I’ve been in Milo’s life since he was 5 weeks old [he turned 7 years old in July]. In contrast, when he was just a little pup, I would hold him in my arms, with his head on my shoulder and tell him every day how much he meant to me, that I loved him and that where I go, he goes. I would also tell him I’d never abandoned him in some shelter and I would never let anything bad happen to him. Needless to say, I felt so helpless in his time of need, I almost felt as if I was breaking a promise.
Midnight was upon us, Milo was up and down all night and this continued into the early morning, I had laid out some blankets next to his bed, so to be close; I still could not sleep and every time he would slightly move or breathe I was at his beck and call.
Milo grew weaker and weaker, his belly was sucked in and very tight, he was getting worse by the minute. I began to Google his symptoms, and the only thing I thought it could be was the Parvovirus; I frantically combed through my files for Milo’s medical records to see when I had him vaccinated for parvo, I came up empty-handed.
It was another 2 hours till Milo’s other vet would be open. I had already made up my mind that I was going to get Milo to the animal hospital well ahead the original 10 am appointment.
It was just after 7 am when Milo and I hit the road heading to the animal hospital (about a 20-minute ride) I spoke to Milo the whole way there, saying his name over and over to let him know that I was still there.
At the vet's office we didn’t have to wait long till they had Milo and me in an examination room. right away Milo’s vet thought it was parvo, the signs were all there. but the area Milo and our 2 Dachshunds shared was always clean, I always picked up their feces and deposed it properly, it was mowed, and fenced in, No other animal could get into this area unless they jumped the fence. Then we we spoke of what Milo had eaten prior to becoming ill; the only other thing I had given him other than his dry food was some dried cranberries 3 days prior. Milo’s core temperature was 97°F. They started to run a test on him and get him on an IV. They would contact me later that day.
Some hours later the vet called, the good news was Milo tested negative for the parvovirus, but they had him on IV’S and were still running test, they were still trying to figure out what was affecting him. One cause the vet suggested was the cranberries. So I asked, what was Milo’s chances of pulling through, the answer was short, they didn’t expect him to make it through the night; he lost so much blood and that he could go into shock at any moment. The vet stated that if Milo were to make it through the night, there was the chance of permanent effects such as with his heart, kidneys and/or liver. My heart sank, I could lose him in a matter of minutes, even hours, I started to feel that I let him down. The vet said they were going to make him as comfortable as possible and he would update me some time Friday afternoon,
I had been with Milo for the last 2 days, been awake for over 48 hours with him, this night was going to be very long for both me and for Milo; Milo had a battle on his hands, I just wasn’t going to be with him for what was ultimately the last battle, win or lose.
It was Friday morning, 2, August 2019, Again I had not slept, I went into work that morning, running on pure adrenaline. I was hopeful Milo had pulled through, yet a small part of me was bracing for the worse.
August 3. 8:32 am, I received the call I had been bracing myself for all night, Milo’s had made it through a rough night and was resting, Milo had drunk a little water and had a small bit of food, I was so thankful for the vet and staff for all they had done for him. Milo was going to stay at the hospital one more night to be sure he didn’t rebound and to check his blood work. I would receive several updates throughout the day on Milo’s recovery and I was very hopeful he was coming home.
Thank you for hanging in there to read Milo’s story, I had no idea what HGE was till I googled the symptoms, Though they were very similar to the parvovirus, I just knew it was not that.
This disease comes on without warning and can be fatal if not treated right away within 24 hours. By the time this disease took full hold of Milo, to the time his vet seen him, that window to recovery was almost closed. I have included some links below to shed some light on this horrible disease. Please check them out and read the comment section about others that had this happen to their furbabies. I have also included Milo’s Vet and their wonderful staff’s web site,
Fairlea Animal Hospital/ Servicing Small Animals
A Blog By Susan Bulanda/ Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, (HGE) in dogs
A Blog By Susan Bulanda/Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) in dogs revisited
South Boston Animal Hospital/What You Should Know About Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) in Dogs