Puppy Pneumonia: How to Recognize and Address When Your Dog is Sick

Puppy pneumonia is a scary possibility for any pet owner. By recognizing the symptoms and taking proper action, you can prevent this illness from becoming a life-threatening condition. Here are four important steps to take if you suspect that your puppy has pneumonia.

Keep an Eye on Symptoms

Pneumonia is most common in puppies and senior dogs, whose immune systems are already weak. Newborn puppies are especially vulnerable to aspiration pneumonia, a type of pneumonia that develops from bottle-feeding or forceful feeding. Other pneumonia infections are usually caused by either bacteria or viruses. It’s important to keep an eye on the main symptoms of pneumonia so that you can take the proper steps if you see them in your dog.

Common symptoms include rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, cough, nasal discharge, congestion, fever, lethargy and weakness. Dogs who refuse to eat or go on walks are also likely feeling ill.

Don’t Hesitate to Contact a Vet

No matter which type of pneumonia your dog has, they will require professional care. This isn’t the type of illness that you can treat on your own. Your dog may need antibiotics, antimicrobial medication, intravenous fluid, and/or oxygen therapy to fully battle the symptoms and pave the way for a full recovery.

If pneumonia goes untreated for too long, it can progress to becoming fatal. It’s important not to hesitate, which means contacting an emergency vet, such as one from the Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital, rather than scheduling a regular appointment. An emergency vet can see your puppy and begin treatment right away.

Keep Your Dog Away from Other Pets

Pneumonia is highly contagious. Your dog may have contracted it from another dog, and they can easily pass it onto other dogs in the home or at doggie daycare. Until your dog is in the clear, keep them away from other dogs to prevent spreading the infection.

Monitor Your Dog for Follow-Up Care

Depending on the type of pneumonia, your dog may require several days of follow-up care. They might need to stay at the vet’s office for a few days or may need you to administer medication at home. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully, and monitor your dog for any signs of regression.

Pneumonia is unpleasant and dangerous, but it’s also not uncommon in puppies and it doesn’t have to be life-threatening. By following these steps and taking action as soon as possible, you’ll ensure that your puppy becomes happy and healthy once again.

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