Puppy pneumonia is an infection of a puppy's respiratory tract. Pneumonia is not a disease, it is inflammation of the lungs due to infection. This secondary condition can be caused by fungal, viral, parasitic and bacterial infections. Aspiration pneumonia can develop if your puppy vomits and inhales some of the vomit. Depending on the cause of the pneumonia, infectious agents can be contagious to other animals until treatment is implemented.
When an infectious agent invades a puppy's respiratory tract, the tissues become inflamed, impairing breathing. Puppies with pneumonia will have frequent coughing with mucus production, breathing difficulty and possible fever. Often puppies will become listless and refuse to eat or drink. Respiratory swelling and fluid accumulation make it difficult for affected puppies to get enough oxygen into their bodies. Any of these symptoms warrants immediate attention by your veterinarian.
Infectious agents carried in the oral fluids of a puppy diagnosed with pneumonia can be contagious to other animals with compromised health. Antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian will treat bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics and antifungals will prevent bacterial and fungal agents from becoming contagious. If a viral agent is diagnosed as the cause of your puppy's pneumonia, then isolation, supportive care and proper hygiene will prevent spreading. Parasites require treatment with medication to prevent further contamination.
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