Vets have recorded a dramatic rise in the number of dogs suffering from a potentially dangerous sickness bug.
The condition causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. Cases have grown hugely since the start of the year on a nationwide basis. The exact cause of the illness HGE, haemorrhage gastroenteritis, is unknown but it is believed the most serious cases are caused by bacteria commonly found on raw meat and poultry.
Experts say the condition occurs when fluid, protein and red blood cells leak into the gut. Left untreated it can quickly lead to life-threatening dehydration and sceptic shock as a result of the immune system being overwhelmed.
Amanda Lawson, 41, from Blantyre feared she would lose her 18-month-old Great Dane Freya and said an emotional farewell to her pet as it faced a gruelling survival battle.
She said: “It was so frightening how quickly it happened. She is a great big playful dog but almost overnight everything changed and we honestly thought she wasn’t going to make it. It was awful to watch.
“She started having diarrhoea, became really quiet and went off her food,” said Amanda who works as a receptionist in Cathkin vets.
“But it was when she started having bloody vomit and diarrhoea that I became really worried and took her to my own vet.”
The dog was eventually taken to Vets Now emergency hospital in Glasgow where she was given round-the-clock treatment, a battery of test, X-rays and scans. It remained in the pet hospital for 11 days before being allowed home.
The good news is the prognosis for dogs with HGE is generally positive as long as they’re treated quickly.
Amanda said Freya is recovering slowly at home, is getting back her appetite and putting on the weight she lost.
We’ve experienced something similar to this, personally this week with our own dog very ill, but after a few days thankfully now recovered. With the cause unclear, we’re also wondering if there’s something widespread or common to this? Has YOUR dog been sick lately?