What is Bacterial Bronchopneumonia?
There are various types of bacterial infection in dogs. Bronchopneumonia or pneumonia can cause severe illness or even death in canines. Your dog may get infected through inhalation of a bacteria that spreads throughout his body. Pneumonia in dog is not easy to treat, but with timely care, the condition can be managed. Hounds, sporting dogs, and working dogs have been documented as the types of canine who most often get bacterial bronchopneumonia. In addition, pets who are less than a year old are susceptible. It is important to quickly recognize if your pet has a respiratory condition and seek the help of a veterinarian right away, especially if there are obvious signs of breathing difficulty.
Bronchopneumonia is caused by inflammation of the lungs and airways. The air passages enlarge within the lungs as a result of the bacterial infection.
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Symptoms of Bacterial Bronchopneumonia in Dogs
There are several symptoms that relate to pneumonia in dogs. These include:
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid breathing
- Labored breathing
- Nasal discharge
There are various types of organisms that can result in bacterial bronchopneumonia in dogs and it is possible that these could include:
- Parasitic worms
Other conditions with signs that may seem to be the same as bronchopneumonia are:
- Foreign body
- Pulmonary edema
- Acute bronchitis
- Contagious tracheal bronchitis
Causes of Bacterial Bronchopneumonia in Dogs
The treatment for a pneumatic condition in dogs will depend on what caused the infection. Often, it is caused by kennel cough, which is an infection related to the bronchial and tracheal system. It can, however, spread deeply into the lungs. This is especially true for younger or older dogs, as well as dogs that have a weakened immune system. Pneumonia is also contagious and therefore, your dog may get it from another dog.
Diagnosis of Bacterial Bronchopneumonia in Dogs
The veterinarian will perform diagnostic tests to define the state of your dog’s health, what caused it and the required treatment. She will also try to exclude other unrelated conditions. A physical examination will be done and this may include careful evaluation of the dog’s lungs and heart. If the veterinarian hears a noises in the lungs, then she may suspect bacterial bronchopneumonia.
Your veterinarian will require a full medical history and may ask several questions related to past or similar illnesses. Other factors that may be considered will be recent weight loss (may be related to loss of appetite), exposure to irritants such as dust or smoke, and how your pet tolerated exercise and activity of late.
Your veterinarian may conduct tests to rule out other possible conditions or causes for the symptoms. A complete blood count, airway cytology, and chest x-ray can indicate pneumonia. Other conditions that present in a similar manner, such as heartworm, will need to be ruled out.
Treatment of Bacterial Bronchopneumonia in Dogs
The objective for the veterinarian is to provide treatment and restore health as quickly as possible. In so doing, the veterinary professional will ensure proper blood circulation and work to eliminate the bacteria, in turn, restoring your pet’s health. Bacterial bronchopneumonia is a progressive disorder and can cause deterioration in health. In some cases, hospitalization is necessary due to the importance of IV fluids, oxygen, and supportive measures. Your dog may also need antibiotics to be administered in regularity.
Pets with mild bacterial bronchopneumonia should be hydrated and fed properly as outpatients. However, follow up treatment is possible in order to monitor any progression of the condition. Follow up may include:
- Humidification of the airways
- Loosening and removal of secretions
- Lots of fluids
- Bronchodilator therapy
- Cough suppressants
The veterinarian may consider treatment for other underlying factors that will result in risks to progressive pneumonia. This will eliminate and prevent the condition from returning.
Recovery of Bacterial Bronchopneumonia in Dogs
After treatment is administered and the veterinarian releases your pet to you, it is important to make sure your pet is kept warm and dry. Give your pet plenty of fluids and keep him indoors as much as possible. Schedule follow up visits with your veterinarian. Limit activities and exercise until your dog feels better. Keep your pet away from smoke, fumes and dust.