Everything about Pneumonia in Dogs: An Important Notice for Owners

Pneumonia is considered as a serious disease, both for humans and your pets. Pets, such as dogs and cats are likely to suffer from pneumonia. As a responsible owner, you have to know every single thing about this disease as it might affect the way you treat your pets. Pneumonia can also attack cats, be aware of the signs of pneumonia in cats.

Pneumonia in dogs is a disease that attacks the respiratory system. It will affect the airways and the lungs that allow the dogs to breathe. There are two types of pneumonia: bacterial and aspiration pneumonia.

Bacterial pneumonia is mainly caused by a bacterial infection, while aspiration pneumonia is caused by the presence of foreign substances along the respiratory system.

So, these are the things you must know about pneumonia in dogs: the causes, symptoms and treatment. Make sure you update your knowledge about this.

Causes of Pneumonia

As stated before, regarding to two different types of pneumonia, pneumonia can be caused by bacterial infection or the presence of foreign substances. Bordetella bronchiseptica, Klebsiella pneumonia and E. coli are the most common bacteria causing pneumonia. These bacteria are contagious, especially when the dog’s immune system is weak.

Talking about aspiration pneumonia, the cause is the foreign substances on its surroundings. The presence of these foreign substances leads to the abnormalities of the pharynx and enlargement of the lower esophagus.

There are many other possible causes of pneumonia in dogs, such as the inhaled toxins, metabolic disorders, tumor, or even injury to the respiratory system. You can find the root cause of your dog’s pneumonia by bringing it to the vet.

Signs of Pneumonia in Dogs

Pneumonia is a disease attacking respiratory system, so the signs will be around the respiratory system. The organs that might be affected are nose, windpipe, throat, trachea, lungs, bronchi and bronchioles.  However, there are some signs other that the ones related to respiratory system as well. The signs of pneumonia in dogs are:

  1. Coughing
  2. Difficulty in breathing
  3. Lethargy
  4. Runny nose
  5. Dehydration
  6. Weight loss
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Wheezing or nasal whistling
  9. High fever
  10. Open mouthed breathing

Coughing is the most common signs of any disease. You need to check whether the cough goes away after 3 days. If it goes away, then it might be normal. However, if it takes for more than 3 days and including other signs mentioned above, then you need to contact your vet. Coughing is also one of the reasons why your dog is limping.

These are the common signs of bacterial pneumonia. Hence, aspiration pneumonia might include some other additional signs, such as bluish skin, altered mood and difficulty in swallowing the food.

Pneumonia Treatment for Dogs

Before deciding on a treatment, diagnosing your dog’s pneumonia will be done in advance. To diagnose pneumonia in dogs, firstly your vet will examine your dog’s heart and lungs by using stethoscope.

If pneumonia is suspected, then your dog will go through x-rays. X-rays will be very accurate as it will tell you the underlying cause of pneumonia in your dogs and confirming the diagnosis as well.

Bronchoscopy and tracheal lavage might also be done to find the specific cause of pneumonia. It can be due to bacterial infection, virus or even cancer.

Regarding to treatment, if your dog might be asked to be treated at home if the pneumonia is not severe yet. However, when the severity is getting complex, your dog might need to stay in the hospital.

Dogs with severe case of pneumonia, such as having difficulty in breathing and blueish gum or even having low oxygen blood level will be asked to be hospitalized. They will get oxygen therapy and intravenous (IV) fluids.

If your dog is able to be treated at home, then there are some ways of home treatment you can do.

  • Antibiotics – this is for mild pneumonia. Antibiotics and other medications given by your vet can be given every single day until the signs are completely gone. Antibiotics must be finished even when you see your dog’s condition seem to be better or the cough starts to fade away. Antibiotics can create upset stomach, so it is suggested to give it with tasty food. Never force your dog to eat the antibiotics because it might worsen the pneumonia. Also spend time reading things every owner should know about antibiotics for dog.
  • Rest – do not let your dog do some heavy activities, such as exercising. Keep the activities as minimum as it could be. Let them rest their body until they recover. You can bring them for a walk for short time.
  • Nebulization and Coupage – humidification is also beneficial for treating your dog’s pneumonia.  You can simply bring your dog into the bathroom with doors closed. Then, run a warm shower for around 10-15 minutes. This will be helpful to break up the mucus in your dog’s lower airways.

Pneumonia can be dangerous if it is not treated properly, but it can also be cured. Pneumonia in dogs needs careful treatment and patience. As an owner, you need to enrich your knowledge about this. Love you dogs and don’t let them get sick even for a second!

If you are looking at other information about dog’s diseases, you can see unknown but deadly dog diseases every dog owner should know and symptoms and cause of hyperlipidemia in dogs.