My Bulldog Archie has just come home from a couple of days in the doggie
ICU. Here’s what happened.
Sunday night he vomited – no I don’t think it was the Superbowl ads
This is not out of the ordinary in a dog’s life. But then he vomited again at 1am, 3am and 5am. This was not ordinary.
At first I thought he had ingested a foreign object – he does like to chew.
And dogs have a reflex at the back of the stomach that will make them
vomit up something that’s trying to move through to the intestines.
But there was nothing in his vomit. By morning he was clearly not feeling
well. He wouldn’t eat or drink and was lethargic. Definitely bad signs.
Knowing that dehydration can be life threatening for a dog, I gave him
some water by pouring it in his mouth.
I called my vet and took him in. There are some things that you just can’t
take care of at home. They did x-rays and didn’t see any objects in his
intestines but did see an enlarged area.
They said I could take him home and monitor him but because of the danger
of dehydration I decided to let them put him on an IV drip in the ICU.
Boy am I glad I did because they called that evening and said he had vomited
two more times and then overnight he started having bloody diarrhea.
Luckily his blood work was “perfect” except for a high blood protein level
consistent with dehydration.
The vomiting stopped but the diarrhea went on for the next day and then
he gradually started to improve.
They thought he had a condition called Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis HGE
which is a fancy name for bloody diarrhea from inflamed intestines.
Now he’s back home and resting (a lot) comfortably.
The lesson here is that if your dog vomits more than once and especially if
it’s accompanied by diarrhea and lethargy and no interest in food, it’s
imperative to get him to the vet immediately.
When a dog dehydrates (this also applies to overheating that can lead to
Heat Stroke) the blood starts to thicken and he goes into shock. The thick
blood will start to make small clots and lead to organ failure and death. If
this clotting starts it is irreversible.
If you want to read more about HGE, the Whole Dog Journal has a very good
article on it at this link:
Yes, it was expensive and I do have pet insurance which I’m hoping will
cover it. And yes, it could recur. But if I had waited a day to see if he would
get better he probably would have died. And that would have been tragic.