How to Recognize and Treat Aspiration Pneumonia in Dogs

Written by nicki howell
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Many dog owners become alarmed when their canine begins coughing and appears to have breathing problems. This is a symptom of aspiration pneumonia, a disorder that causes inflammation of the lungs. Aspiration pneumonia affects dogs of all breeds and ages.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Examine your dog for symptoms of aspiration pneumonia. Dogs that experience this condition may become lethargic, cough and appear depressed. They may also not be able to tolerate exercise.

  2. 2

    Because this condition can be life-threatening, immediate medical attention is needed. Contact your vet, and then transport your dog to the animal hospital. Stay calm while transporting your dog to keep him relaxed.

  3. 3

    Create a treatment plan for your canine. Once the vet has run blood tests and taken X-rays, he will make a diagnosis. Dogs with this condition should be put on bed rest with limited activity. Your vet may need to clean out excess secretions to provide more ease for breathing.

  4. 4

    Consider surgery for more severe cases. Although it's uncommon, sometimes surgery is necessary. This procedure will remove the foreign bodies that are causing the condition.

  5. 5

    Administer medications as prescribed by your vet. Depending on your dog’s situation, your canine may need antibiotics. Administer as directed even if your dog appears to be feeling better. Not doing so can cause your dog to have a serious relapse.

Tips and warnings

  • Provide your dog with a relaxing environment. When your dog is recovering it’s important to minimise stress. Move his bed to a quiet corner of the home and remind children that your dog is healing.
  • Don’t waste any time getting treatment. Aspiration pneumonia can be fatal.
  • Your dog may need to spend several days at the hospital before coming home.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.