What Should I Do If My Dog Has Pneumonia
The first thing to do if you expect your dog may have pneumonia is to call your vet. They will likely tell you to take him in since pneumonia cannot really be diagnosed on the phone.
After a physical examination, your vet may come to the conclusion that your dog has bacterial pneumonia. This conclusion is usually reached based on increased body temperature and abnormal breathing sounds when listened to with a stethoscope.
Likely, your vet will want to run a few tests to make sure the diagnosis is correct and the symptoms arent caused by other diseases or conditions. These tests may include:
- CBC & biochemistry profile: These are tests that will determine the general health of your dog. Depending on the results, more specific fecal or blood tests may be required.
- Chest x-ray: Chest x-rays may be able to rule out other conditions such as lung disease or other obstruction in the lung. Often bacterial pneumonia can be spotted on x-rays, and if your dog has aspiration pneumonia, an x-ray will almost certainly be necessary.
- Bronchoscopy: Your vet may recommend a bronchoscopy, which is where your vet will examine your dogs internal airways with a specialized camera. Your dog will be anesthetized for its comfort. During a bronchoscopy, a cytology screening will usually be performed, meaning cells will be taken for testing to determine the source and severity of the infection.
With the proper diagnosis in hand, its up to you and your vet to make the best decision for your pup.
Keep An Eye On Symptoms
Pneumonia is most common in puppies and senior dogs, whose immune systems are already weak. Newborn puppies are especially vulnerable to aspiration pneumonia, a type of pneumonia that develops from bottle-feeding or forceful feeding. Other pneumonia infections are usually caused by either bacteria or viruses. Its important to keep an eye on the main symptoms of pneumonia so that you can take the proper steps if you see them in your dog.
Common symptoms include rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, cough, nasal discharge, congestion, fever, lethargy and weakness. Dogs who refuse to eat or go on walks are also likely feeling ill.
Could These Signs Be Caused By Something Else
Some of these signs are common and are not specific to any one disease. Non-infectious respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , heart disease causing pulmonary edema, and lung cancer can also cause some of these symptoms. Before reaching a diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination and recommend a series of diagnostic tests.
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Are There Any Risk Factors For Developing Bacterial Pneumonia
Any disease or condition that affects the respiratory tract can predispose a dog to developing bacterial pneumonia. Some risk factors include conditions that cause difficulty swallowing or problems with regurgitation such as laryngeal paralysis, megaesophagus, cleft palate, chronic vomiting, altered states of consciousness, and tumors of the respiratory system.
Dogs with an immune system disease or those that are on immunosuppressive drugs are at an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia, as are dogs with severe metabolic disorders such as kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease, or Addison’s disease.
Causes Of Bacterial Pneumonia In Dogs
Take a guess what is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in dogs?
Thats right, Bordetella Bronchiseptica, or as it is more commonly known kennel cough.
Streptococcus Zooepidemicas is another common cause of bacterial pneumonia in dogs. Strep Zoo can cause severe respiratory distress and must be addressed immediately.
Dogs like these tend to have more encounters with bacterial pneumonia than others:
- Sporting dogs
With speedy treatment and care, most dogs will recover fully from bacterial pneumonia without a hitch.
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Keeping Pneumonia From Spreading In Dogs
Keep your dog with pneumonia away from all other pets, recommends Andersen. Bacterial pneumonia is quite contagious and is easily passed from dog to dog. If you have multiple dogs at home, isolate your pet to prevent the spread of the infection, she advises. Clean all toys, bedding and bowls that your sick pet may have contaminated.
Tell your dog walker they have the next one or two weeks off so your dog can rest.
Treatment Of Bacterial Pneumonia In Dogs
Treatment will start immediately with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Once the specific infecting bacterium is identified through lab testing, a more precise antibiotic may be prescribed. Other drugs may be prescribed for symptom control, including bronchodilators to ease breathing and expectorants to loosen mucus in their lungs. Short bursts of mild exercise will likely be encouraged if the dog is physically able, as this will help stimulate a productive cough that will help clear the animals lungs. In cases where the dog is not well enough to move around, they should be manually moved often, to keep fluid from settling on one side of the body.
If the dog is in acute distress, hospitalization may be necessary so that they may be monitored closely and given oxygen, nebulizer breathing treatments, and IV fluids.
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How To Prevent Pneumonia In Dogs
While there is no sure-fire way to make sure your dog doesn’t get pneumonia, it helps to keep them in top shape. For instance, take them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups, feed them a nutritious diet, and make sure they get plenty of exercise.
If your dog does get sick with pneumonia, the flu, or any other illness, pet insurance can help you manage the veterinary bills. With pet insurance, you can get help focusing on providing the best care possible for your dog with less worry about how much it will cost. Get started with a personalized quote now.
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.
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Different Kinds Of Pneumonia In Bulldogs
To distinguish between two similar but different medical conditions, bronchopneumonia is a lung swelling and the bronchial passages. Pneumonia on the other hand is an enlargement of the lungs. These terms are often confused.
Bacterial pneumonia, on the other hand, pertains to lung swelling due to a bacterial infection. Aspiration pneumonia is different in that it refers to inflammation caused by inhaled foreign substances. This could include vomit, regurgitated food or fluid. Other than this, the disease also has several other probable causes.
When you see the signs of pneumonia in your Bulldog, you must seek veterinary help right away. Here is what a Bulldog owner should know regarding the symptoms, causes, and remedies for pneumonia in Bulldogs.
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How Is Bacterial Pneumonia Diagnosed
Your veterinarian may suspect bacterial pneumonia based on the presence of the signs listed above, combined with the results of a physical examination, especially if abnormal lung sounds are heard when listening to your dogs chest with a stethoscope.
A series of tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis and to exclude other diseases that could be causing the symptoms, including:
- CBC and biochemistry profile. These blood tests will assess the general health of your dog, and specific blood or fecal tests may be recommended to rule out parasitic diseases such as heartworm or lungworm. Specific blood tests to rule out serious metabolic diseases may be necessary.
- Thoracic radiography . Radiographs often show characteristic changes in the lungs, and may be helpful to eliminate other types of heart or lung disease.
- Cytology using bronchoscopy. A small fiber optic camera called a bronchoscope is used to directly examine the inner surfaces of the airways in an anesthetized dog. After completing the visual examination, cytology samples can be collected for microscopic examination and for bacterial culture and sensitivity testing.
Pneumonia From Inhalation Of Foreign Matter In Dogs
Aspiration pneumonia is a condition in which a dog’s lungs become inflamed due to the inhalation of foreign matter, from vomiting, or from the regurgitation of gastric acid contents. Aspiration pneumonia can also be a direct result of a neuromuscular disorder, which would cause difficulty with swallowing, as well as problems associated with the esophagus, with possible paralysis of the esophagus.
Other causes for a dysfunction of the lungs may be an obstructed airway, or inhalation of gastric acids, which can cause extensive damage to the internal tissues of the lungs. Bacteria present in the inhaled foreign matter may also bring about infection.
Aspiration pneumonia is more prevalent in dogs than cats. If you would like to learn how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
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Dont Hesitate To Contact A Vet
No matter which type of pneumonia your dog has, they will require professional care. This isnt the type of illness that you can treat on your own. Your dog may need antibiotics, antimicrobial medication, intravenous fluid, and/or oxygen therapy to fully battle the symptoms and pave the way for a full recovery.
If pneumonia goes untreated for too long, it can progress to becoming fatal. Its important not to hesitate, which means contacting an emergency vet, such as one from the Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital, rather than scheduling a regular appointment. An emergency vet can see your puppy and begin treatment right away.
Can Dogs Get Pneumonia
Yes. Dogs can suffer from many diseases and infections that may result in pneumonia.
A diagnosis of pneumonia is one of the worst things a pet parent can hear, but all hope is not lost. Various cases of pneumonia have been carefully nursed back to health by good folks with big hearts and expertise.
Check out this heartwarming video of a dog named Penny who wouldnt give up.
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Its More Than Just A Cold Its A Respiratory Illness That Affects Canines And Humans Heres What You Need To Know About Pneumonia In Dogs
Although dogs are affected by different pathogens than humans are, they can still get sick with some of the same diseases. Pneumonia, for example, is a respiratory illness that can affect dogs. In fact, there are two different types of pneumonia in dogs bacterial and aspiration keep reading to learn more.
What is Pneumonia in Dogs?
The canine respiratory system is divided into two parts the upper respiratory tract and the lower. The upper respiratory tract consists of the nose, throat, and trachea while the lower respiratory tract consists of the smaller airways as well as the air sacs in the lungs themselves known as alveoli. Pneumonia is a condition in which the lungs or the lower respiratory tract become inflamed. When both the lungs and the airways become inflamed it is called bronchopneumonia.
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What is the Difference Between Bacterial and Aspiration Pneumonia?
In most cases of canine pneumonia, the underlying cause is a bacterial infection. There are many different strains of bacteria that can contribute to pneumonia in dogs but the most common are Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Pasteurella multocida, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
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How is Pneumonia in Dogs Treated?
Signs & Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Dogs
Dogs with pneumonia typically have what we call respiratory signs.
However, you may also see your dog have symptoms that are not restricted to the respiratory tract.
Here are some signs you may notice:
- Difficulty breathing or breathing faster than normal at rest
- Extending neck out to breathe with mouth open
- Weight loss
- Blueish hue to gum color
It is normal and quite common to see if a cough goes away on its own within 2-3 days.
However, if your dog is coughing for more than 3 days or they are showing any of the other symptoms mentioned above, you need to take your dog to the vet.
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How Do Bulldogs Get Pneumonia
As mentioned earlier, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs air sacs. These air sacs could fill with pus or fluid. Owing to this, difficulty breathing and incessant coughing is associated with the disease.
Lung inflammation is how tissues or cells react to irritation, injury, or pathogens. It is the way a dog naturally reacts to and combats infection. Most cases of pneumonia in Bulldogs are due to a bacterial infection, but there are also other causes.
How Can I Help My Dog To Recover From Pneumonia
Your vet will provide you with specific instruction on caring for your dog during their recovery however typical instructions for care include:
- Restricting your dog’s activities while they recover.
- Keeping other pets and small children away from your dog in order in order to allow them to get plenty of rest.
- Supplying plenty of fresh water to help keep them hydrated.
- Treating your dog with a steam treatment by running a hot shower while you sit with your dog in the bathroom or shower room.
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Viral & Bacterial Infectious Pneumonia In Dogs
The most common type of pneumonia in dogs is infectious pneumonia . This form of pneumonia is caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the dog’s respiratory system.
One of the bacteria most commonly linked to infectious pneumonia in dogs is Bordetella bronchiseptica. This bacteria can easily be transmitted between dogs that have compromised immune systems, or dogs that are very young or old.
Symptoms of Bacterial Pneumonia in Dogs
- Breathing difficulties
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
Symptoms of pneumonia should never be ignored. If you notice that your dog is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, contact your primary care veterinarian to schedule an examination for your pup. Be sure to let your vet know that you think your dog may have bacterial pneumonia when you call.
Preventing Your Dog From Becoming Ill
The chance of your dog developing bacterial pneumonia is reduced by regularly vaccinating your dog to help prevent infections that can lead to pneumonia. This is especially important if your dog frequents a kennel situation and is regularly exposed to numerous other dogs. Its also a good idea to talk to your dog walker or dog sitter about limiting your pets interactions with stray or unknown dogs who could be carrying an infection.
Regular annual exams with your vet also serve to keep your pet healthy and prevent the early onset of diseases.
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How Serious Is Pneumonia In Dogs
The seriousness of your dog’s fungal pneumonia depends upon a number of factors such as your dog’s age, breed, overall health, and the type of fungal lung infection which has caused your pet’s pneumonia.
Fungal lung infections in dogs are typically caused by the inhalation of fungal spores. Some of the most common fungi responsible for fungal pneumonia in dogs include Cryptococcus, Coccidioides, Blastomyces, Histoplasma, and Aspergillus.
Contact or inhalation of any one of the fungi capable of causing mycotic infection can result in the development of fungal pneumonia.
Why Pneumonia Is A Serious Illness
Pneumonia is a progressive condition that can severely affect a dogs breathing ability. Lung tissue contains alveoli, small clusters of air sacs. As the dog breathes in, air fills these sacs. Cells and small blood vessels in the lining of the alveoli exchange oxygen from the air with carbon dioxide, which the dog exhales. When bacteria, viruses, or fungal organisms invade the nostrils or trachea, they can cause an infection. This infection causes inflammation inside the air sacs in the lungs. In addition to the swelling, pus, and fluid take up additional space. This allows less room for air to fill the lungs and causes respiratory distress for the animal.
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What Is Dog Pneumonia
The basic definition of pneumonia in dogs is the same for humans. Pneumonia is an infection causing inflammation of one or both of the air sacs of the lungs. As fluid accumulates in the lungs, symptoms begin to manifest.
Pneumonia is always something that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian and can be moderate to severe.
Diagnosis Of Aspiration Pneumonia In Dogs
When you bring your dog to the veterinarian, be prepared to provide information about your dogs signs and recent activity. The veterinarian will need a complete history in order to better diagnosis your dogs condition. If your dog has vomited or regurgitated recently, let the veterinarian know, as many of the clinical signs associated with aspiration pneumonia are nonspecific. Knowing that your dog may have inhaled a foreign substance will help determine the necessity of a chest radiograph.
The veterinarian may perform several tests, including a physical examination and blood work, as part of the initial visit. This may help eliminate the possibility of other conditions, though aspiration pneumonia itself is typically diagnosed with thoracic radiography. A chest X-ray can confirm the presence of inflammation in the lungs. If your dog is stable enough, fluid can be taken from the lungs with a tracheal wash or endotracheal lavage, which will identify the bacteria present in the respiratory tract.
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