Treatment of Bacterial Pneumonia in Dogs
Treatment will start immediately with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Once the specific infecting bacterium is identified through lab testing, a more precise antibiotic may be prescribed. Other drugs may be prescribed for symptom control, including bronchodilators to ease breathing and expectorants to loosen mucus in their lungs. Short bursts of mild exercise will likely be encouraged if the dog is physically able, as this will help stimulate a productive cough that will help clear the animals’ lungs. In cases where the dog is not well enough to move around, they should be manually moved often, to keep fluid from settling on one side of the body.
If the dog is in acute distress, hospitalization may be necessary so that they may be monitored closely and given oxygen, nebulizer breathing treatments, and IV fluids.
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Costs of Treating Pneumonia in Dogs
Antibiotics or other required medications can cost anywhere between $50 and $150. If your dog is severely dehydrated from the vomiting fluid therapy may be prescribed which alongside oxygen support can cost around $130. If your dog is hospitalized, the total cost of treatment for pneumonia in dogs can be between $500 and $2000. However, without knowing the cause, it is difficult to know the complete cost, so be sure to ask your vet about what treatment options are best for your dogs diagnosis. The best way to keep costs low and manageable is to catch pneumonia early, so seek consultation with your vet if you suspect your dog may be suffering from a pneumonia infection.
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 pets condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Causes of Bacterial Pneumonia in Dogs
Many common respiratory bacteria cause bacterial pneumonia:
This most contagious of these is Bordetella, or Kennel Cough. Kennel cough is an infection of the trachea and upper respiratory tract, but can spread lower into the lungs and develop into pneumonia. As it is very contagious through contact with other dogs, most kennels, trainers, and groomers require current Bordetella vaccinations. Viral infection from parainfluenza and distemper can also make the body more vulnerable to pneumonia.
Dogs with compromised immune systems or metabolic diseases, such as renal failure, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, and Addison’s disease are more susceptible to bacterial pneumonia. Environmental factors like exposure to smoke, smog, or other lung irritants can also cause a dog to be more likely to contract bacterial pneumonia.
How to Treat Dogs With Pneumonia
Pneumonia in dogs can be a serious health concern, however, treatment is available and most dogs recover well. The staff at Carolina Veterinary Specialists share some of the symptoms of pneumonia in dogs, home treatment options, and what your vet can do to assist you in carrying for your sick canine companion.
Pneumonia in dogs presents itself similarly to pneumonia in humans. Pneumonia in dogs can cause difficulty breathing and be life-threatening in severe cases just as it can be in people. When air sacs inside the lungs become inflamed, the lungs will swell and fill with pus and fluid that prevents enough air from entering the lungs. Some strains of pneumonia are highly contagious, such as the colloquially known “kennel cough” which infects the trachea and bronchi.
Included below is a varied, but not exhaustive, list of symptoms to look out for when determining if there is cause for concern your dog has pneumonia. Your dog may require treatment if they are experiencing any of these symptoms, and you should contact your vet for guidance if you are concerned.
Often treatment for Pneumonia in dogs will require hospitalization in order to monitor their condition. Even when hospitalization is not required, it is important to take your dog to your vet if you suspect they are experiencing pneumonia, as the infection is most likely to become life-threatening without medical intervention. In the most severe cases, a feeding tube and IV drip may be required to ensure the patient receives the nutrients they need to fight off the infection.
If your vet suspects a patient has contracted pneumonia, diagnostic testing will be required to determine the exact type of pneumonia which is ailing your dog. While awaiting the test results, your vet may prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, before switching the medication to a more targeted antibiotic specific to your dogs infection.
When returning home, your vet will provide you with specific instructions on caring for your dog during their recovery. Typical pneumonia in dogs treatment includes: