Dog Pneumonia Symptoms

Dog pneumonia is not a particularly common illness in dogs, but when it does occur, it can be fatal. Dogs can contract this deadly disease simply by inhaling fungal, bacterial, or viral spores; although, bacterial pneumatic infections tend to be the most prevalent. The reason that dog pneumonia is so dangerous is because it causes a significant amount of inflammation in the lining of the lungs, leading to extreme breathing difficulties. The best way to combat dog pneumonia is to be aware of the symptoms and to seek medical attention immediately upon noticing them.

Productive Cough

The most noticeable sign of dog pneumonia is often a persistent, productive cough. When the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed, it begins to fill with mucus, which is the body's normal defense against infection. However, in the case of dog pneumonia, this leads to constant coughing as the dog attempts to alleviate the lungs of that mucus. While this is one of the key symptoms for diagnosis, it is important to beware that productive coughing is necessary to help release some of that trapped mucus from the lungs.

Shortness of Breath

Moderate-to-severe shortness of breath is another common symptom of dog pneumonia; this alone usually causes a dog owner to take notice and realize that something is drastically wrong. As the condition progresses, the lining of the lungs continues to build with mucus, making it very difficult for a dog to breathe normally. The result of this is wheezing and a dry, hacking cough. Unfortunately, many dog owners mistake this symptom for asthma and fail to seek prompt medical attention.

High-Grade Fever

An unusually high-grade fever is most common with bacterial and fungal cases of dog pneumonia; however, it is important to note that well-progressed viral infections may cause a high-grade fever as well. The fever is created by a basic response from the immune system. The main function of the immune system is to protect the body from harm, so when an infection is identified, the immune system will naturally elevate the body's temperature to kill off bacteria; however, this can be detrimental if a dog’s body temperature becomes so high that the his organs can no longer function properly.

Lethargy and Fatigue

As with any major illness, dog pneumonia tends to cause generalized lethargy and fatigue, namely because the immune system is consumed with fighting off the existing infection. When a dog’s body focuses so much of its energy on riding the body of infection, the dog begins to lose stamina. This is turn causes a great deal of abnormal patterns of sleep and reluctance to take part in normal activities.