We all want our furry friends to be as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, though, illnesses do strike on occasion. One of the common ailments that can strike our dog friends is pneumonia. This is an illness that can be very serious if not treated properly.
So, what exactly is dog pneumonia? How is it prevented, and how can it be treated? Most importantly, how can we protect our pets against this disease and others out there? We’ll address these questions in our guide to pneumonia in dogs.
What Is Dog Pneumonia?
Pneumonia in dogs is similar to the affliction in humans. The disease occurs when a dog inhales a strain of bacteria. That bacteria infect the dog’s lungs, airways, or respiratory tract (or some combination of all three), causing painful inflammation. This type of pneumonia is the most common type of the disease and is highly contagious.
There’s another way that dogs can contract pneumonia. Some dogs may suffer from something called aspiration pneumonia. This occurs when dogs take in regurgitated material after vomiting. This type of affliction occurs more often in puppies or dogs with certain types of deformities. This type of pneumonia is not contagious, and the treatments are very similar to those of inhalation pneumonia.
How Can I Prevent Dog Pneumonia?
In order to prevent bacterial pneumonia, the easiest way to stop it from happening is to make sure that your dog is up-to-date with their shots. This is especially important before your dog heads to a kennel. Bacterial pneumonia can often occur after being in the presence of other dogs in close quarters — something that obviously happens quite often during kenneling.
Additionally, take your dog for their regular check-ups with the veterinarian to make sure that your pet is happy and active.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Pneumonia?
The easiest way to tell if your dog has pneumonia is to look out for out-of-the-norm behavior. If your dog has pneumonia, they may refuse to eat or suffer from weight loss. They may become lethargic and constantly tired.
Also, pay close attention to your dog’s breathing and nasal activities. With pneumonia — which affects the lungs and airways — a dog’s breathing will be impacted. That means that your dog may suffer from shortness of breath or rapid breathing. They can also suffer from runny nose or show the symptoms of a fever in their body (high temperature, a cough, and so on).
Treating Pneumonia in Dogs
If your dog starts to show any of these signs of fatigue, bring them to your veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will be able to effectively diagnose the type of pneumonia and its severity. They’ll then recommend medicines to treat it.
In order to diagnose bacterial pneumonia in your dog, the veterinarian may have to take a few blood tests or perform a chest X-ray. In rarer cases, they may have to use a small camera or place your pet under sedation in order to examine them properly to determine the infection.
In some slighter cases, pneumonia treatment goes the same way “walking pneumonia” is among humans. Your dog is treated as an outpatient, given some medicine, and prescribed rest or some in-home treatments or light exercises so they can feel better.
In other, more severe cases, however, your pet may have to have care right there in the veterinarian’s office. That kind of care may include medications, intravenous fluids, or oxygen therapy. Luckily enough, the treatments for dog pneumonia are usually very effective. In a few days or weeks (in severe cases), your dog should be up and around as they were before.
One note: If your dog is sent home as an outpatient — or even if they have completed treatment — let them rest for a few days, and keep them away from other dogs to be very sure of their health.
Learn More: Dog Health Conditions
Protecting Your Pets
If your dog happens to come down with pneumonia, the treatment at the veterinarian office may turn out to be a costly one. Between the cost of the visit, tests, and any medicines your dog may have to take, the total bill could go well into the hundreds of dollars.
That type of financial hit for treatment of pneumonia and other diseases can result in a definite hardship for pet owners. Luckily, there is a way to gain protection — and financial security — when it comes to protecting your dog. Pet health insurance provides the rock-solid financial backup needed in case your family’s pet needs treatment.
Secure the protection your dog needs today. For the best pet insurance for your situation, visit PetInsuranceQuotes.com. There, you will find pet insurance reviews, dog insurance information, and much more. Visit us and get a quote today.