HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio– What’s killing dogs in southern Ohio?
An investigation is under way involving both the Ohio Department of Agriculture and The Ohio State University after a handful of dogs died in recent days.
Three seemingly healthy family pets suddenly became violently ill and died from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, known as HGE, and a fourth dog is also now sick.
The cluster of sick canines all went to “The Pet Spot” in Norwood, a full service grooming and boarding facility.
On Facebook, the owners said that all of their infectious disease tests have come back negative and the facilities been sterilized multiple times.
Additional pathology tests are being conducted at The Ohio State University veterinary medicine facility.
The alarm was sounded last week when different veterinarians reported the aggressive illness and subsequent deaths to the O.D.A.
Spokesperson Erica Hawkins said, “What’s good is for us to be alerted early on so that we can take action to do what our vets know how to do which is contain the spread of disease.”
Although HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) is the condition that the animals died from, it is not contagious in and of itself.
HGE is a symptom or the result of another illness like bacteria, a parasite or allergen.
“It could be a virus that was picked up in a common area. It could be a toxin that was ingested or inhaled,” said Hawkins.
What is known is that HGE can be fatal if not treated quickly, within hours to a day.
“They can go into shock from it. It can cause them to go downhill very rapidly,” said Dr. Jennifer Wendt, Detroit Dover Animal Hospital.
Dr. Wendt says pets with bloody diarrhea and violent vomiting should see a doctor right away to receive possible medications and aggressive IV fluids.
Doctors and O.D.A. recommend staying on top of your pet’s vaccinations and preventative medications like heartworm, which can also protect against some parasites.
They also say to monitor any food recalls. CLICK HERE for a list of those.