Can Liquid in the Lungs of Dogs Be Dangerous?

by Naomi Millburn
Unusual breathing noises sometimes point to pulmonary edema in dogs.

Unusual breathing noises sometimes point to pulmonary edema in dogs.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The collection of fluid in the lungs is known as pulmonary edema. The health ailment essentially is the irregular gathering of fluid in the lungs' air sacs, airway or tissues. Pulmonary edema can potentially affect all canines, no matter their breed, sex or age bracket.

Pulmonary Edema

The air sacs have a prominent presence in dogs' lungs. They appear in small masses in lung tissue. Each time respiration occurs, air enters these sacs. With pulmonary edema, fluid goes into the sacs. This results in insufficient space for both pulling in oxygen and letting go of carbon dioxide, and ultimately the emergence of pulmonary edema.

Dangers

Immoderate fluid in a dog's lungs can indeed be dangerous. Not only can the situation disrupting normal respiration processes, it can sometimes even lead to suffocation and ultimately, deadly results. Because of these possible dangers, prompt veterinary attention is imperative for any dogs who exhibit signs of the condition. If pulmonary edema is ignored, it can be extremely perilous.

Signs

Signs of the condition correspond with the amount of fluid collected. Intense signs usually signify lots and lots of fluid. Subtle signs, on the other hand, often denote less of it. Some common symptoms of pulmonary edema in dogs are feebleness, falling, coughing, fast or labored breathing, and oral discoloration -- think the tongue and the lips taking on a conspicuous blue tinge. Hacking is also a typical sign of pulmonary edema; they're attempting to empty out their lungs. Breathing with an ajar mouth also occasionally signifies the ailment.

Management

If your pet turns out to have pulmonary edema, your veterinarian can decide what course of management is most fitting for his needs. This could mean taking care of any other ailments that could potentially be contributing to the fluid buildup. It could also mean oxygen therapy, antibiotics, relaxation and diuretic medicines. All dogs have different cases of pulmonary edema and therefore require different modes of veterinary assistance.

Causes

A broad assortment of health conditions can trigger pulmonary edema in canines. Some of these conditions are infection, drowning, pneumonia, electric shock, anemia, injuries to the head, allergic reactions, heart failure. Various others exist. If your pet has a prior condition that caused his pulmonary edema, veterinary management of both health problems is an important priority.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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