Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Pneumonia (Interstitial) in Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

Interstitial Pneumonia in Dogs

 

Pneumonia refers to an inflammation in the lungs, while interstitial pneumonia refers to a form of pneumonia in which the inflammation occurs in the walls of the alveoli (the air cells of the lungs), or in the interstitium (the spaces between the tissue cells of the alveoli). The alveoli are cellular components of the airway where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.

 

Interstitial pneumonia can occur in both cats and dogs, with some breeds being more susceptible than others. For example, the West Highland White Terrier and Bull Terrier are believed to be more susceptible to interstitial lung disease, which can lead to secondary interstitial pneumonia. Miniature Dachshunds are most susceptible to infection by Pneumocystis carinii, a parasite transitional between the stages of fungus and protozoa that causes the lung disease pneumocystosis.

 

If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

 

Symptoms and Types

  

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the disease. Some symptoms that may appear include rapid breathing (tachypnea), coughing, difficulty breathing (dyspnea), mild fever, and discharge from the eyes. Exposure to toxic elements, for example, may also result in gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased amount of urine production.

 

Causes

 

There is a wide range of conditions that can lead to interstitial pneumonia in dogs. Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, a congenital (birth) defect, is characterized by inflamed airways and surrounding tissues, and increased odds of interstitial pneumonia.

 

Other causes include lung cancer, and metabolic disorders such as uremia, in which excess levels of urea and other nitrogenous waste products, which normally are excreted through the urine, appear in the blood.

 

Exposure to toxic elements through inhalation of dust, gas, or vapor, are also suspect in the diagnosis of causative factors.

 

Diagnosis

 

There are a wide variety of diagnostic procedures that can be used if symptoms related to interstitial pneumonia appear, including a urine analysis, blood tests, x-ray imaging of the pleural cavity (the area between the chest wall and lungs), and an electrocardiography (ECG) test, used for measuring the electrical impulses of the heart, and for the detection of irregular heart rhythms related to increased pressure on the lungs.

 

Two more diagnostic procedures that are common when pneumonia is suspected are a tracheal wash, which involves a collection of the fluids and substances lining the trachea (the respiratory airway through which air is transported), and a bronchoscopy, by which a small tube with a tiny camera attached is inserted into the mouth and led into the bronchial airway so that a visual inspection can be made.

 

 

Treatment

 

Dogs with severe symptoms should be actively treated in hospital. This is especially important if your dog is exhibiting respiratory distress, in which case an oxygen mask will be used for administering oxygen therapy. Antimicrobial medication to prevent secondary bacterial infection is often prescribed.

 

Additional medication is dependent upon the underlying cause for the interstitial pneumonia; your veterinarian will advise you on the appropriate medications and home treatment.

 

Living and Management

 

Following initial treatment, activity should be restricted, and exposure to any harmful substances, such as dust, vapor, chemical fumes, or tobacco smoke, should be avoided. Administer medications on a regular basis and in full, as prescribed by your veterinarian, and schedule regular follow-up visits.

 

Prevention

 

While there are many causes of interstitial pneumonia, there are a few things dog owners can do to help prevent the development of this disease.

 

  1. Properly vaccinate your dog.
  2. Bring it to your veterinarian for regular deworming.
  3. Place inhalation hazards, such as materials that give off toxic fumes, in a safe and secure area that is out your pet's reach.

 

Related Articles

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in...
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) refers to a condition of sudden respiratory...
READ MORE
Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
Pulmonary edema is identified as the buildup of fluid in the lungs. It is often associated...
READ MORE
Fungal Infection (Blastomycosis) in Dogs
Blastomycosis is a systematic yeastlike fungal infection caused by the organism Blastomyces...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»

Latest In Dog Nutrition

5 Tips to Keep Your Senior Dog Healthy
Senior dogs have different health requirements than younger dogs. Here are some tips...
READ MORE
How Obesity May Shorten Your Pet's Lifespan
Obesity is a nationwide epidemic for our pets. Unfortunately, being obese can shorten...
READ MORE
The Role of Exercise in Pet Weight Loss
Exercise is beneficial for our pets in many ways, including weight loss, and here's...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM