Pneumonia (Bacterial) in Dogs

While pneumonia is the inflammation of lungs, bacterial pneumonia refers to the inflammation of the lungs due to disease-causing bacteria. In this condition, there is an accumulation of inflammatory cells and fluids in the lungs, airways and alveoli (the portion in airway where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchange). 

There are two other secondary conditions that may develop with pneumonia and which can be fatal for the dog. These are hypoxemia and sepsis. 

Hypoxemia refers to severly low levels of oxygen in the blood whereas sepsis is systemic infection with the presence of toxic, pus-forming bacteria in the dog's blood stream.

Symptoms associated with bacterial pneumonia include:



Difficulty breathing

Lack of appetite

Weight loss


Nasal discharge


Rapid breathing

Exercise intolerence

Abnormal respiratory sound

Pneumonia can occur in dogs and cats, but is more common in dogs. Sporting dogs, hounds, working dogs and mixed breed dogs over 25 pounds may be predisposed. Most affected pets are under one year of age. However, the age range varies from two months to 15 years. 

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