Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Simple Case of Diarrhea? Boney and Clyde's Story

This story kind of reminds me of my dad's quick demise after simple food poisoning.


Boney, a Lab, and Clyde a Doxy were housemates.

Everything started with Boney getting diarrhea


She had to go so urgently that she messed in the house, which she never does. To help her belly settle down, she got boiled rice and egg for dinner. She didn't make any further messes, but she also didn't potty the next day either. She kept hunching, but nothing came of it.

Now, that could happen because her system got mostly emptied the day before. With large intestinal diarrhea, it's not uncommon that there is a lot of trying and not much coming out.

The most common causes of large intestinal diarrhea are either infection,  parasites or dietary issues/garbage gut. Most cases are self-limiting and resolve on their own within 72 hours.

However, in the morning Boney also threw up.


Depending on the circumstances, I might see if diarrhea resolves on its own, particularly if I have my suspicions about what caused it. When combined with vomiting, though, it's time to see a vet. Which is what Boney's mom decided to do as well.

Just as they were getting ready to get to the veterinary hospital, Clyde became sick also and was even bleeding from her rectum.


Two dogs in the same house getting down with the same problem points to a common cause. Could it be an infection? Daughter's Chi once brought one in our house, and both our dogs came down with it one after the other. Could it be their food? Could it be something they got into together whether something toxic or something nasty?

Boney was hanging it, but Clyde's bleeding was quite profuse.


Everything happened very quickly. As they arrived at the vet, they were both diagnosed with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). Though they changed it recently to acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS) because it's been found that the stomach is generally not affected, just the intestines are.

The problem is that nobody really knows what causes it. Scientists evaluated things such as allergic reactions, immune-mediated disease, dietary indiscretions, toxins, infections and even hereditary disorders.

The latest top suspect is Clostridium infection.


Such infection would explain why two individual dogs would become ill at about the same time. Both dogs were put on IV drip. The vet said they would have died were they not brought in when they were. The prognosis was optimistic because of the early treatment.

After several hours on IV, Bonye was looking good enough to be able to spend the night at home. Clyde still looked critical and had to remain in the hospital.

During the night, Clyde took a turn for the worse and passed away early morning.


They immediately asked for Boney to come back as well, concerned about her fate after her housemate deteriorated so quickly. Boney was put on two different antibiotics but was recovering.

A necropsy revealed that Clyde's body was under a lot of strain already from unrelated problems and throwing the infection into the mix was too much for her to handle. Yes, she was not showing any signs of a problem until all this happened. She seemed healthy and happy. And then she wasn't.

Would it have made any difference if Clyde had a recent wellness exam?


Much of the problems that were discovered by the necropsy would have likely been discovered. Could have they been treated successfully enough to prevent Clyde being taken down by the infection? Maybe, maybe not.

According to the vet, was Boney brought in even just an hour later she could have died also.


What is the take-home point? Don't skimp on wellness exams. Take diarrhea seriously particularly when there is bleeding or vomiting.




Do you have a story to share?
Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!


What were the first signs you noticed? How did your dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?


Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.



An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

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