Bacterial Pneumonia in Dogs: All you need to know

Bacterial Pneumonia in Dogs: Does your dog have a severe cough, shortness of breath and nasty-looking pus from his nose? It’s not as cold as we thought.

Dogs, especially middle-aged to aged dogs are prone to respiratory problems. If they are not detected or treated, the result is a bad case of pneumonia.


Yes, Dogs can get Bacterial Pneumonia. If you ever have inflammation of the lungs, you know how nasty it can be.

Pneumonia is uncommon in healthy adult puppies, but dogs and senior dogs can also be at risk. Puppies and senior dogs have less effective immunity to fight off body invaders.

Causes of Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacterial Pneumonia can have many causes, including bacterial, viral or fungal. For example, mycoplasma bacteria, calicivirus, and cryptococcal fungi are all potential culprits.

If the protozoal parasite Toxoplasmosis (T. gondii) leads to pneumonia it can lead to the lungs.

If these foreign organisms penetrate into the nostrils or trachea, they cause inflammation or infection, which continues to the lungs.

Also Read: Dogs with Pink Noses: why do dogs have pink noses?

Fluid, pus and cellular debris form in the lungs, resulting in pneumonia.

Pneumonia can also occur when dogs inhale aspirin or accidentally inhale fluid, vomit, or certain substances that irritate the lungs.

It can be as small and harmless as a seed.

Some cases of pneumonia are complicated by multiple invasive organisms.

A virus or fungus can cause early damage, weakening the dog, thereby catching a secondary bacterial infection.

Identifying signs Pneumonia

Here are some typical signs of pneumonia in dogs:

  • Shallow, tiring or difficult to breathe.
  • Rapid respiratory rate
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Dry, hacking cough or wet cough that brings up mucus or blood.
  • Laziness.
  • Green or cloudy yellow discharge from the nose (if in the upper lung).

These can also be signs of other illnesses. Whenever your dog exhibits these signs, she needs to visit a veterinarian.

After your veterinarian has done a physical exam and history, diagnostics for pneumonia may include a full blood panel and chest x-rays.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, additional tests are recommended to help identify the underlying cause.

Multiple medications may be needed to treat the infection. They include antibiotics, drugs that help open the airways, and nasal decongestants that help break down mucus.

The treatment can take several weeks to be successful. Dogs with severe cases need to be hospitalized so they can receive supportive care such as intravenous fluids and oxygen.

A bad case of pneumonia is hard for a dog to fight. If the infection spreads throughout the body, other organs become inflamed, affecting their ability to function.

When things go bad, these dogs find it very difficult to recover, and their survival is in doubt.

That’s why veterinary care is a must if you notice these signs in your dog.

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