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Dog pneumonia

Dog Pneumonia Causes, Symptoms

Like humans, dogs too are prone to many different types of health problems.

One such dog health issue is pneumonia. This condition leads to an inflammation of the bronchi and the lungs. Dogs of a younger age are likely to be at risk for this disease. Dog pneumonia can even prove to be fatal if timely treatment is not administered.

Pneumonia can occur due to viral, fungal, bacterial or other parasitic infections. Canine pneumonia however mostly occurs due to infection by bacteria. The disease is most likely to be contracted through inhalation. Some of the main factors involved in dog pneumonia include malnutrition, suppression of the immune system due to intake of certain drugs, improper removal of inhaled debris in the lungs, dyskinesia, aspiration of gastric content and other infection by parasites.

Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to pneumonia. Such breeds include sporting dogs, working dogs, hounds and specific mixed breeds. Pneumonia is more likely to occur in dogs between the age of two months and 15 years. One of the main dog pneumonia symptoms is coughing. Some of the other symptoms include mucus secretions while coughing, nasal discharge, breathing problems, fever, dehydration, wheezing, appetite loss and lethargy. One may also observe that the lips of the dog tend to bulge outwards during breathing. Breathing remains shallow and quick as the dog receives inadequate oxygen due to the fluid filled tissues of the lungs. Cyanosis may also occur wherein the gums, tongue and lips of the dog turn a bluish-gray. This occurs due to the insufficient blood oxygen levels. The body temperature also rises and if left untreated, death can also occur.

Dog Pneumonia Treatment

If pneumonia symptoms are observed in the dog, immediate medical assistance is required. The veterinarian may inquire about the dog’s medical history and may conduct a physical examination of the dog, mainly of the heart and lungs. The sounds emanating from the dog as he breathes are taken into account. Other tests may also be done in order to diagnose the condition properly. Dog pneumonia remedy usually requires hospitalization as severe breathing difficulties can occur. Intravenous fluids, medication and oxygen are administered to the dog. Antibiotic medication may be given for up to three weeks. The dog is also given plenty of fluids and humidified oxygen and is kept warm. Pneumonia can be a serious health problem and can progress quite rapidly and as such it must never be neglected.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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