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When Your Dog Gets Pneumonia

As most dog owners would agree, you want your dog to be healthy. Not surprisingly dogs can get many of the very same illnesses that people get. One of these is pneumonia. This is more commonly found in young puppies under 1 year of age, but sometimes older dogs can get it as well. If not treated quickly it can be deadly.

Symptoms

The major symptoms are productive coughing, nasal discharge, trouble breathing, fever, dehydration, appetite loss, lethargic behavior, sudden weight loss, and an increased heart rate. You might also see that your dogs lips are protruding out when they breathe. It is getting severe when the lungs start to fill with fluid and the oxygen supply to the rest of the body is reduced. You can tell if they are getting less oxygen by looking at their tongue, lips, and gums. If they are blue or gray in color (if they are not normally this color) then you have a big problem.

Causes

There are 3 main causes for pneumonia. These are either bacterial, fungal, viral, or are caused from parasites. When it comes to dogs the most common way is from bacteria. Most often it is through inhaling these bad bacteria that they contract it. Contributing factors are a reduced immune system, they can’t eliminate waste very well, malnutrition, and bacterial infection.

Diagnosis

If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, call a vet immediately. Your vet should immediately look at the dogs lungs and their heart. When the dog breathes if there is wheezing or strange noises they should be able to hear it through a stethoscope. It might even be heard without one. It shouldn’t take long for your vet to properly diagnose the problem.

Treatment

If your dog does get pneumonia then depending on the severity, your dog may need some hospitalization. When in treatment your vet should be able to confirm the type of pneumonia. If it is bacterial, then they will give the dog antibiotics. They also might use treatments such as humidified oxygen to loosen the buildup in the lungs. The key is to get your dog in immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

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