Bronchial pneumonia in dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

Bronchial pneumonia is a leading cause of death in dogs, especially among those that have been hospitalised. It is important to learn and recognise the symptoms of bronchial pneumonia in dogs, as prompt diagnosis and treatment is an important aspect of recovery.


Bronchial pneumonia, also known as bronchopneumonia, is caused by an inflammation of the bronchi and the lungs. The bronchi are the large passages in the dog's body that help to move air into the lungs.

Symptoms And Causes

The symptoms of bronchial pneumonia in dogs may include productive cough, respiratory distress, fever, rapid breathing, anorexia, depression and listlessness. If a dog has bronchial pneumonia, there may be a crackling sound when the dog inhales. The cause of bronchial pneumonia in dogs is usually bacterial infection that is spread by inhalation. The type of pneumonia that is spread by blood contact is less common and often more difficult to treat.


The veterinarian may perform several diagnostic tests to determine if your dog has bronchial pneumonia. These may include chest X-rays, CBC (complete blood count) and a culture of secretions. The vet will also take a full medical history and listen to the dog's lungs. A bronchoscopy may be performed to determine if pneumonia is present.


Dogs that have a mild form of pneumonia may be treated as outpatients and allowed to go home. Dogs that become very ill may need to be hospitalised in order to receive treatment. The treatments for bronchial pnuemonia in dogs are antibiotics, oxygen, fluids, airway humidification and percussion of the chest in order to loosen secretions. Other treatments such as cough suppressants, expectorants and bronchodilator therapy may be used, although not in all cases.


Bronchial pneumonia may occur in cats, although it is more common in dogs. Mixed breed dogs, sporting dogs, and dogs weighing over 11.3kg. may be at increased risk for developing bronchial pneumonia. If your dog exhibits symptoms of pneumonia, consult your veterinarian for a prompt diagnosis and treatment plan. This will help to ensure the best outcome possible for your dog.

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About the Author

Tracy Hodge has been a professional writer since 2007. She currently writes content for various websites, specializing in health and fitness. Hodge also does ghostwriting projects for books, as well as poetry pieces. She has studied nutrition extensively, especially bodybuilding diets and nutritional supplements.