Formally known as HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis)
AHDS in dogs is a disorder that causes vomitting and bloody diarrhea, now this as a pet owner/parent to witness is awful, the worst goes through your mind! HGE can be fatal, how ever this isn’t due to blood loss , this is due to Dehydration kicking in quickly and also at the risk of going into Hypoglycemia (Blood sugar levels dropping dramatically) .
As this condition is widely idiopathic, there isn’t a way to prevent it, it has been documented that smaller breeds are more at risk. Some Veterinarians have discovered factors that can be implemented to control HGE , according to the VCA Hospitals(now owned by Mars Pet Care) they have established a link between Stress, Anxiety and Hyperactivity , these seem to have a contributory factor in the onset of HGE. Other factors such as non food items / toxins being ingested , Pancreatitis, allergic reactions or bacteria or intestinal parasites.
Now the symptoms for HGE can come on suddenly, therefore it’s great knowledge to have so you can act appropriately, this maybe the difference between life and death , so according to many Dr’s there’s no definitive test that can be done to diagnose this disorder, they can only go on prognosis!
As we don’t have enough knowledge to prevent this, Many Veterinarians reasonable recommendations are to feed a high-quality cooked diet, avoid extra food or treats your dog may not be used to, use regular parasite prevention, and provide a low-stress environment.
Now I agree, stress free environments will help the digestion process and lower inflammation risks, this is due to cortisol being produced at times of stress, which then triggers an insulin response, this along could be enough to cause a bloody stool when organs secrete their digestive juices with dogs suffering from HGE.
Personally, I’d opt for an adequate fresh food diet, minimal to zero carbs, moderate fats and proteins, this would be species appropriate and therefore deemed less likely to cause inflammation to the digestive system. No more dry foods, definitely no complex carbs, Grains, Pulses and Legumes etc..
There’s one element I must give my concerns over and that’s the “regular parasite preventions” now this doesn’t really give an idea of what those are but I’m guessing they mean chemical treatments like frontline etc … With a dog suffering from HGE, personally I’d avoid this (not saying you should) but my reasons are due to keeping Digestion simple and removing the risk of adding potential side effects that your dog would be more susceptible to due to having a compromised immune system. I’d definitely look into natural preventatives.
Dehydration does kick in fast so it’s imperative to get the right treatment asap, do not handle this yourself! Get them to the Vet asap! Some vets may even hook them up to an IV line.
Disclaimer: This isn’t to go against your vet advice nor be used as such.