is within normal range. A bland, easy to digest diet should be given for several days, and then your pet can be weaned back to its regular food if his condition has improved.

The prognosis for patients with HGE is excellent if it is caught early and treated aggressively. If you suspect your pet may have HGE, seek veterinary attention immediately. Administer all medication and recommended diet as directed by your veterinarian. Because there is no known cause of the syndrome, there are no preventative measures that can be recommended in these patients.

Although Chanel has many of HGE symptons-except for the diarrhea-, she does not has this illness. Presently, she has labored breathing and her lungs have been filling up with fluids. The vet is bringing in a cardiologist as heart disease is suspected.

I am praying for Chanel and will keep you updated as to her condition.

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