Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)

Updated: Jan 2, 2020


Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) is an acute, sudden illness in dogs of all ages, gender, and breeds, but it is most commonly seen in small (toy breed), young dogs. The characteristic symptoms are severe, frequent vomiting, and bright red, bloody diarrhea. HGE is not thought to be contagious, but dogs who reside in the same household may come down with it at or around the same time. When it comes to HGE, there is no time for guesswork because it can be fatal if not treated right away.

The cause of HGE is idiopathic. However, it is thought to be brought on by any of the following:

  • Bacteria

  • Hypersensitivity to food

  • Toxins

  • Pancreatitis

  • Intestinal parasites

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Cancer


Oddly enough, certain areas of the country like the northeastern part of the United States, have at times, experience outbreaks of HGE. For instance, in the springtime, as the snow is melting Veterinarians will see an uptick of HGE in their practice. Regardless of the cause, dogs who have experienced HGE are prone to it again in the future. Therefore, even though there are no real preventative measures to take, being aware of the symptoms can help you help your dog.