I Almost Lost the Pixie Bug to HGE

This entire week I’ve basically been off social media as I’ve been solely concentrated on Pixie as she almost died this week. OR rather she could have, which is why I wanted to put my full focus on her. I’ll get into what HGE is later as I kind of just want to write literally everything that happened.

Note: If you don’t like reading about graphic things like vomit or diarrhea, you probably wouldn’t want to read this post.

So I suppose I should start at the beginning. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned before Pixie is a very picky eater and will eat anything that fits into her mouth. Which leans to her have upset stomach every few weeks so her not eating a meal here or there is not uncommon. I still monitor it but she does that every now and then. Saturday night, she didn’t finish her dinner but ate some of it so I figured she just wasn’t that hungry after she tore up her blanket. Then Sunday rolls around and she’s still eating some but not all of her food, and going to the bathroom more than usual but not an alarming amount or anything wrong with what she was doing. She was still acting normal but I was concerned at this point. Not enough that I scheduled a vet appointment but enough where I decided to pull dinner. Then Monday morning, I gave her breakfast. She had a few bites but I had to get going to work, so I left the food out so she could have it when she got hungry. That night, my roommate informed me she still wasn’t touching it and was starting to have issues going to the bathroom so I scheduled an appointment for the following evening.

When I got home, she still refused to eat and didn’t care that Kiki was going for her food. And normally she freaks out at Kiki for doing that. Add on her issues with going to the bathroom and I called around to other locations of her vet to see if there was anyone that could see her in the morning rather than in the evening. Locally a location close to my work was able to get her in at 7:30 AM on Tuesday instead of 5:30 PM. I also attempted to make her a bland meal to see if she would eat that. Luckily she did but she would later throw this all up.

Night came and Pixie wasn’t looking too great. She wasn’t playing as much but was still waging her tail and getting into trouble so I figured it was safe to wait until morning. We went to bed and a few hours later she was awake unable to get comfortable and wanting to go to the bathroom though she never actually went. She also went digging in the snow probably attempting to find some grass to nibble on. Though it was more like ice so she gave up on this quest. The hours pass on and I’m just awake with her, she’s acting sluggish but not having messes or getting sick so in my mind I went: “We have an appointment in a few hours, she’s not so alarming that I need to drive to the emergency vet at this point.” 6:00 AM rolls around and Pixie starts throwing up foam. We were already going to be leaving in a few minutes to get to the vet, so I told myself it was fine.

We left to get to the vet and Pixie throws up in the car. Once after we got gas for the car, again just bile and once when we pulled into the parking lot. Due to the foam that was visible I didn’t see the blood until after I checked her in. But at this point she wasn’t really stable on her feet and didn’t want to leave my side. So I felt horrible when they took her into the back for tests as I couldn’t join her because she basically just needed treatment from the vets. I returned to my car and cleaned up the vomit, which is when I discovered the blood. I rushed back in to tell them she vomited blood not just bile. Not that they needed to know that as she had not even ten minutes later vomited blood again.

I left for work and called every hour or so for updates. Pixie had multiple blood tests and scans from Ultrasounds to X-Rays to CT ran to figure out why she was so violently ill at that point. All that came back was she was positive for pancreatitis and gastritis, which were just symptoms of a weird disease called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis or HGE, dogs can get where the cause is often unknown. HGE is considered an acute disorder but can be fatal. It also occurs suddenly as it did with Pixie. I mean if you consider she didn’t start the bloody vomiting or diarrhea until we arrived at the vet. But other symptoms include painful abdomen, decreased appetite, lethargy (fatigue), or fever. Which she did have on Monday night when I made the vet appointment. HGE can affect any breed, age, size, or gender of dog but is more common in small dogs. Though the cause is unknown it is believed to either be caused by: stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, allergic reactions, parasites or bacteria. And dogs who experience HGE may be more prone to having it again in the future. So yeah, I might have to go through this again. And the only treatment is antibiotics and intravenous fluid therapy, which is what Pixie got. Due to the nature of this disorder, if dogs don’t respond well to fluid therapy they risk dehydration that can cause disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) which is a clotting disorder. If this begins then the effects are often irreversible and may result in death. Luckily, Pixie responded well to the treatment and did not go into DIC.

After I got off from work we went to the vet to pick her up as they did not have after hours support which Pixie needed as her fluid treatment was not complete. So we picked her up from Banfield and dropped her off at the 24 hour clinic, Como Park Animal Hospital, where she was finally wagging her tail and starting to act more like herself. It just made me feel like I no longer had to worry about her. She was in good hands and getting better. Or as I kept saying much to the ignorance of my mom is “She’s not good, but she’s goo. Not quite good but on the way to it.”

Wednesday morning I got the call that Pixie was starting to eat again and eliminating normally. And hadn’t had a single episode of throwing up anymore. So she was deemed safe to be brought home. Though I decided the two of us would spend the reminder of the week at my mom’s house as that’s where Pixie grew up so I thought being at that house would help her a lot more than at our house. Plus then there would be three of us and my mom had Thursday and Friday off where she could watch over Pixie while I was at work.

She was over the moon when we all were there to pick her up. Probably mostly because she just wanted to get as far away from the vet as possible at that point. She has to be on a strict land diet of beef and potatoes until she’s back to being fully normal with everything. But she’s home and wagging her tail, plus she gets to spend the remainder of the week with her best friend, Winnie. And I’m over the moon that she is home.

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