Just like humans, dogs are prone to diseases of the lungs. One of the most common pathologies we see in dogs is pneumonia.
What is pneumonia and how do dogs get sick?
Pneumonia is a painful inflammation that happens when bacteria start to multiply in the dog’s lung and other parts of the respiratory tract. This type of disease can easily be transferred among dogs and it can also be life-threatening because the lungs fill up with fluid and puss, making it hard for the dog to breathe. There is also another type of pneumonia that develops in dogs and it is called aspiration pneumonia. It occurs when the dog vomits as a result of some other pathology some of that content ends up in the lungs.
What are the signs of pneumonia in dogs?
The clinical signs that your dog may present are not specific for pneumonia, but they can certainly help the veterinarian distinguish them and do the advanced diagnostics to confirm. Dogs that have pneumonia usually present these symptoms:
- lack of desire to play
- shallow breathing
- in some cases nose discharge
- loss of appetite
How is pneumonia diagnosed?
As with any disease, when you take your dog to the vet, he will do a thorough examination for starters. Usually, in cases like this, the vet will almost always do blood work and biochemistry, as well as x-rays. In more advanced cases, the dog can be put under anesthesia and a bronchial lavage may be done. Bronchial lavage allows the vet to collect samples, which can be then sent to a laboratory that determines which bacteria your dog has and what is the most appropriate treatment protocol.
What are the treatment options for dogs with pneumonia?
In most cases, dogs with pneumonia will need to be hospitalized. The treatment requires them to receive fluids and antibiotics intravenously while being monitored. In cases, when the dog is not that clinically bad, the owner can take it home with them, but a strict regimen for tablets and medication is prescribed which could last a couple of weeks.
A very important note is that during the treatment period you should not over-exercise your dog. A short walk to the potty and a bit of fresh air on the leash should be enough.
In cases when your dog does not require hospitalization, the treatment will probably cost you between $50 and $150. If your dog needs an x-ray and oxygen supplementation that could add another$150. In the worst case, if your dog is hospitalized then you should expect the price to be between $500 and $2000.