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Symptoms of Gastroenteritis in Dogs and Guide to Recovery

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and author of the online dog training course "Brain Training for Dogs."

Gastroenteritis may make dogs feel very ill.

Gastroenteritis may make dogs feel very ill.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Recovery of Gastroenteritis in Dogs

Have you ever wondered what a dog with gastroenteritis is really going through? By looking at the origins of the word "Gastroenteritis" we can get an idea.

"Gastro" is the Greek word for stomach, "enteron" stands for intestine, and "itis" stands for inflammation. Put the words together and you will likely have a dog with inflammation of the stomach and the intestine. Not a very nice picture indeed.

A dog with gastroenteritis will most likely be rushed to the vet's office or emergency room because its symptoms can be really concerning for the owner. I have personally had a puppy affected by gastroenteritis and he quickly started deteriorating as he moaned in pain listless. Below are key symptoms that may suggest gastroenteritis in a dog.


  • Copious Vomiting
  • Copious Diarrhea
  • Inappetence
  • Lethargy
  • Listlessness
  • Dehydration
  • Presence of Blood in Stool
  • Shock


A diagnosis for gastroenteritis is obtained mostly by exclusion. This means that other conditions producing similar symptoms are tested for first. When a puppy presents with vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool, a Parvovirus test should be run. Other conditions to be tested for would be ulcers, foreign body obstruction, presence of parasites, coagulation disorders, etc. So a series of tests will need to be run to rule out other possible conditions before coming to the conclusion that a dog is affected by gastroenteritis.

Many times dogs suffering from gastroenteritis will show a high red blood cell count and this may be the ultimate proof that will help the veterinarian confirm a suspected case of gastroenteritis.


But exactly what causes gastroenteritis in a dog?

Unfortunately, more often than not the cause may remain unknown (idiopathic). There are suspected triggers though that can provide some clarity on gastroenteritis flare-ups. Here are some:

  • Stress
  • Abrupt Diet Changes
  • Parasites
  • Dietary Intolerance
  • Food Indiscretion
  • Side Effects From Medications
  • Exposure to Toxins

While it may be normal for a dog to occasionally exhibit vomiting and diarrhea, dogs affected by gastroenteritis will show more dramatic and abrupt symptoms and the condition may not resolve on its own by offering a bland diet or fasting. Instead, vet treatment may be required to provide fluids and electrolytes and prescribe appropriate medications to soothe the stomach.

When blood is detected in the stools the dog may be suffering from HGE which stands for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Aggressive supportive care is required in this instance and if treatment is provided promptly enough the dog will make a full recovery.


While an exact cause may not be identified, treatment is well known and will consist of:

  • Sub Q Fluids
  • IV Fluids
  • Electrolytes
  • Anti-Nausea Medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Keeping Dog Off Food


Many cases of vomiting and diarrhea often resolve on their own. A dog suffering from stomach upset may benefit from the following:

  • A 12 hour fast for puppies
  • A 24 hour fast for adult dogs
  • A bland diet
  • Electrolytes

After fasting, a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken (with the skin removed) and rice or hamburger (with the fat drained off) and rice may help the stomach settle. It is important that the rice be the bulky part of the meal. This diet must be offered 2–3 times a day in small meals. Then if the dog gets better the regular diet may be reintroduced gradually over the next few days. Unflavored Pedialyte or Gatorade may be added to the water bowl to replace lost electrolytes.

However, when the vomiting is persistent and diarrhea copious, the dog may dehydrate quickly and home treatments may not suffix. The dog may get lethargic, be listless, refuse food, and blood may appear in their stools.

While the symptoms of this condition may be pretty worrisome for the owner, when caught early, treatment is much easier and more effective. Cases left going on for too long may cause complications and are also potentially deadly. The reason behind this is that untreated gastroenteritis will cause major dehydration. With major dehydration, the red blood cell count will increase consistently causing the blood to concentrate and thus, become thicker. Thick blood will cause an often irreversible and deadly condition called "disseminated intravascular coagulation." So, the saying better safe than sorry proves very savvy when it comes down to a dog having serious "Gastro" and "Enteron" inflammation.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 03, 2019:

So sorry your dog is going through this. Has your vet put your dog on a special diet? Are meals being split into smaller meals? What is being done for controlling the vomiting (prilosec, Cerenia,) Seeing an internal vet may be helpful at this point if you haven't done so already.

Lisa on April 03, 2019:

Please help

My 5 year old french bulldog has had sickness (bringing up bile) for over 3 weeks

He has lost drastic amount of weight and refuses to eat

The vet opened his stomach and sent biopsy away which was clear from cancer however his linging of his stomach is 3x thicker than average

He showing high indication markers of chronic gastritis and pancritiis

All oral medications havent worked

And due to amount of times hes been sick hes now needing fluids into a drip at vets

They cant give him steriods due to some blood in his vomit which they said could be down to amount of times he has been sick

Has anyones dog ever had this for such a long time

Am heartbroken has he is fading away in front of me and nobody can seem to give me any answers or medications at home to help him

Rashi on October 17, 2018:

My puppy is just 3 month old , is suffering from gastro also its 4th day & he's not eating anything

Debbie on September 03, 2018:

He is a cavishon nearly 5 yrs old.A rescue dog and paranoid of being left I only leave him 2 hrs a time. Once a day. He had Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis 2 days ago. On all sorts of antibiotics and special ID food.He just gone of his food and water,Loves chicken with hidden tablets in it,but turns his nose up and walks away. I will go back to vets if there is no improvement. Any idears. ?

rajveer on August 03, 2018:

my pug is saved im praying god for that

Vicky on June 21, 2018:

Hi im worriedmy lil dog just came back from hospital he had severe haemoglobin gastro was in hospital 2 days all better with a course of pills to take, 2nd night and he has woken me up spewing again multiple times

Its 2am im very worried.

Alex on February 23, 2018:

My dog just cured from this disease. If you need some advice, feel free to dm me on ig @boypardede

Erika on February 23, 2018:

My puppy is a 3 month old Havachon. She was infected by parvovirus and was hospitalized for 10 days. she was discharged 8 days ago and since then has been eating, drinking and playing like a normal, healthy puppy. Today I noticed blood and mucus in her stools. On Tuesday I changed her food and now I realized I have been overfeeding her (1 to 1.25 cup a day. she weight 2kg). she is still drinking and playful. No vomiting was noticed.

Is it possible the bloody stools w/ mucus are related to a change in her diet plus overfeeding.

Is this concerning for recurrence of parvo. Could this be a bacterial infection?

Shriya on July 19, 2017:

My dog did vaccination yesterday because she has gastro.

She is not eating since 4 days.

I'm feeding her water and serum evry regular hours for her not to dehydrate.

Will she survive? :(

Sheetal Nair on June 01, 2017:

I had a 10 Months old Cocker Spaniel. A very healthy 10 month old baby. He was very active and aggressive pet. We were out of town for 10 days and had to keep him with the Vet Doc and he kept him in his dog care center till our return.

On 5th or 6th day we got a call from doc stating that my puppy was not eating anything and with our relatives help we got him admitted to hospital.

They suspected Gastro in. He was severly dehydrated from the dog care. None took care of him and no proper treatment was given.

Later he started vomiting and passing blood stools. His blood platelets were very low and he had got tiks fever. He was very weak. They said he did not eat well but I suspect that the dog care had not given him with good treatment that was required. We lost him yesterday and it is a very traumatic situation as he was a part of our family.

As we were away from town none of us cld be with him on his last days nor could he see us. He was depressed and missing all the family members.

We left all our work and was about to come to meet him and be with him and give him right kind of treatment but he left us till then.

We have been questioning the doctor and the dog care but they are all covering it up with some sorts of lies. Because when my pet had left for dog care center he was healthy happy and fine. He fell sick after going there but none of us are able to understand the exact reason y this happened. Was he not treated properly when this was figured out? was he fed something bad and infected?

He was taken to another hospital for treatment and he did respond to treatment well but within 5 hours he passed away. Doctors say he passed due to multi organ failure and he strtd vomiting excessive blood and stools and pulse rate came down and his little body could not withstand the pain so it gave up.

His death has left an unsolved mystery in our life and it will remain

We cld not be with him during his last hours he waited to c us. But may be destiny had other plans.

He will always be missed and loved where ever he is.

May his soul rest in peace!!!

vale88 on May 28, 2017:

My boy is back home! :D I'm so happy. They haven't removed the feeding tube just yet only as a precaution, but he's acting super normal, vital, playful and eating like a piglet :) So on tuesday i'll take him back to the vet for bloodwork and to remove the tube.

The anti vomit they used was in fact Cerenia. But now he's not taking it anymore. I'm only instructed to give him antibiotics and Omeoprazole for 10 days.

The worst part is...he actually had parvo! But since he had two shots of vaccines he got a bit of a less life threatening form. (we couldn't do the third because he had bronchitis so we were about to do it soon)

Still...he was in the hospital for almost 6 days... but now at home with me :) thanks!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 27, 2017:

Ask your vet if they have tried giving Cerenia, it's quite effective to control vomiting. My pup got this when he was just 8 weeks old, the vets never figured out what it was. Vomiting, diarrhea with blood, moaning in pain. I thought I was going to lose him. He stayed at the hospital 3 nights and then bounced back with IV fluids and antinausea meds and was ready to go home. I think it's good he' stable, hopefully they'll send him home soon! Keep me posted!.

vale88 on May 25, 2017:

Hi. My 4 months old pitbull mix, on sunday morning, ate some vomit in the street (i think it might even have been from a drug addict or something). On sunday evening he started refusing food and threw up once, and on monday morning he had diarrhea (pink but the vet says it's probably because he ate something weird, not blood). On monday I took him to the clinic and he's still there with IV fluids, antibiotics, antinausea and sucralfate.

He has totally normal blood work, and no parasites in the stools. It was normal on monday and yesterday they repeated the blood test and it's still fine. Only thing is he's still nauseous and doesn't want to eat so they put a feeding tube yesterday night.

Today the vet said he's stable and a bit less nauseous. They're running parvo tests but they don't think he has it mostly because the blood is fine. Do you think there's something else I could suggest to do? I really don't want to lose him, he's my baby boy. He's also very big (like 45pounds already, although of course he's lost some weight in these few days) but maybe the fact that he's not a toy breed will help him recover? Any advice is much appreciated

AARLE on April 22, 2017:

My 10 week old GS pup went to the emergency vet on Monday and was diagnosed with this. He was put on anti nausea meds and fluids. i took him back the next day to get more. Since then he still has a strong appetite and is getting adequate fluids due to mixing his food with water. Since the beginning he has had excessive drooling and 6 days later he still has a lot of drooling. he has thrown up but he is only throwing up water... not his food. I did all of the hydration tests the vet gave me and he seems like he is properly hydrated. Has anyone else had excessive drooling as a side effect of their nausea and how long did it take to go away? Im not sure whether this means I should take him into the vet or if its normal as long as he is still eating/drinking.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 15, 2017:

So sorry your boy is going through this. If you feel your vet might have missed something, have you considered consulting a vet specializing in internal medicine? He may be better equipped to sort things out.

Sophie Flynn on March 12, 2017:

My 18 month old golden started being sick 2 weeks ago, lasted for about 9 hours but he was very lethargic and wouldn't eat so took him to the vets 2 days later.. diagnosed with gastroenteritis.. he's been back at the vets twice since then because he wasn't getting better with treatment, we also ran out of money and they were gonna keep him in for more tests but they refused to take direct insurance payment, so got sent home with syringe food and electrolytes.

He finally started to recover about 5 days ago, but over the last 3 days he's been sick a few times, and has deteriorated back to how he was when he first started, possibly worse. I'm taking my boy to the vets first thing in the morning... I am so scared. I hate seeing him suffer and I need him to pull through.. this boy is my world..

anybody have any experience with gastroenteritis coming back so soon after recovering, or could it be something else? I'm so worried, that maybe the vet missed something when they refused our insurance :(

Roxana on February 03, 2017:

Hi...yesterday i came home and my 11 month old labradoodle was acting strange. He was unsteady and losing his balance. He then threw up a pair of underwear which he had eaten 3 weeks ago....we thought he had pooped it out. We took him to the vet who was very worried and sent us to the Er. They said he was very dehydrated but based on xrays there was no obstruction. They kept him overnignt a d fed him in the am... his stool was normal and je hasn't thrown up again. He got to come home but isnt eating.... and still weak. He can walk around fine but when he stands up still for a while he gets wobbly... im just so worried. Please any advice would help.

Mona on January 28, 2017:

Hi Adrienne, thank you so so much for your help! My dog has started responding to the treatment, and is on the mend. I can hardly believe it. Thanks for all the information you have shared, it was very helpful!!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 19, 2017:

Mona, I am so sorry your dog is going through this. I hope he recovers. My dog had it for 3 days, but was already getting better by day 2. I suggest you consult with your vet or see a veterinary internist for more help. Ask your vet if your dog can be fed by stomach feeding tube if he is not interested in food right now.

Mona on January 18, 2017:

Hi, my nine month old golden retriever has contracted HGE. He has not eaten in 4 days, is vomiting and has horrible bloody diarrhoea. He has been receiving IV fluids and antibiotics for 3 days now but there is no improvement. He has lost weight and is extremely lethargic. Is it normal for HGE to last this long? Can you tell me the probability of a 9 month old puppy pulling through after being off food for 4-5 days? He is a very happy, healthy and resilient puppy, fully vaccinated and never had any health problems. I'm terribly worried and upset. He is my whole life and I really want him to get better quickly. Please help me. Thank you

Miss natasha hindson on January 10, 2017:

Hi my 2 year old staffie as got the runs and been sick he is allright in his self . His sick is just yellow vile this ad bern going on since this morning any suggestion what to give him ples

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 04, 2015:

I am very sorry to hear about your dog. Any way your aunt can get him seen sooner? Time is of the essence here and it can make a difference on the outcome. Gastroenteritis is only one of the many possibilities, it can be a blockage, a mass in the stomach, pancreatitis, and so much more. Psychological problem is highly unlikely to cause repeated vomiting as such unless he's gone through severe stress but usually the lack of appetite is short-lived. Here are some tips to watch for to check for signs of dehydration. I really hope your dog can pull through this, but a vet should be seen ASAP. Best wishes.

Leah on April 04, 2015:

My auntie's dog might die. :'(

He's going to go to the vet on Wednesday so that my auntie can get some advice on what to do with him... if he'll pull through with some treatment- he was getting better, not being sick and not pooing so much and eating, but now he can hardly keep his food down :( - or if it'd be kinder to just- you know... :'(

We all love him so much and when she first got him we had no idea that we'd care about him so much... but now that he's actually sick and might not get better...

Whenever someone came into her house (my uncle, or my cousins) and closed the door, he always used to run upstairs... he did that, but he was so weak that he fell down a couple of steps... My auntie told my mum that he wasn't getting better yesterday, and then my mum told me... but that little bit she added made me cry even more.

My mum said that if he does leave us, we might get a dog, but she said she didn't know if my auntie would get another one...

He's got gastro-enteritis. I was born premature (three months), and I had it. I'm so glad I can't remember it. I don't even want to know what sort of pain he's in...

He's only eight. He's just starting to get grey fur on his muzzle. He can't die... I know it might be the best thing for him, but... he just [i]can't[/i]... :'(

I'm not a Christian, or any sort of religious person, but I'm going to pray for him every night until Wednesday. Please, God...

If he's going to go, I need to see him... to say goodbye to him.

He used to run up to me when I came to visit him, and jump up, and lick me...

The reason he isn't eating isn't just due to his sickness... my auntie thinks that it's a psychological problem as well, since he started eating and getting better, but got sick again and stopped.

I feel like crying every time I think about him, and reading these comments hasn't helped...

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 05, 2014:

This is difficult to say, did your vets find an underlying cause for it? Your vet would be the best person to ask. I would call him/her and ask for an update and talk about your concerns. When my pup had gastro-enteritis, he was hospitalized for 2 days and on the 3rd he was discharged. He bounced back very quickly from acting lethargic the . The cause in the case of my pup was unknown.

Chloe on December 05, 2014:

My 11 month old puppy was diagnosed with gastro this afternoon but we realized that she wasn't herself yesterday afternoon. He is on anti biotics but is not eating or drinking much. Will she be fine

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 10, 2014:

So sorry to hear that, sending deep condolences.

Sarah on September 10, 2014:

My 13 week old Yorkie cross died this morning at the vets, she was fine the very sudden sickness and diarrhoea the vets were treating her but she had a heart attack. RIP baby Lola xxx

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 01, 2014:

This is very hard to say, did your vets find an underlying cause for it? Your vet would be the best person to ask. I would call him/her and provide an update and talk about your concerns. When my pup had HGE, he was hospitalized for 2 days and on the 3rd he was discharged. He bounced back very quickly from acting lethargic the first days being force-fed, but then again, this was a puppy. The cause in the case of my pup was unknown.

Momof2 on September 01, 2014:

Our 12-year-old Maltipoo, Howie, was diagnosed with HGE 2 days ago. He had been vomiting for 12 hours, and was becoming very weak (no witnessed diarrhea). We took him to the vet and was diagnosed after his bloodwork came back with a very high hematocrit. They kept him overnight and hydrated him aggressively and antibiotics started. We picked him up the following morning. We brought him home yesterday, but he is still extremely weak. We have to carry him outside to potty. He has no interest in food or water, although we have been able to force water and a small amount of boiled chicken breast. How long can it take for a senior dog to recover from this, or is this more than his old body can handle?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 09, 2012:

I have seen dogs recover and never get it again. As in my case, my Rottweiler got it as a puppy and never got it again and he is turning five in the fall. There are exceptions though as in the case of forms of gastro-enteritis affecting particular breeds on a hereditary basis. What breed is your puppy?

Yashveer on July 09, 2012:

My puppy, Poppy, is infected by this terrible disease of 'gastro enteritis' and is having all the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The vets are taking good care of him; still I cannot rest assured. I heard many persons saying that once the dog inherits this disease, it becomes almost impossible to save him. I am doing my best but I am still kind of scared. :/

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 16, 2012:

Sorry to hear that, sometimes it does affect them very quickly and things can go downhill vet fast.

Liz on April 16, 2012:

Just lost our 10 week old puppy to gastro. She was fine last night running after my daughter trying to nip her heels then just after bedtime she vomited and had a but of diahrea so I was going to take her to the vet first thing. about 3 hours later she was listless and moaning in pain. I rushed her to the emergency vet and they did all they could, unfortunately we were too late. I wish I had taken her right away I was a fool to wait and we paid the price. We love you Lilly, 6 days was not enough time with you. Please learn from my mistake, every second counts.

Dr srinivas on March 08, 2012:

dont giwe a watewr atlist too or tree day's

and onathar food. and antibaotics

(cefalaxin with sulbactum)





thi's is the precvensy treatment GIVE TREE OR FORE DAY'S

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 29, 2012:

I am so sorry to hear that Aly, my deepest condolences. You did all you could. Again so sorry.

Aly on February 29, 2012:

My Blue passed away today so sad about to bust out in tears Thank u alexadry for your support

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 29, 2012:

I hope all goes well,parvo and HGE are both scary conditions,best wishes

Aly on February 28, 2012:

My baby Blue is going to the vet in the morning but so worried I will lose him over night I think he has HGE or parvo he has all the symptoms. Except vomiting I love him so much hope he is OK I love baby Blue so much hope he does not leave me XXXXX :(

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 28, 2012:

Gastro can affect dogs of any age, sounds like he is in good hands, will keep him in my prayers,best wishes

Anon on February 28, 2012:

My dog westie has just been rushed into hospital he was vomiting,diearia with blood init and shaking alot but my dog is 4 years old all your dogs seem to be puppies so im just wondering what will happen to mine im currently on the waiting game he is on iv fluids and antibiotics but vet said he is very depressed i cant help thinking im going to lose him he hasn't eaten for almost a week hes mine and my childrens life dont know what we will do if we loose him

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 11, 2012:

It's not that the shots can give the illness, it's that shots are not 100% effective.

anon on February 11, 2012:

I am so sorry to read about your stories. I got a 2 yr pound dog,with shots,and 5 days later sick with stinky

parvo ( I ran to the vet) the vet informed me 'its parvo2 a new form,it tests neg. she said this is EPIDEMIC.HE had bouts of this gastro stuff,almost weekly

I had spent weeks,shampoo rugs,hand feeding,guarding his health. he prob had a slim future,,he was 5 pounds underweight.6 months later,every single month he got sick,barfed, was so sad..he did not pass from this,but I wanted to share this gastro can be associate with PARVO. FUNNY,my other dog,never got parvo or other shots,i just got her 3 in 1 and she got sick. shots can make,give them illness. please do your research.

tibetan mastiff on December 13, 2011:

Hey alexandry, u r doin a wonderful job, ma dog showed a Lil sign of gastro and I rushed him to the vet. He is doin a lil good nw. I hope he recovers completely. Thanx.

anoushks on November 24, 2011:

hi alexadry, u r doing a g8 job by helping many people & dogs all around the world( im from mauritius). Keep it up ..... GOD BLESS U.......

Shantanu on November 12, 2011:

I'm treating my dog (7 month old)for gastro. The initial symptoms included sudden loss of appetite, lethargy & Vomitting. On the second day he was drinking lots of water . He would then vomit it back which included a thick foam. The vet diagnosed him of Gastro (CPV). The treatment is still on to the 4th day. The vet is giving him IV Saline and shots to curb his vomitting. I hope he is well by the 5th day and makes a full recovery.

Condolences to those who lost their puppies to this fetal disease.

Point to learn: Do not ignore an odd behavior by your dog. Early diagnosis is a life saver.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 10, 2011:

I am so sorry to hear that. Sending you my deepest condolences.

anoushka on November 09, 2011:

actually my baby simba has gone the day before yesterday. He died in my arms,i was trying to cheer him up but his little body could'nt endure all this suffering as he had gone off food 4 5 days already. life seems very empty without him, everyone at home is very sad. All i wish now 4 my buddy is that wherever he is, he lives in peace widout any suffering & i hope zat we wii meet again someday........ i want to tell him once again zat we love him a lot & we miss him loads............

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2011:

anoushka, this condition can put a bad toll on the healthiest of dogs, it is hard to say if your pup will survive, if you have doubts on this vet take him to another one, maybe he needs aggressive treatment and another vet may be more open to giving it a try. I have seen vets give up and other vets try hard and the dog survived. I do not want to create false hopes, just posting alternatives. Some people try to treat at home but I believe vet care is detrimental in treating HGE. My hub on diarrhea offers some home remedies for minor tummy aches but a condition as serious as HGE requires serious vet care.

anoushka on November 07, 2011:

my 3 months old labrador is suffering from gastro since the last 4 days. We took him to the vet on the first day itself as he was showing symptoms the night before & even before giving treatment the vet said that my puppy will die.Is that true? Is there any home remedies as he has gone to the toilet thrice since yesterday and there was blood in his stools?

Dave on November 06, 2011:

My dads dog had bloody diarrhoea and he put it down to him eating something as he was always chewing toys. He kept an eye on him and he seemed to improve but then he found him underneath the bed lethargic and cold. Unfortunately it was too late and he passed away in my dads arms. He was a healthy fully vaccinated dog who suddenly got hge :(

Jamie on September 18, 2011:

Thankfully, my puppy is home and getting better. I was able to pick him up 3 days after having dropped him off. He is on 4 different medications. They have me feeding him canned food and boiled chicken. He seems to be very hungry, but I'm trying to gradually get him back up to his normal amount.

My vet bill was $988 in Louisiana, so its not a cheap condition to treat, luckily, I was prepared for it to cost me that much.

Unfortunately, we have no idea what caused him to get HGE, but I'm taking several precautions.

Best of luck to everyone with animals that they have had to treat for HGE. Get your pups treatment asap!

Jane on September 14, 2011:

I had never heard of HGE until 2 days ago. My beautiful boy Winston who was fine the night before, now in the morning seemed quite listless. On his morning walk he took ages to go to the toilet and upon return he just laid down quite worn out. I decided to leave a note for my daughter to have her take him to the vet. I noticed he kept rushing outside - followed him and noticed he was going to the toilet again. Had a look at his bottom, what a mess it was so sore and he had bloody faeces stuck to his fur (he is a spoodle, so fur is very long and thick). I immediately decided to take him to the vet. So glad I did as after giving him all the tests she said he had HGE which if not treated promptly is fatal. He was put on an iv drip and monitored for the next 24 hours at the vets - I rang the next morning to see how he was, and whether I could pick him up - couldn't because he wasn't eating. However, they rang later and said even tho he hadn't eaten, he was bright and alert and that perhaps he would eat at home. I picked him up and gave him boiled chicken and rice, which he scoffed back very quickly. He is on antibiotics and a topical cream for his backside which is very sore. Other than that he seems to be back to his normal self.

Lucky for us we have pet insurance so wasn't really concerned - We have to go back in a week's time for a check up - so all up I expect it will be in the AUD 700 range.

Thankfully my vet was on the ball and knew about HGE, apparently a lot of vets are not aware. After reading about HGE, I am just so thankful I took Winston for treatment straight away ........

Jamie on September 14, 2011:

Yesterday, my boyfriend came home from work and informed me that my dog (115 lbs, 2.5 year old lab/american bulldog mix) had vomitted all over the house. By the time I got home an hour later, he had cleaned everything up. My dog looked weaked, but was still happy go-lucky to see me when I got home. I took him for a walk; he threw up 3 times and had bloody stool. I panicked. My first thought was, I had dusted the yard the day before with ant killer, and it had poisioned him. I called an animal poision control center for them to tell me that he would have had to ingest the whole can for it to affect him. I called the ER vet and brought him in immediately. The first blood test they ran, they told me his enzymes in his pancreas were elevated, so they thought he had pancreatitis. When I touched base with the vet this afternoon, they told me that they were treating him for HGE; and they didn't really give me specifics on the condition. I have no idea what made them change the diagnosis or how bad HGE could be until I did internet research. They told me he hadn't thrown up since last night, but he was still having bloody stool. He was on fluids and something to make him stop throwing up. They said they were going to try feeding him this afternoon. That's last the last I've heard.

I'm really lost and don't know what to do. I feel like I don't even know what questions to ask the vet. I don't have a clue how much all of this is costing me. I'm not sure how to figure out how he's really doing or what's going on with him. I miss my puppy. :'(

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 24, 2011:

Sandie, I hope all goes well and your dog recovers, sending best wishes your way..

Sandie on May 23, 2011:

My dog started looking listless 2 days ago. Took Him to the vet today after x-rays they gave him antibiotics, pepcid ac something to coat his stomach along with an IV to help him with dehydration. He isn't looking very good. Today was hard on him. I pray for a fast recovery. Doc said stay away from people food...forever.

ashley on May 16, 2011:

my dog was just diagnosed with this condition today. it started yesterday night. i noticed tht he was acting realy sad like and walking very slow. he ate very little off my palm and tht was it. we took him this morning and the vet just gave us 2 meds.he also gave him an anti diahrea shot and a anti vomitting shot so those have stopped im not sure if its enough tho. hes just laying there, he wont move not even pick up his head. i realy think its to much 4 his little body and i think he just might not make happened so quickly just overnight! if your dog is like this please take him to the vet right away!!!

jamie skinner on January 14, 2011:

Little archie has pulled through. Its been a really long week but archie is getting picked up 2 day. No more vomiting or diahrea and hes started eating :)

jamie skinner on January 13, 2011:

My 10 week old male hunterway pup was rushed into intensive care monday night. The vets phoned me last night and said they didn't think little archie was going to make it through the night. He goes from being playfull to completely detirated in hours. I phoned the vets first thing this morning and little archie is still here. Such a little fighter. How long can this go on for?

Zulu on January 05, 2011:

My 2 Rottweilers got at the same a gastro ... Thank

God the vet is excellent, he "bombed" them With

Everything, as soon as he got the blood work

Done. Since Monday, one is doing ok, the other

One is doing just a little better. it s a 5 day check in

At the vet, only on the 5th day after symptoms we ll

Know if they'll be saved. There are vaccines for gastro

Ask your vet for a vaccine program . From Casablanca morocco

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 02, 2011:

When my Rottie got gastro-enteritis his emergency vets were ''clue-less'' as to what may have caused it. This was very disappointing to me, I could not know what to do to prevent any future bouts! Very frustrating!

goldencopper on January 01, 2011:

My Golden is four years old, and this is his third bout with Gastroenteritis. Each visit costing over a thousand! Would love to find out what causes it, to avoid the next episode. Someone told me that goldens don't do well with high end dog food (vet perventative) I'm thinking of switching him to Costco's Kirkland dog food - first ingredient is chicken, no cornmeal in ingredients. Any advice would be welcomed.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 25, 2010:

Some dogs bounce back from it others take more time and some do not make it... if you are concerned have him hospitalized and put an IV line.. it will cost a lot but it may heighten the chances of recovery.. best wishes

Kimberley on December 25, 2010:

Hi, we got a 7 week old German Shepherd 10 days ago. 2 days ago we brought him to the vets for his first shots. since then he has been off his food, not drinking anything and moaning in pain. i phoned the vet the night he got the shots and the vet said leave him be and hell come around. he got worse yesterday and i brought him back to the vet. he was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. The vet gave us antibiotics but he is still very weak and has become almost skin and bone. why is he not getting better :(

CHANDREY on December 21, 2010:


Its so great to hear your stories. My three month old ajck russel died last night from what the vet's said is Gastri but I am positive it was Parvo r cat fever. I took him to the vet as soon as he started vomiting, they diagnosed gastro and gave him the meds. The next day he was fine but then he just got worse, vomiting and having diahrea and not movingg. Itw as so pianful to see him like that. I am terribly sad and I feel like he was taken from us so suddenly. I will pray for your pups and do hope they get better.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 23, 2010:

it can be worrisome, especially when there are no signs of improvement, some bounce back others unfortunately do not. Has your vet tried antibiotics yet? sending best wishes your way and keeping your little fellow in my prayers..

Bachi Luver on November 21, 2010:

My little Bachi has been sick for 2 days. Started vomiting 2 days ago, and after seeing the local vet and complaining about his symptoms of vomiting and him being lethargic, the vet injected some fluids in him and some anti nausea and also paraffin oil. My bachi didn't get better, and actual looked more lethargic, and also was not drinking, nor eating so my partner and I decided to bring him to the vet hospital. They have done xrays and there has been signs of gas, but from the 2 xrays doesn't really show a any obstrutction. My dog has not eaten, and he is on IV and on anti nausea meds. So at this moment its wait and see, until tommorrow. It could be gastrointeritis. But it really is like torture waiting. Reading some of the comments is really scaring me.

Love my Pugs on August 13, 2010:

Our 7 year old black pug has this very horriable problem. We have been through the ringer on this. We where on vacation at my in-laws. Lucky woke up 9 days ago growling which this dog has never growled a day in his life. We rushed him to the nearest vet which was in Canada, after a x-ray that showed a big "gas bubble" as the vet said, he said the good news was he didn't have anything that the blood work showed up. He said he must have pulled a muscle and handed me a bottle of pain meds and charged me 700.00 for less then an hour of testing. Drove back to my in-laws and 2 days later after being bit trying to separate him and other male we got on the road to get him to our regular vet. After a 17 hour drive to get him there, they found his blood count was elavated which could mean he had this along with the xray. 1/2 later we had the news he had this. After a night in the hospital he was doing good. Picked him up, drove the 210 miles home and we are back to "Coojo"! They have him on the antibiotic, Metronidazole, and they just started him on the steriods yesterday as the pain meds where not cutting it. Has anyone had a dog get this aggressive when in this kind of pain, he groins when you touch his stomach but they said because the vet in Canada did not catch it he has a very accute case. This pug is as sweet as the day is long and can't stand to see him in pain. Any advise? We are suppose to take him back in 7 days for a follow up and the vet calls us everyday. Prayers to all that are going through this.

RoseGardenAdvice from San Francisco on August 10, 2010:

Thanks so much for the comprehensive info on gastro-enteritis in dogs. You've made it easy to identify the symptoms and when to rush to the vet. Very nice hub.

Paul on July 26, 2010:

My dog has this I suspect. I am going to try her on some small portions of rice with maybe some chicken or boiled egg. Thank you for your in depth explantion. My only question would be how long would you let the symptoms (non bloody) persist before seeking the advice of a vet?

Many thanks


dee on July 24, 2010:

ugh, this was the absolute worst feeling in the world to see my puppy go through this. She was fine the day before and then the next she collapsed in our arms like she was dying. She seems to be doing better now, the vet has her on a gastro diet, and some other various medications for a couple of weeks.

nikki on June 02, 2010:

i had a German shepherd, 6 weeks old and was diagnosed with gastro by the vet.

the puppy was being treated for 3 days with saline and antibiotics but showed only little improvement. On the 4th day the puupy died on the vets table while taking saline, almost oout of the blue as we all infact were expecting a recovery in his health. The morning he died we found some worms in his stool.

I know that gastro can be lethal but my puppy was doing better and in fact used to walk around the house a bit [even though he was not taking in any water or food]. It really is a mystery as to how a puppy can die all of a sudden on the vets table while taking saline when in fact he was improving. Can anyone please comment on the diagnosis/treatment as I really doubt that the vet gravely mistaken somewhere in treating my chap.

sam on March 26, 2010:

my husky puppy 6 months old got this, he was fine 1 min and 3 hours later he seemed so unwell..we took him 2 the vets and he was given some shots and antibiotics...told 2 come back the nxt day...he was worse and now didn't want 2 get up off the floor..he was exrayed and full of gas he wouldn't eat or drink he was kept at the vets for 2 days on a drip and had 2 have an operation 2 rule out a blockage..during which the vet found that in accute pain his intestines had twisted... he is home now and hopefully on the mend still on meds..he was so ill and im just thankfull we acting so quickly...our vets were brilliant and still keeping a close eye on him....ended up costing a small fortune..he was on a diet of boiled chicken with carrot and potatoe,given 2 him like a soup,bio yog,even cottage cheese, all recommended by the vet and 1 week on seems 2 b doing so well........he had a v bad case of gastro, which could have been fatal...1 week on he seems 2 be doing fine...fingers crossed...

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 14, 2010:

Very hard to say, each dog is different, it all depends on how early this condition was treated, how strong the dog's immunity is and other factors..I really hope the best, she is being taken care of and sounds in good hands..

Justin on March 12, 2010:

My little Maltese shitzu got gastro shes 9 weeks old she has only been at our house for 4 days and 2 days at the vet, she is lethargic and has lost weight, she is on fluids and a catheda do u reckon she will pull through?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 30, 2009:

So sorry to hear that as well... my deepest condolescences

nellie on August 30, 2009:

I am so sorry for your loss Gemma. Our thoughts are with you & your family.

Rest in Peace Little One xxx.

Gemma on August 30, 2009:

Just to let you know my darling boy Reuben passed away today. We had him fir just 48 hours after having him from an animal rescue centre. I can't believe I could love something so quickly. This time last week we were so excited as we were picking him up, in less than a week we had him & lost him. That little boy will never know how many hearts he touched in such a short time. We will love & miss you forever Rubes, too special to ever forget. Love you, RIP my darling boy x x x x x x

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 28, 2009:

Parvo is a terrible disease :( I really hope the best for this little fellow, hope is never lost, sometimes they get really bad before bouncing back, will surely keep him in my prayers.

Gemma on August 28, 2009:

Hi my little boy showed signs of improvement but last night was collapsing again. One minute he'd stand up looking fine the next he'd collapse. He was continuing to bring up bile but diarhea had stopped, this morning it started bk up & parvo has been confirmed. When I went to see him he didn't even lift his head. Please pray for him, I love my little boy but can't help thinking I'm losing him :-( x

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 26, 2009:

Gosh, the wait is truly terrible...Poor little fellow, going through so much...Could be Parvo if the other dog had it too. He is in good hands at the vets, I am sure they will do their best to save him, the rest is really in God's hands. He is in my thoughts and prayers. My very best wishes. Keep bringing updates if you wish...

Gemma on August 26, 2009:

I rescued a puppy 2 days ago, he's now in the vets with ?Parvo. Whether its this or gastro I sit here crying yet praying he pulls through. He was placed in rescue at 8 weeks & has already been through so much. The rescue said another dog there brought from the pound has the same. My boy has had his injections but I'm so scared I'm too late. He wasn't showing signs of dehydration from the skin test but has everything else. I just want him to be ok and home cuddling :-( I'm in for a long night, please pray for him. Love you my little boy x x x

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 12, 2009:

Well good to hear! He sure sounds like a fighter! I think it is quite normal the small amount of poops since he very likely has not been eating much. His puppy like behavior is a great sign. As long as he is eating, drinking and his poops are solid it sounds like he is on his way to recovery! thanks for the update!

nellie on August 12, 2009:

Jaedun has been keeping the chicken down so after another check up he is also having a teaspoon of boiled rice.

His poop (only 2 since coming home) is forming which is a good sign. The other good news is he is behaving more 'puppy like'. Still very sleepy but the vet tells me that is good as pups need their sleep & with all Jaedun has been going through he probably needs a little more.

Keep hoping he won't relapse, off again tomorrow for another check up with our vet.

Feel more positive reading that your puppy is doing well after nearly 2 years.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 10, 2009:

That's great news!thanks for the update. Make sure to give the boiled chicken very slowly as eating too fast mat trigger vomiting. I hope his stools are solid by now. When my dog was diagnosed, his Parvo test came back negative, he came negative as well for coccidia so their next diagnosis was gatro-enteritis. However, they were never able to determine what caused it in the very first place. That was frustrating because I did not know what to do to prevent it from happening again.

However, my dog Kaiser is almost two now and luckily he never got sick like that time so far.

nellie on August 10, 2009:

Jaedun was quite active this morning & looking a little better so the vet started him on small feeds. Only a teaspoon of fresh, cooled, boiled chicken breast. As Jaedun manged to keep 3 feeds down, without vomiting the vet has discharged him to home care.

I am to continue with the chicken feed every 2 hours. Monitor his stools (disinfect area where he has pooped) & keep him calm.

They would like me to take Jaedun for a check-up tomorrow. The vet has not as yet diagnosed him with a particular condition but an autopsy is planned for one of the other pups so that may help my puppy. Meanwhile I am to continue with after care & a course of anttibiotics.

He has had a feed & is now resting. So pleased he his home but is still an ill little boy.

Parvo is crossing my mind too... but the test was inconclusive, they say that was because he had his primary vaccination only a week ago.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 09, 2009:

Over night monitoring is good. Just wondering if they ever ran a Parvo test on him? The reason I am asking is because it sounds like something viral may be going on since all the litter got affected and because the symptoms may be similar. Your breeder seems honest. My breeder stopped answering my phone calls once she heard about him getting sick. In any case, keeping my fingers crossed that he will be well soon and good to return home with you soon. I know how nerve wrecking the wait can be..

nellie on August 09, 2009:

I appreciate being able to talk to others who have been though the same situation. I'm going out of my mind waiting on news.

Jaedun, my puppy is in a hospital with overnight monitoring. Either I call or the vet calls me each morning & evening with updates. I live only a 15 minute drive away from the veterinary hospital which means I am able to visit him each day. The staff are taking good care of Jaedun & I feel they are doing the best for him.

I spoke to the breeder on Friday to ask if the remaining puppies were unwell. At that time all were fine. Today I have spoken to the breeder & the other 4 males in the litter came down with similar symptoms & have passed away. The female, I am told seems to be fine.

All this bad news makes me all the more concerned for my 'Mini-Man'. None of us can understand why this has happened.

The thing is my puppy is having veterinary care, the 4 males did not & the breeder is caring for the female at home. If they have lost 4 I can't understand why they would not hospitalize her???

Latest update on Jaedun - He has started to walk around his enclosure & has taken a drink of water. The vet is pleased with Jaedun's progress but has made it quite clear this does not mean he will necessarily recover.

Heartbreaking as it is, I appreciate their honesty.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 08, 2009:

Well it takes time to realize what is really going on. My dog Kaiser got it the same day I picked him up from the breeder. It was a Friday and it was odd.. on the way going home both him and his sister had diarrhea in the car. After ward they were having diarrhea all night. I thought it was from the stress of the car ride and being away from their home. I gave rice and chicken, Pepto Bismol, Gatorade, Nutrical.

His sister started getting better, but he was not responding to home treatments, so after vomiting, refusing food, skin test positive for beginning of dehydration and moaning from a tummy ache off to the emergency vet he went on Sunday. Then he bounced back one day later and the rest is history..

Yet I still have to understand what happened to both of them that time. They were on the same food the breeder gave us. I called the breeder and they said they were fine before that. And they did seem fine until they started getting sick in the car... go figure. I wonder if stress plays a major role here. As I couldn't find any other pattern..

Its hard to tell how your dog is going to respond to treatment, unfortunately it is all a frustrating ''wait and see'' ordeal. Try to get the most updates you can from the vet. See if he can be sent to a place where he is monitored in the night. My best wishes, keep me updated if you wish..

nellie on August 08, 2009:

I picked up my puppy only last Monday. He was fine, Tuesday fine also,playful as a puppy should be. Wednesday he started vomiting & was not eating. I took him to the vet Friday. He is with them now, no change in his condition. He has Gastro. I feel so bad that I didn't take him in sooner, just thought he was a little off with all the stress of new home etc. I have 4 other dogs, fostered 13 others in my time... so thought I was doing the right thing letting him rest.

My poor tiny 'Mini Man', I feel so bad it's all my fault I didn't realise sooner.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 30, 2009:

This is hard to say.. is he currently at the vet? mine was hospitalized two days. he went from almost dying to normal within 24 hours. It really depends on how strong this pup is and if aggressive treatment is started... mine was pretty bad when I took him in, he was vomiting everything and laying down in pain and moaning. I wish he recovers well just as mine did... sending my best wishes your way keep me posted if you wish, if he is at home with you I can offer some home remedies but many times all that can be done is keep off food and wait..

carole on July 30, 2009:

i just got a German Shephard puppy 6 days ago, hes only 7wks old, i got him wormed and got his 1st set of jags, he had lots of worms and wasn't feeling to great, he went off his food, i put it down to him just having the worms, i got up this morning to find my puppy in so much pain, i took him to the vets and have just been told he has gastro-enteritis, i am so worried about my wee man as i have been told he can die from this, he has been ill for the past few days, i hope i have caught this before it has gotten to bad, does he have a high chance of getting over this or have i left it to late,,,,,,

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 03, 2009:

I am so sorry to hear that. Was hoping for a turn of events. My deepest condolescences. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Lisa Collier on July 03, 2009:

I lost my dog the day with it. I took him to the vets soon as he starting vomiting and not eating and they said its just a stomack bug but i new there was something wrong with him. If that vet listened to me he would have been here the day still. Just watch out this diease could also cause kidney failure and lung failure thats what my wee pickles tutu had. He's gonna be so missed, Rest in peace baby pickles tutu.

laura on May 21, 2009:

I lost my precious Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy Leroy today. He would have been 5 mnths end of May. We took him to the vet as soon as he started vomitting, but after 5 days of not eating or drinking, being on drips and antibiotics and intense treatment, his little body just gave up. I will miss him terribly as he was with me 24/7. He even came to work with me. He will live on in my heart always and I just hope that he enjoyed his short little life and knew how much he was/is loved. Rest in peace my darling Leroy Brown, AKA "Fleaboy" (although he didn't have fleas!) We will meet again someday my beautiful boy!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 16, 2008:

My Rottweiler had a bout of gastro-enteritis as a puppy and we had to rush him to the vet as he was moaning in pain curled up and lethargic. He was unable to keep food down and he had diarrhea and then pure blood. $1300 dollars later after being put on IV fluids and antinausea meds he was back to normal after just half a day. It is amazing how quickly they seem to recover. They told me that it may come back sometimes but so far so go, 1 year later.

chrissy on November 15, 2008:

i found my rottweiler last night he had lost half his weight and looked emaciated he could barely stand up.

I rushed him to the vet and she diagnosed Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis he is doing fine now with the fluids and medication and she is just waiting for his appetite to come back now.

i took one day for him to get that bad and 10hrs later with veterinary help he is going to be ok i have no doubt if i had waited for the morning he would be dead.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 16, 2008:

Bless your heart for saving an abused dog! It is hard to say if this condition will repeat itself once adopted since the causes of gastro-entiritis are often unknown.

I can say that my pup never had it again. And the first bout occurred 10 months ago. He did have a couple of episodes of diarrhea but I was able to control it by giving some rice and immodium. I would highly suggest to get pet insurance that way you will be covered under any circumstance.

Susie on August 12, 2008:

I am adopting a dog with this condition. I can't actually adopt him until he has a clean bill of health. They will fix him before I take him, but will this condition come back? If so I may not get him. He was horriably abused the first year of his life. So thats the reason I want him so bad. His story is too sad to just let him sit in a shelter.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 06, 2008:

Thanks for posting. One of my puppies got a bout of gastro-enteritis and looked like he was dying. $1350.00 dollars later he was fine but I still fear this may happen again. This is a horrible condition, yes I hope dog owners take it seriously, thank you!

Nishant on July 05, 2008:

by reading whatever u've just put on here, it is clear for me why my dog had been so low. all the systems matched.

sadly, we noticed the symptoms a bit late and now, the disease, which is referred to as gastro here<India> reached a higher level, the blood loss was profound, he expired. He was put up in a hospital but, as may have guessed it, the apathetic conditions of the hospital here are less encouraging.

But I hope all the other dog-owners read this. this thing is rapidly spreading here! I recommend this to every dogowner, pls take it very seriously!