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Pneumonia can occur in both cats and dogs of any age or breed. This is a respiratory condition that can develop when bacteria or viruses invade the lung's alveoli causing fluid or pus to accumulate. Pneumonia can also occur if fluid collects in in your pet's lungs due to such things as near-drownings or inhaling food or other substances.

How Pneumonia Affects Your Pet

Pneumonia in pets can be life-threatening if not treated. Left untreated, the lungs will continue to fill with fluid making it impossible for your pet to breathe. On the bright side, this pet health condition can be easily treated. So long as your dog or cat was a strong and healthy animal before it developed pneumonia, its prognosis is excellent.

Common Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms your pet may display if it has pneumonia will vary depending on how serious its condition is. However, there are several signs as follows that are quite common to most cases. If your cat or dog shows any of the following warning signs, be sure to seek medical attention right away. Common Symptoms of Pneumonia in Pets: Persistent, Rattling Cough, Fever, Rapid Breathing/Difficulty Breathing, Wheezing, Nasal Discharge, Depression, Fatigue, Rapid Pulse, Sitting With Head Extended, Difficulty Swallowing, Generalized Weakness, Exercise Intolerance, Vomiting and Loss of Appetite.

Treatments for Pneumonia

If you think that your pet has developed pneumonia, it is imperative that you take it to your veterinarian immediately. Never treat your pet on your own! Not only can some human medicines harm animals, but cough suppressants can actually make your pet's condition worse. Your veterinarian will typically prescribe antibiotics to help clear any infections, and it is important that you administer the medication as prescribed. In severe cases, it may be necessary for the veterinarian to use a suction device to clear your dog or cat's airways. Oxygen therapy will be required if your pet is having a difficult time breathing, and IV fluids can help in cases of dehydration or if oral medication is not an option. After your dog or cat has been stabilized, it is essential to provide a quiet place for it to rest. Light exercise is recommended to encourage recovery as well.

Breeds Affected

Pneumonia can develop in any pet under certain circumstances, no matter what breed or age it may be. However, there are some conditions that seem to make some pets more vulnerable to pneumonia: senior and very young pets, pets with short muzzles, animals with compromised immune systems, pets undertaking chemotherapy, pets with chronic illnesses, inhalation of gastric contents, inhalation of water during near-drowning, inhalation of other matter and pets with neuromuscular disorders.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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