Monday, July 13, 2009

Ansel's Battle With HGE

Last Photo of Ansel
Ansel 2008
On Saturday morning, the 11th of July 2009, my wife came into our room and told me Ansel had diarrhea. This was not uncommon for her. In fact, I can't remember a week where she didn't have some sort of loose stool, or diarrhea. So I brushed it off and took no more notice. At 2pm I took Ansel for another walk down the street. She had diarrhea and this time it shot out in a very clear, watery consistency. I thought I saw a very thin layer of blood in it, but when I went to check it out, there didn't seem to be anything except a half eaten carrot. Again, nothing new. Later in the evening my wife and I left the house leaving her with my mom, who was visiting for the weekend. We came home about 11:30pm and Mom told me Ansel had been throwing up but that she had no more diarrhea. It's clearing up, we thought.

My wife and I decided to spend the night in the basement with Ansel so we could monitor her and take her outside if she needed to go to the bathroom, or throw up anymore. During the night she threw up on the floor a few times and each time there was undigested food in it. Again, we thought it was clearing up and she just needed to get it out of her system. She was wagging her tail and showing no signs of distress. We took her out at 2:30am and again at 4am and each time she seemed to be doing well. She was throwing up a little bit, but there wasn't anything else to be concerned about.

This is where it gets hard and I'm struggling to continue. At 6:30am my wife woke up and walked over to Ansel. She said, "Honey, Ansel isn't doing very well and there's blood on the floor". I could see her concern. I looked up and there was blood everywhere. On the rug, on the sliding doors and all over the floor. Ansel was very uncomfortable, moving and wiggling her body like there was something in her that was putting pressure on here body. She wasn't blinking and was making no noise. She was simply laying there, her head on her paws. Mom rushed downstairs and said she'd called the vet and they were expecting us.

I wrapped Ansel in a sheet and lifted her up. She was like dead weight and I started to panic. I put her in the car and her body was motionless, except for her breathing. She was still breathing. If she's still breathing, there's still a chance, I thought. I drove as fast as I could to the vet and my mother was telling me how strong her breathing was... this was good. I wrapped her up in my arms with the sheet and walked into the vets office. The vet looked at me, then looked at Ansel and said, "Oh that's not good." My heart sank. I put her down on the table and moved aside so the vet could look at her.

"I think she's gone." The vet said.

There's no words to describe how I felt when the vet said this to me.

"Her eyes are unresponsive. Her eyelids aren't closing. She's gone."

My mother jumped through the door and said, "Honey, tell her you love her, quick."

And I did just that. Streams of tears falling from my eyes. I saw her dried, dead eyes and nothing went through my mind except, "I can't believe this is happening."

They put Ansel onto a table and wheeled her away, telling me they would do what they could. A few minutes later the vet returned and said she was gone.

My first words were, "How the F is that possible? She was alive and doing great this morning and even a few hours ago. How is this possible?" In 24 hours she had gone from nearly perfect health, to being wheeled away from me forever. Dead.

The vet had no explanation except to tell me sometimes these things happen. Not to me. And not to my girl. We had saved her from going blind numerous times. In fact she did go blind when she was 1 1/2, her retinas detached and we were so quick to get her to a specialist that she regained her sight and had been in very good health for 7 years. We had removed benign growths, healed urinary infections, had a very successful cataract surgery a month ago and various other ailments. She'd always been fine in the end. What made this day different?

Well, for some reason on that Saturday morning Ansel had caught HGE. Had we taken her straight into the vet for an immediate IV of fluids and antibiotics she may have lived. For 24 hours I have beaten myself up, I have cried, I have told myself I would never forgive myself for not taking her in sooner. But the truth is, until yesterday, I had no idea HGE even existed. To me, she seemed like she had a stomach bug and she needed to get it out, like I have done so many times. When it's out, it's out and the bug is gone.

I cannot express to you how much I miss my Ansel. She was the sweetest, most affectionate dog on the planet. Akitas are not known for these traits, but with Ansel it was different. She didn't have a negative bone in her body. When I would come home from work, she would always be there to greet me. This is not just my loss, but the loss of many. She will be missed beyond belief. I just hope that her death opens the eyes of all the dog owners who read this. If you see blood in your dogs excrement, or in their vomit, go straight to the vet. Do not second guess yourself, or think you're being over protective. I wish I had taken that advice 48 hours ago. Dear God, I wish I had taken that advice.

Here's to you Ansel. I will love you for the rest of my life. You were the best. Get a stronger body next lifetime my darling. You deserve it.


  1. Without a doubt, Ansel will be greatly missed. She was the most well-mannered, best-dispositioned canine I have ever known. Her main duties were bringing love and happiness to others, which she did extremely well. And she absoutely adored to be petted. Many many fond memories with her. Bye Bye Ansel.

  2. I am sorry for your loss, and it is clear by your posting, that without Ansel, it will be a great loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I happened to find it while looking for recommendations for my very tiny toy poodle (5lbs) who thankfully just survived her battle with HGE. My heart aches for your and your wife, sincerely Nicole Hanlin

  3. My 6 year old German Shepard Shelby has just been diagnosed with HGE and is spending her first nite at the vet for treatment...He gave me high hopes of Shelby getting better, then when I got home I went online to see what she has exactly...I ran into this heart broke for you and the thought that Shelby may not make it through this has me sobbing at this computer. My thoughts are with you and if you happen to read this...say a prayer for my Shelbygirl.

  4. Joy,

    I think you have a very good chance of getting Shelby back in good shape. You obviously caught it in time. For Ansel it was much too late. By the time we got her to the vet she was gone.

    I am with you and Shelby and wish you both the best of luck!

    Please let me know what happens.


  5. I have just fallen onto your blog completely by accident I wanted to write my blog about the Burger Bar in NYC that my husband and I loved when we were there. I see you werent that impressed :)

    But I saw these wonderful photos of your beautiful dog and I am distressed to hear what happened. We love our dogs so much have three did have fourteen this summer for 8 weeks as my lab had ten pups anyhow I lost my dog this July, he was old but it was heart breaking. I just wanted to say what lovely photos and what a wonderful dog she looked.. its an awful time.

    Regards Ruth

    Pup pics on my blog "Something to Make you say AHhh"

  6. It is heart breaking to see your pet go through this...and all of us have to at one point.This is the saddest bit of owning a pet really.

  7. Tears are rolling down my face as I read this! I am so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel. It sounds like you loved you dog as much as I love mine (like my own child). I found your blog as I searched for more info on HGE. Yesterday morning I woke to almost the exact same scene you described. My 2 year old pomeranian was vomiting the night before and we thought she just ate something that didn't agree with her. I slept on the couch with her just to monitor her and awoke to blood everywhere. I rushed her to the emergency vet and he said she has HGE. An IV was started and today she is still in the hospital, but looking better. The thought of loosing her to something so quick has haunted my thoughts all night and day. Here is the important part I think is important to share in case anyone is reading this and has a dog. We had let both our dogs chew on a ham bone left over from New Year's dinner. The vet told us that he sees a huge rise in HGE durring the holidays from dogs eating on ham bones! No more bones will ever be given to either of our dogs again.

  8. Angie and David,

    Thank you so much for sharing your information with us. I'm very happy that you were so quick responding to your dog's condition and that she is ok.

    Best wishes,

  9. I don't know you but my heart is breaking for you and your gorgeous, sweet Ansel. I am so sorry about your terrible loss.

    My very much loved 1 1/2 y.o. Standard Poodle just had an HGE attack few days ago. She was perfectly healthy and happy, and I'm 100% certain that she had not eaten any bones or garbage - and next morning, completely out of the blue, she had really bad bright red bloody diarrhea. I had no idea what was wrong with her but luckily my maternal instinct kicked in, and without stopping to think I rushed her to the vet. The vet told me that I had brought her in right in time, and she'll make a full recovery. After a full day of getting fluids and antibiotics via IV at the hospital, antibiotics for 10 additional days, fasting for 2 days and now eating only steamed skinless potatoes and steamed tilapia for several more days, she is indeed doing well and one would never guess that she was so close to death just 4 days ago.

    Like you, I had never even heard about HGE. Or perhaps I just didn't pay any attention to whatever info is out there since it's supposedly mainly small dogs' problem... I wish HGE was as widely talked about as bloat, so people would recognize the symptoms and know that time is indeed extremely crucial, and that big dogs like Akitas, German Shepherds and Standard Poodles get it too.

    Thank you for sharing the story of Ansel. She was lucky to have such a loving and caring family, and you are lucky to have had the love of this very special Akita.

    My very best wishes to you and your family.

  10. I came across your blog in my search for info on this horror. My special needs pekingese is in the hospital right now for this condition which "attacked", seemingly out of nowhere, yesterday afternoon. I rushed her to the Vet last night.
    Since she's so compromised with many health problems to begin with (a puppymill survivor), we aren't out of the woods yet.
    My heart breaks for what you went through.

  11. Jo...
    I too came across your blog while searching about HGE. Our 7yr old Golden Retriever was diagnosed Canine Lymphoma in December 2009. He is currently on chemotherapy (Madison-Wisconsin Protocol) for 6 weeks, and was doing great with all the agents until last night. He has loss appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and this morning we took him to the Vet, and staying overnight while receiving Antiobotics and IV for HGE.

    It's definite that you and your family loved, cared for her unconditionally, and she was blessed to love you and your family the same way. We will continue to do whatever we can for our Golden Retriever, provide him an awesome quality of life since he is LOML (Love of My Life). God Bless you and thank you for sharing your story.

  12. i feel for you in my case i got to the vet within an hour and a half and my puppy passed away i only got 2 years with him

  13. I came across your blog tonight as I was sitting here thinking of my own dog and trying to find more information about HGE. My loving, furry friend of 12 years passed away a few days ago of the same disease and I'm distraught over it. After vomiting several times, we took her to the vet where we were told to admit her overnight and she would be fine with treatment. The vet had never lost a dog to HGE yet. Maybe it was age, or the severity of the disease, but when I got to the vet to check on her the next morning, she was doing very poorly. I sat with her and held her for 4 hours, hoping she was going to get better, only to watch her slowly get worse and eventually, slip past the point of recovery. The past few days have been the most difficult of my life. Like you, I see my friend in every corner of the house, when I wake in the morning, when I come home and her little face is not resting on the window sill waiting for me, and especially at night when I am vacuuming the dinner crumbs from under the table (something I havent had to do in 12 years). I wish I would have read your blog sooner. Maybe I would have taken my baby in just 30 minutes earlier, but it seemed so ordinary. Just a bout of nausea from eating something she shouldnt have. And it happened SOOOO fast. How could I have lost her within 36 hours of the first vomit? Anyways, I wanted to let you know it was comforting to find that someone else out their loved their pet as much as I loved mine, and that its not so abnormal to mourn them as I am for Harper. I try to tell myself that she knew how much I loved her and that she had a great life because I rescued her (she followed me home one day my junior year in college). I hope you do the same when you think of Ansel. Her pictures portray a beautiful, happy and well loved animal.

  14. I know this is a year old, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about your Akita (I love Akitas)

    Last night my Beautiful 3 year old Shih Tzu mix, Dojo, became very ill out of nowhere. he was fine one minute... then he started with a slight cough. I assumed he swallowed water the wrong way.

    About 20 minutes later he started vomiting the food he ate a few hours prior. That was unusual for him. Sometimes he'd vomit yellow foam... but never food, and he usually only vomited once or twice. In a course of 20 minutes he had vomited 12 times.

    The vomit went from food to mucus (not bile). So I called an emergency vet who told me to let him get it out because he may have injested something... but if he still had problems call her back. (it was after hours.)

    He couldn't get comfortable. He'd lay down then get up, lay down, then get up. Finally he puked again and this time it was blood. Panicking I called the vet immediately again and she told me to meet her at the clinic.

    She ran X-rays, ran blood and took his temp and found nothing unusual except a high Hematocrit (He was in the high 60s and normal is between 35 and 55 at highest)

    She diagnosed him with Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis. She kept him overnight on IV fluids, potassium and antibiotics. I was bawling almost the entire time he was gone.

    The next morning his Hematocrits were in the normal range and his kennel was vomit free meaning he did not have any more inncodents of vomiting the rest of the night, so he was allowed to come home. He hasn't had any vomiting episodes since... but I still worry.

    He's very tired, doesn't have much of an appetite... but he's more alert than he was last night, and he can sleep comfortably. I'm hoping he'll show more improvement tomorrow.

    The bad thing: This disease CAN reoccur. problem about that is, it could be tomorrow, it could be 5 years from now. Some dogs never have a reoccurance. You just never know. So now whenever he vomits (which, again, was never unusual for him to vomit bile...) I'll always panic that its a reoccurance.

    The good news... now that he's been diagnosed with it... I can call the vet and tell them to take his blood and do X-rays to see if it's a reoccurance, and get him on treatment immediately. What saved Dojo is he got sick at 9pm and by 11pm he was at the vet. Had I waited till morning, I don't think he'd have survived. He was so sick he looked at me with these bloodshot eyes, pleadingly. I still shudder even thinking of what could have happened to my baby. I don't know what I'd have done without him. His sister, Yoshi, would have been devestated. She's very attached to him.

    Its a very scary disease. Now that I know my dog has it, I panic every day. He's my furkid and I don't know what I'd do without him.

    My heart goes out to everyone this disease has effected.

  15. I am very sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful dog. My miniature poodle was admitted to the vet two days ago for having bloody poop. She was diagnosed with HGE. Luckily we made it in time. She is still recovering and has no more blood in her poop. I wish they could tell me why she got this disease but they can't. I just want to say thank you for your blog and informing people of this deadly HGE disease. I will inform you in the next couple days as to how the recovery process is going for my beautiful black poodle.

  16. My dog caught HGE this weekend. She is home now recovering after the IV fluid therapy you talked about. You blog just made me cry like a baby. I'm so, so sorry for your Ansel. You are right, it is so sudden. If Maya had a history of vomiting and diarrhea as Ansel did, we wouldn't have taken her.

    Thursday morning she had been throwing up a lot which was abnormal. But we thought, as you did, she just had a stomach bug. We let her try to get rid of it. There was no blood at this time. We went on to work, and left her here with our (two! asymptomatic) dogs. We came home and she had a lot of diarrhea, but again we chalked it up to a stomach bug. She seemed ill, just laying around, not interested in her food - which is EXTREMELY abnormal, not interested in playing.

    Later that night, we let Maya out for the last time that night. She had a large amount of bloody diarrhea. It covered the ground. We took a sample and put in into a baggie and tried to decide whether to go that night to the ER vet or in the morning (stupid conversation, of course we should go that night!!!), and initially decided to wait til the morning because the ER is so expensive and they have such an awful wait time. Plus we knew the people at our vet.

    We laid down to go to sleep after putting Maya into her crate (incase she got sick; earlier in the day she'd thrown up under our bed). As we laid there I thought out loud to my boyfriend.. What if we wake up and she's.....

    And he promptly got up and took her to the ER, where she was diagnosed with pancreatitis and HGE....

    I'm so sorry for your doggie... It's an awful disease and I understand why you waited.

  17. Im so sorry for your loss. what a pretty dog and i know wonderful companion. This happened to our family July 27.2010. We dont take vactions but maybe a quick weekend getaway up the the mountains for we had 5 (now 4) "furkids" and they are a family of their own. momma,beagle daddy, boxer and their 3 pups (turned 3 this past oct.10,2010). Well, my father-in-law passed away so we have taken over his vaca. rental and left for a full 7 days. My daughters pup,davie,stopped eating and my parents who were at my house 3 times everyday said he just looked sad and wouldnt take his treat. My concerned father called us that Sat. am around 9am ga. time but to only speak to my husband that they had him at their home and were taking him to their vet to be looked at. MY famiy is very educated on canines and felines. weve fostered, years ago bred, my mom still volunteers twice a week at petsmart with the cats. You name it. My husband just told me that davie seemed lathargic & sad & i didnt think much of it. (noone wanted myslf or the kids to stress). Did i rush to leave? no, i still had 2 more tee shirts to have made for the kids. We got home around 10pm and my baby looked so sad yet pepped up wen he saw us. I assumed he was self sabbatouging himself, i was sure of it. Our dogs are spoiled with love! I stayed up with him til 4am we both slept til 8am then back up.I gave him gatorade thru a suringe, tried rice and even mashed potatoes. He kept going into corners (now i know to die) but i wouldnt let him. When i saw his 90lb daddy go up to him and kiss him all over his face and head, i knew i just let my dog die. A few mnutes later, a horrible stench came across the room.Davie bled out. I called the er vet and told them indeed i was on my way (how do u know, we thought he was missing us) we ran red lights, i was in position for cpr, it was the saddest moment. In the hospital, he promptly had a seizure, spiked a fever 0f 108, and slipped into a comma. Then he passed. It would have ran me up to 2000$, 800$ just to maybe have gotten him stable (which they did try)it happened so fast, No time to think, budget, look for help. His people family and canine family still call out for him and my girl is devestated. wow, this was in depth but wow how good it feels to share. I hope your family has found another friend to love and cherish. I personally believe once our beloveds go over that rainbow bridge, they send one back for us.(sometimes it takes a minute to select the right one). Question, i hadnt been told anything about eating bones can contribute??? curious

  18. Thank-you for posting Ansel's story. Ansel got a perfect family to love her!
    I have been crying over the loss of my beloved Pug, Lola, on Sunday to HGE. I had never heard of HGE before. She died in 7 hours of her first sign of bloody diarrhea.
    I will never forget the look on her face as she looked at me from thee back yard. I knew at once she was in trouble.
    Iv fluid, antibiotics could not help her. She died in my daughter's arms at 5pm that evening.
    Lola loved laying in my lap (or anyone's lap), stretching out in the sun, other dogs or watching me.
    Lola never ate bones. She did like the backyard which has many fruit trees, and a large vegetable garden where she may have nibbled on old fruit (???).
    It all happens fast, Reading other stories helps. Thank-you, friends.

  19. Thanks a lot for this bolg, as 35 days old black female Lab in going through the same disease. its been4 days treatment is going on, need all your wishes and prayers to save here

  20. Anonymous,

    You have them!

    I hope she makes it out of this ok!!


  21. What a touching blog. I am rejoicing to have my sweet girl snuggled up next to me right now. We went through this as well - and I was able to bring her home today. It was a similar presentation - diarrhea followed by vomiting. Within a few hours the emesis becoming bloody, followed by horribly bloody, strained stools all night. I kept her hydrated with pedialyte when the Vet initially sent us home. I couldn't watch her suffer anymore and insisted they put her on IV fluids. I am a physician and i just KNEW it was wrong to keep her hat home, suffering, and hemorrhaging. 2 days of IVF, some steroids, and flagyl saved my girl's life. I am so very thankful and yet so very sorry for your loss. I am also going to make it a mission to educate other pet owners about this deadly doggie disease.

  22. Hi Dawn,

    I'm so glad she made it through alright.

    I hope she stays happy and healthy for a very long time.


  23. From reading your post I can tell you love Ansel. Thank you for posting this story and the information, it was very informing. Last night I got home from work and my Malti-Poo Leela had been vomiting a reddish foam. It would happen in sets of 2 about 15-20 minutes apart. After a little over an hour the vomit turned into a clear color so that did abate our worry somewhat. Then as I was getting ready for bed my boyfriend came in and told me that we were taking her to the 24 vet hospital because suddenly she had bloody diarrhea. I was absolutely terrified for my little girl.. And when all this started happening I searched forums and boards to try to find anything about what might be going on but for some reason there wasn't much. It could be because I didn't know exactly what was wrong with her of course. But they got her IV fluids and antibiotics and we are hoping she is okay. Already she has some what more energy, not a lot, but enough. Thank you for writing this blog, it helped me better understand HGE. I hope you and your family are doing well!

  24. This is exactly what happened to my dog Jake days ago. Finding your blog helped me realize it wasnt my fault that we let him chew on sticks the night before, that this sort of thing just happens. I thought the same as you, that he was just sick with something, and he'd get over it. It was over in less than 12 hours. I had him put to sleep, and will never own another dog again. Just could not go thru that kind of pain again, watching your best friend die.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.


  25. Julie,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

    Yes, it's extremely emotional.

    Please just remember the good times and perhaps you will own another one.

    I hope so...


  26. I sit here tonight reading everyone's posts wishing I could fine a way to reach out to every person before they experience HGE. Sheeba, German Shepherd, joined our family 5 years ago. On Saturday night, I texted my husband, she appeared to be very depressed. I couldn't pinpoint how I knew she was depressed, she was different. She didn't yelp and try to get our attention. Each time we would go to her, she would leave. Within 30 minutes, she was pacing the house, behaving strangely. I texted him again worried she was pacing, panting profusely, and drinking excessive amounts of water. I turned down the air conditioning and put her beside a fan. I found her wandering room to room looking for water. She went through 3 large bowls in 15 minutes. My son caught her digging into his brother's bed. She tore the linens off the bed and kept trying to dig. As he tried to get her off the bed, he noticed a clear, mucous looking liquid all over the bed. She then threw up two times. I'll never forget 12:13 am as long as I live. My youngest son started screaming. I ran upstairs and his floor was covered with a red fluid. There was no stool or consistency to the fluid. We found Sheeba pacing through the house. My son took her outside while I called the vet and started cleaning the fluid. Describing the odor would never communicate how horrid it was. I knew my loyal friend was in trouble. We drove her to the emergency clinic where she experienced bouts of vomitting clear fluid. Lab work came back to tell us Sheeba was within hours of dying. She had a primary pancreatic bacterial infection that caused a secondary infection of HGE. At this point, I lost it! Within minutes she was hooked up to Fluid IV, pain killers, antibiotics, potassium drips. She was so severely dehydrated her organs were collapsing. Leaving her at the hospital was the hardest thing I have ever done. She watched my sons and I walk out crying. We weren't sure she would ever come home to us. Within 12 hours we went to visit her, she wagged her tail, jumped up on us, and acted like our normal girl. She was finally out of the woods. Monday morning she left the emergency clinic and headed over to our veternarian. He explained how rapidly the disease progresses. I'm thankful she had bouts of bloody diarrhea. I'm honestly not sure I would have taken her to the emergency clinic at the moment with vommiting alone. Getting her there saved her life. It is Monday night. She is home. She's unusually quiet and lethargic. My sons sit by her side tending to her every need. Her body needs to time to heal as she experienced a great deal of trauma in a very short period of time. As a mother I trust my instincts when taking care of my sons. My instincts with Sheeba when she appeared depressed! I won't hesistate to get her emergency care at this stage in the future. I only want people to know every minute is critcal with HGE. I just wish I could tell them before they have to make that decision to seek immediate care or not. Sheeba is my fifth German Shepherd. I've never heard of the disease. I had no clue. I just wish we were more educated that a dog's venture into our trash can could end their life in a very short period of time.

    I'm sorry for your loss but thank you for reaching out to others. Your trusted, loyal friend was absolutely beautiful.

  27. My little Molly came down with this disease over the weekend. Fortunately, she was with my mother on Monday when she was the sickest. My mom told me about the bleeding and I was able to get her to the vet in time. I thank God for how things worked out. At first I was going to leave Molly at my house alone, but decided to leave her with my mother instead. I would have been gone for hours! I too believed she had a bug when she started throwing up and trying to eat grass over the weekend. I even went to the pet store to purchase one of those grass plants. She didn't start vomitting blood or have bloody stool until a few days later. Oddly, her symptoms progressed over a few days instead of a few hours (thank goodness).

    She is on her way to recovery after a couple of days in the hospital.

    I'm so sorry to hear about all of the pets that were lost! My heart breaks for the owners because I know the pain of losing a pet. They are family and greatly missed when gone.

  28. Thank you so much for posting this story about Ansel. I'm so sorry for your loss. Dogs are amazing animals and all of them deserve to have their stories told like this one. It's obvious your relationship was very special.
    I appreciate your posting about HGE. My Bandita has been diagnosed, but luckily we made it to the vet in time. I hope she pulls through because she's the most unique dog and friend I've ever known... just like your Ansel was to you.
    Thanking for raising awareness about HGE.-NYOA

  29. I too landed here after a dreadful introduction to HGE. Taking my beloved Black Lab to the emergency clinic last night was clearly one of the smartest things I've ever done. Dixie isn't out of the woods yet, but I pray I'll be pampering my pooch at home this weekend. My condolences to those of you who lost a family member and best wishes to those that are battling this wicked condition.

  30. I sit here with tears in my eyes. My pug Sadie, is also going through this. I took her to the hospital immediately last night. She is still critical, but I am hoping the early detection and quick response time will aid in her recovery. I am so sorry for your loss, my hear truly breaks for you.

    I will also be blogging about this, we must spread the word.

  31. Thank you so much for taking the time to create this blog. After reading it last night I made the decision to take my Dixie to the ER Vet and it saved her life!

  32. WOW!

    I'm so happy!

    Glad Ansel and this blog can help others the way it does.


  33. Tonight was the worst night of my life. I got done work and walk into my apartment covered in blood and a near lifeless Willow on the couch. I never knew my heart could break so bad. Just got home from the Vet Emergency Room. Please say a prayer for my baby girl. The vet doctor said it was most likely HGE. I've been in tears all night and reading through your blog is really helping. Its going to be a sleepless night to say the least, i just called to see how she was doing and they said she is responding to treatment, stable and starting to look around. i love my little pumpkin so much. Thank you for sharing your story.

  34. Bill,

    I'm so sorry to hear about Willow.

    My prayers are with you.

    Sounds like you caught it in time.

    Stay positive!


  35. I am reading this blog with tears in my eyes. It is now four days since I have lost what I have always regarded as my first child .... A lovely German shepherd bitch called Mya. Lovely is not enough to describe her.... She was always happy, gentle, active, obedient with the right mix of mischief thrown in. She was almost five years old. She has vomited once undigested food three days before the DAY but then ate her food and was her normal self. One day before she looked tired. Then she vomited non blood stained vomitus overnight. In the morning she was not keen to eat and she vomited twice. I booked an appointment with the vet in afternoon, went to work and asked my friend to visit her. When she was seen, after three hours, she could not stand up and her breathing was laboured. She was rushed to vet and started on intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Also started on an antacid. While she was having an ultrasound at vets she had a massive foul smelling motion of bloody diarrhoea. The blood tests showed that her blood was very thick . Sadly despite aggressive treatment, she passed after her second bowel motion. The vet was perplexed and could not u dear stand how a healthy dog could have deteriorated so quickly. After reading your blog and some other info online I feel that my lovely Mya had HGE. I feel that we we just unlucky since she did not have the bloody stools until it was too late.
    I hope no one passes through what I and my family have experienced. The passing of Mya has left us with an horrible emptiness. I imagine seeing her and hearing her all the time. I can still remember the feel of her beautiful fur under my fingers and her wet lick on my face. She was always there to greet me and was almost on my side when I was upset. My family and I were blessed to have her with us.
    Enjoy the moments with your pet because they are priceless

    Till we meet again Mya

    Thanks for sharing your blog

    MYF x

  36. Thank U so much for Ansel's blog. i also happen to come across it while searching for info on HGE and trying to understand it.
    I can tell how much she meant to you.
    I find a bit of comfort in your story and story/comments of others that experienced/lived thru the same.
    My Xena passed away 4 days ago from which I am pretty sure was her second bout of HGE. Even though, with all the tests the vet did, he still thought she was poisoned then . Now I am not so sure. That's why I am here searching for answers.
    I believe now that 3 years ago at age 8 she had her first one. The only signs I had were the bloody stools when I came home from work. I took her to the vet immediately. After being on the IV for several days she got to come home .
    During the next few years she really aged, became deaf, slept a lot more, was having problems with her left eye, problems with her shoulder.
    Vet thought she may have had a small stroke.
    She would stumble over herself but pick herself back up like nothing happen. She was in wonderful Spirit despite of it all, always ready to play, never pitying herself, even though her body did'nt want to co operate.
    5 days ago in the evening I find a bit of diarrhea poop mess on floor which is nothing unusual to happen since 12 years of dog owner ship and I actually thought it was from my other dog Max (12) who has the sensitive stomach .Both ate their normal dinner and neither one of them behaved other than their normal self. Next morning I find that one of them vomited their dinner up. Again I thought it was Max but he was eager to eat breakfast , whereas Xena did nt want any. Same again, I did not think anything of it as that also has happened before without her being or becoming ill. I let them both out before leaving for work so they can enjoy some out door time before it got too hot. My daughter calls me hours later , Xena was 'making a bloody mess' and panting heavily. She refuses to drink water, wondering around the house . By the time I come home to take her to the vet she had bedded/collapsed down on her dog bed. Unresponsive, her eyes closed, breathing heavy, in a pool of blood seeping out of her rectum. when I checked her pupils they were non responsive, nose was wet and cold and her body temperature seemed cool to the touch. I drug her 90 lbs body out the house across the deck on her bed and my daughter and I managed to get her in the back of my Subaru. By the time we made it to the Vet she was gone. (tears) I do regret in a way dragging her out . When I looked her over, I knew she was gone, I should have just held her in my arms..weep..told her how much I loved her....but I wanted to save her.!! I don't know for sure if being out for a few hours accelerated everything, or if it was because she was older. I did find traces of blood on the deck so it started outside. I am going thru guilt emotions, blaming myself for not 'reading' the signs..that could have saved her . But I can not take back the past. So I just sit here and weep. She is my Hero. She was so young at heart, funny, loyal, selfless, obedient, content, brave, fearless and accepting !! I wanna be just like her when I grow up. I love and miss you. Sonja

  37. It is going to be a long night as i wait until I can pick Bandit up in the morning. Twelve hours ago I did not know anything about HGE, now it is the only thing on my mind. As I read these stories, and see just how fast this disease progresses, i can only thank God I did not wait until tomorrow for his regular vet, but went to the ER instead. Thanks to all who shared their story and their pain, this is a horrible disease, and yet we dont know anything about it until we are in the middle of its grip.

  38. I lost my beloved Teddie to HGE yesterday. MY husband and I came home and found a foamy vomit on the floor. Teddie has had stomach issues in the past and we decided to give him some pepcid and watch him. He was very restless and pacing around a lot which concerned us. A short time later he threw up a pink foam, we decided to take him to the ER. We started getting ready to leave and I noticed he was bleeding from his rectum. We rushed him to the ER, they put him on fluids, took an X-ray and did blood work. The vet called me a few hours later and said Teddie's fever was 104, his PVC was 78% and he had just had a seizure. Before my husband and I could get to the vet he was gone. We were both in shock and numb to what had just happened. Our little Tedddie was gone. We are still trying to grasp what happened and I came across this blog. Words cannot express how much he will be missed.

  39. I have just stumbled across your blog searching for answers as to why my little girl 'Molly' a beautiful Bearded Collie, age 14 years 9 months suddenly left us heart-broken on Wednesday January 2nd 2013.

    On January 1st she appeared to be very tired, taking any opportunity to sleep, we also noticed that she had loose stools which wasn't uncommon for her.

    Early next morning at 1.30am I heard her struggling to stand, so I got out of bed to help her, she appeared very weak and made her way to the front door, once outside she emptied her bowels in an explosive manner.

    A few hours later she started to vomit excessively, 4 times in a short period of time, the vomit was a yellow/green watery substance, she had become so weak at one point that she vomited and lay in it.

    As result of the above my husband decided to give her a bath because she was in such a mess. Shortly afterwards we noticed a watery blood stained discharge from her back passage and alarm bells rang.

    At 8.30am I telephoned the vets for an emergency appointment but by this time she appeared un-responsive, on reflection she was probably in shock as she was just lying very quietly with very little eye movement or energy.

    Within minutes of reaching the vets she lost a considerable amount of watery blood stained fluid from her back passage, at this point the vet decided that the kindest thing would be to put Molly peacefully to sleep.

    We were not offered an explanation by the vet which has left us wondering whether it was an internal abscess or a ruptured bowel, but after reading your blog I am now convinced it was HGE.

    The blog has helped us to understand what happened to our beautiful little girl, who we miss so much, she gave us such joy and happiness.

    R.I.P. Molly we are heartbroken that you have left us.

  40. Thankyou Thankyou so
    Much for this blog. I lost my beautiful best friend Jessie yesterday to this cruel disease. I kissed her goodbye on Friday morning she sleeps with me and had a bit of a restless night but I didnt think anything of it. I worked back late on Friday but my teenage daughters called me screaming saying Jessie was laying out the back not moving with blood coming out her backside. She was breathing but was non responsive. I rushed home and took her straight to the vets. They kept her in overnight on a drip but didn't have much faith in the outcome. I went there yesterday and my little girl was not in a good way. We decided to put her to sleep as we felt it was the most humane thing to do! She was not responsive and the vet told me she felt I was doing the right thing. I have never ever felt the depth of pain I am going through at the moment she slept with me every night , she came to every family event and was truly my best friend. This blog has made me feel a bit better as I am blaming myself... Just wishing I had come home earlier. God bless of the beautiful animals we have and have lost

  41. Thank you for his blog post, it may have saved our dog. RIP Ansel. What a beautiful dog!!

  42. thank you for this post. I urge you all if your dog is vomiting get him/her to the vet. RIP Ansel, Rock-o, and any other beloved pet lost due to this.

  43. I know this is an old post but thank you because me pug in the middle of the night had diarrhea then it turned in to bloody diarrhea it scared me to death I looked it up and found your blog I stayed up with him all night then took him to an emergency vet who gave him fluid and meds he would not of made it he was going every half hour I gave him an Imodium just to give him time and me time to get him help he is home and doing much better I am only feeding him boiled chicken and rice that I make him he would not eat the vets food but is taking his meds a and eating what I make thank you because of your blog we reacted quickly and he is ok

  44. Thank you for this post. My 1.5 year old newfoundland just had an attack of HGE last night. He is ok now that he spent the night at the ER getting IV fluids. It's crazy how fast HGE can kill from reading the comments and your blog. How do we still know so little about this terrible condition?

  45. So sad reading everyone's posts.

    My Vet has just rung me with the post-mortem results from my soul companion Zumba.


    My Zumba passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Friday 8th April this year, aged 3/12.

    Zumba was a Rescue Greyhound. I fostered him for four months before we were able to adopt each other. I do not regret a second. The love of my life. Funny, goofy, affectionate, cute, playful, adorable, loving and loveable. Just looking at him brought a smile to my face.

    He had been a bit quiet for a couple of days, but I was sick as well, so he was with me in my bedroom, and I thought that he was just doing what Greyhounds do well (sleep lots) and that he was content because he was with his "Mumma".
    He had gone off his tucker the day before.
    The night before he died, he did two little vomits, but didn't seem perturbed.
    No diarrhoea - bloody or otherwise.

    The morning he died, he was back to his usual self - playful, goofy etc, and looking for his breakfast (I wasn't going to feed him until later, and was just going to be rice and mince).

    We went for a short walk to my local library, and I came out to find him fitting.
    Unbelievably, Zumba died in my arms without him regaining consciousness, and before the Vets could get there.

    There is nothing that I would have done differently - if he had been "off colour" that am I would have taken him to the Vets, but as my Vet explained, he would have died there anyway.

    Someone has mentioned bones? He HAD HAD bones. That's the only thing I can put it down to.

    My sweetie. My "Bubble" "Adora-Bubble" I miss him so much. xx

  46. I was doing some research regarding HGE when I came across your blog. Our 7-month old shipoo, Hammer, has been diagnosed with HGE. We brought him to the vet last Thursday and he was given meds. Things got worse until Sunday because he was not eating. It was also weird because he didn't vomit or even poop. He just cried whenever we touch his tummy. He would just sleep and sleep, probably to ease the pain. He could not walk straight, and you could see his suffering. After the second round of tests yesterday, the vet told us that he must be confined, & he will be monitored for at least 3 days. We miss our little pooch but we will miss him even more if he won't make it..

    I really hate that our dogs have to suffer any illness (not just HGE). I really hope that Hammer will recover from HGE.

  47. So yesterday was a day i will never forget! I lost my loving pet chihuahua Princess. Princess was of a good age but not a age where she shud of passed natrually! Unless something contributed. Well the day before she passed she had a turn for worse. opening her door normally she wud run to me this time she didnt so going over to her she looked limp and lifeles she looked in distress and i realised sumit wasnt right at all.. she started heaving white frophy sick which id seen her do before so wasnt concerning to much ..comforting her she got up had some water.After resting abit she started to seem beta and had bounce back in her even eating her fav treat some sausage .. then cleaning up i noticed a bloody jam looking stool in corner of my room. Very strange. Googling it it said could be a stomach upset so as she was back to her bouncy self i just thought id keep close eye on her. Princess was fine that night and morning after. So popping out leaving her in her room with her bf/soulmate another chi i have furbs��
    Only being a few hours nothing wud prepare me for what i found returning. Opening there room my furbs frantic and sad my princess was dead. How could she be ok then die just like that?? I cant seem to get my head around it all. If i had come on here and seen this sooner i could of saved my little dog�� i cant help but think if only id seen this sooner. Rip my beautiful dog Princess���� we all will miss you so much ���� 28/01/2017

    1. So sorry to hear this . I just realized you and I both dealt with the same thing on the same day . I lost my mesha early Saturday morning around 4am to 5am , it's all still a blur , every thing happened so fast . my heart is shattered too . just wanted to reach out and let you know that I'm enduring the same pain and loss . I don't even know where to begin trying to get thru this . one friend suggested that I get a rescue baby to try and help ease the pain . at first I said no way I don't ever want to hurt this bad again . but now I'm actually thinking of how so many needs loving parents and to be given a chance , it just may be a win win . I can't hardly stand the thoughts of feeling like I'm replacing my mesha but I think I may can live with saving a rescue baby who needs love and I have so much to give . just wanted to let you know I am so sorry about your princess and I'm right with you trying to carry on without mine too . sincerly , dawn
      Rip mesha and princess , just maybe they crossed together and weren't alone thru any of it .

  48. I can't believe this has happened to me and my precious mesha (shihtzu) 4 years old . happy , healthy and spoiled rotten baby . she was mine and my husband's baby . now she's gone and I had lost all hope until just now reading your blog . thank you so much for sharing your story and your loss of your baby Ansel. The only difference is that I did take my mesha to the emergency vet . they let me bring her home , 45 miles away , and she had all the same symptoms , she started bleeding from her bottom as soon as we walked in the door from returning back home from vets office , she started spraying out blood from her bottom . and bleed out within just a few short hours . she was our whole world . she had originally belonged to my sister , who committed suicide with mesha found in the room with her , that's how I ended up with mesha . so she was my Angel baby and had been thru a traumatic experience . now I feel like I failed her totally . I should have taken her straight back to another emergency vet . she needed an IV of fluids , that was her only chance . they put one in her neck to dissolve in but that wasn't aggressive enough . I can't hardly type this now for crying my eyes out . she was my baby , she was with me 24/7 and now I've failed her and I'm just lost and my chest feels like it's caving in on me . never felt this type of hurt before . HGE is a very fast and serious fatal disease . yet I see so many now who have success stories . hopefully I will eventually heal and can bring more awareness . I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for giving me some type of peace from reading your story . I know now I'm not alone in this . so sorry you had to endure this type of hurt . thanks again for sharing your story . dawn
    Rip mesha baby