Therapy Protocols for Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome in a Dog
Britt Thevelein, DVM, DACVECC, University of Georgia
Rosie, a 4-year-old, 11-lb (5-kg) spayed Yorkshire terrier, is presented 12 hours after an episode of hematemesis followed by hemorrhagic diarrhea. She is hyporexic and increasingly lethargic. There is no known history of toxin exposure or dietary changes. Vaccinations, heartworm, and flea and tick preventives are current.
On presentation, Rosie is dull, tachycardic (180 bpm), and tachypneic (80 breaths per minute) with weak femoral pulses, pale pink mucous membranes, and a prolonged capillary refill time of 3 seconds. She is estimated to be 7% dehydrated. Rectal temperature is 99.1°F (37.2°C), and frank blood is present on the thermometer.
Physical examination findings suggest hypovolemic shock, and immediate stabilization measures are initiated. An IV catheter is placed, and a bolus of lactated Ringer’s solution (LRS; 400 mL/hour [20 mL/kg IV over 15 minutes]) is administered with a fluid pump. The remainder of the physical examination is unremarkable except for mild abdominal discomfort without distension. Cardiothoracic auscultation is normal.
Abdominal radiograph and thoracic point-of-care ultrasound results are normal. Blood pressure measured via Doppler is 75 mm Hg. A blood gas and electrolyte panel reveal moderate metabolic acidosis with respiratory compensation and severe hyperlactatemia (Table 1). Packed cell volume (PCV) and total solids (TS) are 65% and 5.5 g/dL, respectively. Electrocardiogram reveals sinus tachycardia.
SELECTED VALUES FROM THE BLOOD GAS & ELECTROLYTE PANEL
7.36 ± 0.02
Partial pressure of carbon dioxide (mm Hg)
43 ± 3
Base deficit (mmol/L)
–1 ± 1
23 ± 1
Values outside the reference interval are bold.
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