Dog Pneumonia | Symptoms and Signs
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Symptoms of Pneumonia in Dogs

Effects of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is not particularly common in healthy mature dogs. It is more often a disease of the very young, the very old and those with weak or compromised immune systems. When it does occur, pneumonia can be acute (come on suddenly) or chronic (come on slowly). The main functions of the lungs are to supply the blood with oxygen inhaled from outside air, and to dispose of carbon dioxide waste in exhaled air. When signs of pneumonia are present, they are attributable to insufficient intake of oxygen and inefficient oxygen exchange and delivery to body cells, both of which are caused by inflammation and irritation of airway and lung tissue and by mucus build-up in the respiratory tract.

Symptoms of Pneumonia in Dogs

Dogs with pneumonia may never show signs of their disease. When symptoms are present, they may include one or more of the following:

  • Rapid breathing (increased respiratory rate; tachypnea)
  • Deep breathing (increased respiratory depth)
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea; labored breathing; respiratory distress on inspiration and exhalation)
  • Cough (usually soft, wet, bubbly and productive)
  • Nasal discharge (usually bilateral [coming from both nostrils] and thick with mucus and pus)
  • Sneezing
  • Chest congestion (wheezes and crackles detectable on auscultation [listening through a stethoscope])
  • Fever (+/-)
  • Lack of appetite (inappetence; anorexia)
  • Weight loss
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Unusual stance – head lowered, front legs splayed at the elbows
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes (cyanosis)
  • Collapse

Dogs at Increased Risk

Young puppies and old dogs are the most common targets of pneumonia. Newborn puppies are vulnerable to developing aspiration pneumonia, especially if they are bottle-fed or if they have cleft palates. Any dog that is force-fed also has an increased chance of developing aspiration pneumonia. Dogs with damage to or diseases of the throat, trachea, esophagus, stomach, airways or lungs may have an increased risk of developing pneumonia, as do dogs whose immune systems are compromised for any reason.

Source: PetWave


Glaucoma in Dogs

Glaucoma in Dogs: Learn about Glaucoma, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Mental Health

Dog Mental Disorders Center:  Here you'll find in-depth information on mental disorders that affect dogs....

Entropion in Dogs

Entropion in Dogs: Learn about Entropion, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Leukemia in Dogs

Leukemia in Dogs: Learn about Leukemia, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Dystocia (Prolonged Birth) in Dogs

Dystocia in Dogs: Learn about Dystocia, including how it can affect your dog, and what...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.