Pneumonia

A variety of organisms and viruses can be attributed to a puppy developing Pneumonia, such as parainfluenza, adenovirus and canine distemper virus, and bacteria such as Bordetella,Streptococci, and Mycoplasma sp. Any disease or condition that affects the respiratory tract can predispose a dog to developing bacterial pneumonia.

Puppies with infections confined to the upper respiratory tract may appear clinically healthy, eating and free from fever. Most of these puppies will respond favourably in time with good care and antibiotic therapy. However, dogs with bacterial pneumonia usually have a high fever, have difficulty breathing, have decreased exercise tolerance (tire easily), are lethargic and have a cough. Other symptoms that may be present include a nasal discharge, loud breathing, rapid breathing, weight loss, anorexia and dehydration.

The youngest, most immuno-suppressed puppies (under-developed/immature immune system), or breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs with existing congenital respiratory abnormalities, have a reduced ability to fight respiratory tract infections, and for them pneumonia is a life-threatening risk.

Symptoms

Dogs with bacterial pneumonia usually have a high fever, have difficulty breathing, have decreased exercise tolerance (tire easily), are lethargic, and have a cough. Other symptoms that may be present include a nasal discharge, loud breathing, rapid breathing, weight loss, anorexia and dehydration.

Causes

This depends on the type of pneumonia, but for the purposes here, the causes for vulnerable puppies (bad breeding and pre-existing illness or condition) can be that they are unable to cope with a change in their environment and become too stressed to fight off infection. Other causes include poor nutrition, overcrowding, poor hygiene, and diseases such as parasitism, which will all predispose a puppy to the development of contagious respiratory tract infections.

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