what causes hge in dogs

what causes hge in dogs


What Causes HGE in Dogs?

Understanding HGE

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that affects dogs. It’s a condition that you, as a caregiver, should be aware of. It manifests as a sudden onset of vomiting and bloody diarrhea, with quick dehydration. The exact cause is unknown, but certain risk factors contribute to the development of HGE.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Your vigilant eyes can be the first line of defense in recognizing the symptoms of HGE. Typically, these include:

  1. Sudden onset of bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea
  2. Vomiting, often severe
  3. Lethargy
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Rapid weight loss

These symptoms can escalate quickly, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial.

Risk Factors for HGE

While the exact cause of HGE in dogs is unknown, certain factors increase the risk. These include:

  • Stress, such as boarding or moving
  • Ingesting garbage or spoiled food
  • Allergic reactions to certain foods
  • Hyperactive or high-strung temperaments
Risk Factor Explanation
Stress Changes in environment or routine can trigger HGE
Diet Eating spoiled food or sudden changes in diet may cause HGE
Temperament High-strung or hyperactive dogs are more susceptible

Treatment and Prevention of HGE

The treatment of HGE depends on the severity of the condition. Your vet may recommend:

  1. Hospitalization for fluid therapy
  2. Antibiotics to prevent septicemia
  3. Probiotics to restore gut flora
  4. Dietary changes

Preventing HGE primarily involves maintaining a consistent, high-quality diet and minimizing stress for your dog.

Long-Term Prognosis for Dogs with HGE

With prompt treatment, most dogs recover completely from HGE, though some may have recurrent episodes. Regular veterinary check-ups and vigilance with diet and stress management can help manage this condition.


Q: Is HGE contagious to other pets or humans?

A: No, HGE is not considered contagious.

Q: Can I prevent HGE in my dog?

A: While you can’t completely prevent it, maintaining a healthy diet and minimizing stress can reduce the risk.

Q: Is there a certain breed predisposed to HGE?

A: While any dog can get HGE, smaller breeds like Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, and Toy Poodles seem to be more at risk.