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Mystery Illness Comes on Like Wildfire and Can Be Deadly — What to Know Now

Its cause is a mystery. Theories abound, but not a lot of definitive information. One thing's for sure - it comes on like gangbusters and can be fatal without equally swift and aggressive action. Find out the likely breeds, ages and fast-onset symptoms, so you'll be prepared.

hemorrhagic gastroenteritis

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), is a potentially life-threatening condition seen primarily in 2- to 4-year-old toy and small breed dogs
  • The cause of this mysterious condition is unknown; primary symptoms include the sudden onset of bloody diarrhea and vomiting that ultimately also turns bloody
  • Diagnosis is made based on symptoms, specific bloodwork measures and a diarrhea panel
  • Treatment for HGE is primarily supportive and must be started immediately and aggressively to achieve the best outcome
  • A percentage of dogs who have one episode of HGE will have a recurrence, so it’s especially important for guardians of those dogs to know the signs and seek immediate veterinary care

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