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.
Symptoms of Puppy Pneumonia
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.
Preventing Transmission of Infective Agents
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.
Based in Michigan, Keri Gardner has been writing scientific journal articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such journals as "Disability and Rehabilitation" and "Journal of Orthopaedic Research." She holds a Master of Science in comparative medicine and integrative biology from Michigan State University.