Pneumonia in dogs can be a serious health concern, however, treatment is available and most dogs recover well. The staff at Carolina Veterinary Specialists share some of the symptoms of pneumonia in dogs, home treatment options, and what your vet can do to assist you in carrying for your sick canine companion.
Pneumonia in Dogs
Pneumonia in dogs presents itself similarly to pneumonia in humans. Pneumonia in dogs can cause difficulty breathing and be life-threatening in severe cases just as it can be in people. When air sacs inside the lungs become inflamed, the lungs will swell and fill with pus and fluid that prevents enough air from entering the lungs. Some strains of pneumonia are highly contagious, such as the colloquially known "kennel cough" which infects the trachea and bronchi.
Signs of Pneumonia in Dogs
Included below is a varied, but not exhaustive, list of symptoms to look out for when determining if there is cause for concern your dog has pneumonia. Your dog may require treatment if they are experiencing any of these symptoms, and you should contact your vet for guidance if you are concerned.
- Shallow Breathing
- Difficulty Breathing
- Nasal Whistling
- bloody mucus from nose or mouth
- blue, grey, or purple mucus membranes
- Weight loss
- Loss of Apetite
Treating Pneumonia in Dogs
Often treatment for Pneumonia in dogs will require hospitalization in order to monitor their condition. Even when hospitalization is not required, it is important to take your dog to your vet if you suspect they are experiencing pneumonia, as the infection is most likely to become life-threatening without medical intervention. In the most severe cases, a feeding tube and IV drip may be required to ensure the patient receives the nutrients they need to fight off the infection.
If your vet suspects a patient has contracted pneumonia, diagnostic testing will be required to determine the exact type of pneumonia which is ailing your dog. While awaiting the test results, your vet may prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, before switching the medication to a more targeted antibiotic specific to your dog's infection.
Pneumonia in Dogs Home Treatment
When returning home, your vet will provide you with specific instructions on caring for your dog during their recovery. Typical pneumonia in dogs treatment includes:
- 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.
- A consistent supply of fresh water to help keep them hydrated.
- Making sure they eat, even if they are not enthusiastic to accept food. Pneumonia often makes dogs food averse but it is important to make sure they get the nutrients they need.
- Treating your dog with a steam treatment by running a hot shower while you sit with your dog in the bathroom or shower room.
Costs of Treating Pneumonia in Dogs
Antibiotics or other required medications can cost anywhere between $50 and $150. If your dog is severely dehydrated from the vomiting fluid therapy may be prescribed which alongside oxygen support can cost around $130. If your dog is hospitalized, the total cost of treatment for pneumonia in dogs can be between $500 and $2000. However, without knowing the cause, it is difficult to know the complete cost, so be sure to ask your vet about what treatment options are best for your dog's diagnosis. The best way to keep costs low and manageable is to catch pneumonia early, so seek consultation with your vet if you suspect your dog may be suffering from a pneumonia infection.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.