Treatment Options for Dog Pneumonia

Canine pneumonia can be as dangerous for dogs as it can be for humans, with potential fatality if left without treatment. Dogs can contract the disease from other infected animals, especially after spending time in a kennel, or from tissues in their own body. There are many treatments for this respiratory infection, which can prevent your dog from unnecessary damage.

Dog Pneumonia Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of canine pneumonia is coughing. This can be coupled with mucous and difficulty to breathing, as well as a loss of appetite. If you notice that your dog's tongue, gums and lips have a bluish tint, your dog is experiencing a lack of oxygen in the blood, known as cyanosis. This indicates a later stage of the disease, so you should visit your vet immediately for treatment.

Diagnosis: Pneumonia or Dog Flu?

In order to diagnose dog pneumonia, your vet will have to go through several medical procedures. After a physical exam and using a stethoscope to hear your dog breathing, he or she will take X-rays in order to view the lungs.

Pneumonia often occurs as a result of another infection, so your vet will be looking for signs of another disease as well, like dog flu or a cold, as well as respiratory parasites.

Early Treatment of Dog Pneumonia

When caught early on, while your dog is still eating and drinking without difficulty, treatment is relatively easy. You will have to administer a course of antibiotics for about three weeks at home, while monitoring your pet's progress. Without your vet's approval, you should never shorten the antibiotics course, even if your pet appears to be doing better. If the condition worsens, see your vet again for further treatment.

Improve Your Dog's Breathing

Mucosal buildup is one of the primary obstructions to breathing in a dog suffering from pneumonia. Many vets recommend drinking lots of water to maintain hydration, in addition to airway humidification through prescribed drugs.

You can improve your dog's respiratory wellness by continuing to exercise, and by chest vibration of the thorax, or tapping your dog's chest, which encourages coughing. This coughing helps move the mucous out of your dog's lungs.

Late Treatment Medical Procedures for Dog

Pneumonia can be very dangerous if not treated early. If your dog has pronounced anorexia on top of the usual symptoms of pneumonia, it will most likely be necessary to look into hospitalization in order to keep him or her hydrated and breathing during the course of treatment.

If a foreign body or fungal growth is causing your dog's pneumonia, aggressive tactics like surgery may be necessary. Your vet will perform a procedure to remove the cause of the condition.

Recovering and Preventing Flu After Treatment

Keep watching your dog for any further signs of pneumonia after your course of treatment is done. Visit your vet, who will want further X-rays to check your dog's recovery, if anything seems wrong.