Pneumonia affects dogs and cats alike. This infection can be either primary or secondary in origin and is caused by bacterial or viral organisms. A deep chested, often productive, cough is the most common clinical symptom seen.
A tentative diagnosis is made when an x-ray of the lungs shows a characteristic filling with fluid in one or more of the lobes that should normally contain air. A pneumonia is confirmed when there is an elevation of the white blood cell count in addition to the presence of fluid in the lungs.
Treatment with a potent antibiotic over a long period of time will usually result in a cure. Permanent damage to the lungs may be suffered if treatment is delayed. A permanent non-productive cough is often the clinical sign in this case. Pneumonia can be a life threatening disease.
There is no way to prevent pneumonia from occurring in every case. Routine use of broad spectrum antibiotics’ post surgically or at any time that there is significant disease elsewhere in the body may be of great help in avoiding pneumonia.