Aspiration pneumonia can be quite serious in dogs, however, treatment is available and most dogs can recover quite well from it. Today, our Cincinnati vets discuss the causes, signs, and treatment of pneumonia in dogs.
Aspiration pneumonia can occur if your dog accidentally inhales medication or vomits, if they have an abnormality of their pharynx or if a neuromuscular disorder affects their respiratory system. In less common instances, an incorrectly placed feeding tube or enlargement of your dog's lower esophagus caused by frequent regurgitation may lead to aspiration pneumonia.
Signs & Symptoms of Pneumonia in Dogs
As is the case with most respiratory conditions, the symptoms of pneumonia are much the same as those listed for bacterial pneumonia and may include one or more of the following:
- Breathing difficulties
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Weight loss
- Difficulty exercising
- Nasal whistling
- Irregular breathing
- Loss of appetite
However, aspiration pneumonia may also cause other symptoms such as:
- Frequent regurgitation
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bluish skin
- Altered mood
If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia contact your vet to book an appointment for your pet. Early diagnosis and treatment could help to prevent more severe, harder-to-treat, symptoms from developing.
Treating Pneumonia in Dogs
After being diagnosed with infectious or aspiration pneumonia, vets will often prescribe your dog medications to help control its symptoms. These can include anti-inflammatory medications for pain or fever and expectorants for coughing and breathing issues.
In more severe cases, your pup may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics, supplemented oxygen, and fluid therapy.
Helping Your Dog Recover From Pneumonia
Your vet will provide you with specific instructions on caring for your dog during its recovery from pneumonia, but typical instructions for care include:
- Supplying plenty of fresh water to help keep them hydrated during their recovery.
- Provide your dog with a steam treatment by running a hot shower while you sit with your dog in the shower room or bathroom.
- Restrict your dog's activities while they recover.
- Keeping other pets and small children away from your dog to allow them to get adequate rest.
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.