Bacterial Pneumonia Average Cost

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What is Bacterial Pneumonia?

Bacterial pneumonia causes great distress to the feline and is often a life-threatening condition to kittens or mature felines. If you notice your cat is breathing heavily, has a green nasal discharge, or has a blue color to her mouth, she is mostly likely suffering from a type of pneumonia. 

Bacterial pneumonia in cats is the term used to describe an inflammation in the lungs and respiratory system, caused by a bacterial infection. When a cat contracts bacterial pneumonia, the alveoli that are connected to the bronchi fill with fluid and infection. As more and more alveoli become filled with infectious fluid, the alveoli cannot remove carbon dioxide from the blood, or replace the contaminated blood with oxygenated blood. The level of circulating oxygenated blood is decreased and the feline’s body compensates for the low oxygen level by breathing rapidly. 

Symptoms of Bacterial Pneumonia in Cats

Bacterial pneumonia in cats is first noted by a moist cough and difficult breathing. As the condition worsens, your cat may also develop a fever, have a greenish discharge from the nose, refuse to eat, and begin losing weight. Additional symptoms of bacterial pneumonia in cats include: 

  • Rapid breathing 
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Lethargy 
  • An unkempt hair coat
  • Weight loss
  • Anorexia
  • Cyanosis, or blue tinged mucous membranes
  • Rattling cough or lung sounds
  • Green or yellowish discharge from the nose
  • Fever

Causes of Bacterial Pneumonia in Cats

Bacterial pneumonia in cats is caused by a variety of different bacteria including; Bordetella, Staphylococcus, Pasteurella multocida, Yersinia pestis, Chlamydiae or Streptococcus. Your cat can become infected with bacterial pneumonia from a contaminated food or water bowl, sharing close quarters with an infected cat, or as a secondary result to a viral infection. 

Diagnosis of Bacterial Pneumonia in Cats

Diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia in cats begins with a review of your cat’s medical history, an exchange of notes between the owner and the doctor, followed by a physical examination. The vet is likely to listen to your cat’s lungs through the use of a stethoscope, which may reveal a harsh breathing tone. The doctor may then ask for a routine blood test to be done on the cat including a biochemistry profile and complete blood cell count. A high number of white blood cells is the common result in bacterial pneumonia, as the cat’s immunity produces these cells to fight the bacteria. If the results from the blood test do not show a high number of white blood cells, the exams will give the doctor a baseline for your cat’s health, proceeding to the following diagnostic tests:

  • Blood-Gas Evaluation: measurement of circulating oxygenated blood. 
  • Chest x-ray
  • Tracheal wash: an exam used to collect cells from the trachea with bacterial traces.
  • Lung aspiration: a collection of cells from within the lungs using fine needle aspiration.  

Treatment of Bacterial Pneumonia in Cats

Treatment of bacterial pneumonia in cats begins with stabilizing the patient. A patient may need stabilization treatment if the feline is having a difficult time breathing, rapid breathing, or cyanosis. Oxygen therapy or a nebulizer may be used to return the feline’s breath back to a normal bpm (breath per minute). If the feline is severely dehydrated, your veterinarian may also provide intravenous fluid therapy before directly treating the cause of the pneumonia. 

Once the cat has become stable, your veterinarian is likely to treat bacterial pneumonia in cats with an aggressive, broad-spectrum antibiotic. The exact form of antibiotic depends on the type of bacteria your cat is infected with, so discuss the best treatment option with your veterinarian. Your cat will likely be hospitalized or be restricted to a cage at home.

Recovery of Bacterial Pneumonia in Cats

Following discharge of the feline patient, the veterinarian may ask you to complete a follow-up visit, at which chest x-rays may be taken. The follow-up exam could be anywhere between 2-3 weeks after hospitalization and should be done as instructed to ensure the pneumonia is cured. All prescribed medications should be administered and at-home care should be carried out as directed by your veterinarian.

The prognosis for a cat with bacterial pneumonia depends on the age of the feline and his/her overall health before contracting pneumonia. If the feline is of a mature age or is still an infant, the bacterial infection could cause problems for that feline later in life. Likewise, if the feline is already sick or is of old age, bacterial pneumonia can take longer to cure or could be fatal to the feline. The prognosis for bacterial pneumonia in your cat can improve if the infection is detected early and treated by a licensed veterinary professional. 

Bacterial Pneumonia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Part Himalayan
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

I have a cat that was diagnosed with cancer the X-ray showed nothing but a big dark mass in her lungs and she barely see her heart she has labored breathing in signs of pneumonia that said that you just thought she had an upper respiratory and gave her a shot of Covina. She's not picking Prednisolone acetate. I'm more than miss something but it could be pneumonia and not just cancer the cancer mass is on her leg what should I do

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
494 Recommendations
Thank you for your question, I'm not sure that I understand what your question is, or what Tisha is being treated for? If she was treated with Convenia, your veterinarian probably suspects pneumonia, but there is a possibility of cancer if there was a mass seen on x-rays. it would be best to have your veterinarian re-assess her if needed, and seek the answers that you are wanting to know from them, as they have seen Tisha and know about her situation.

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7 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Crackling noises
Weight Loss

Medication Used


I know he has pnemonia because we took him to the vet, but he won't eat and he's throwing up a yellow liquid a while after he drinks. He only ate the other day and I don't know what to do.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
494 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us about Rusty, I'm sorry that he is having problems. If he was diagnosed with pneumonia at your veterinarian, he may need to be hospitalized to treat that condition until he is more stable. If he is vomiting and won't eat, he needs to be seen by your veterinarian today, as he may need intravenous therapy and antibiotics. I hope that he recovers okay.

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2 Years
Has Symptoms
Loud Breathing
Shallow Rapid Breathing
Cat kept sounding like she was going to cough up a hairball, but nothing came up. Sever progression of symptoms in less than a day. Strained meowing with breathing that sounded like it was crackling. Had to be put in an oxygen tank for 24 hours(they wanted to keep her longer, but I couldn't afford the emergency room cost for that long) and put on meds for 2 weeks