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Pneumonia Due to Overactive Immune Response in Dogs



In case of severe disease, your dog will need to be hospitalized to stabilize its system. Intravenous fluids will be given to compensate for lost body fluids levels -- to reverse or prevent dehydration, which can quickly become life-threatening. In case of severe respiratory discomfort, oxygen will be given to relieve the dog from struggling. Medications can then be given to open the narrowed airways in order to facilitate normal breathing.


Drugs, such as steroids, are commonly used to reduce symptoms of inflammation. In severe cases, long-term therapy may be required over a few months. In some dogs with overactive immune reactions, immune-suppressive drugs may also be required.


In cases of heartworm disease, specific drugs are used to treat and eradicate the heartworms from the body. Heartworm treatment can be very dangerous for some dogs, so heartworm elimination should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.


In cases of fungal infections, antifungal drugs can be used to treat the disease. In more advanced cases with permanent damage or scarring of the lungs, surgery may be required to remove the affected part of the lung.


Living and Management


Complete rest is recommended for your dog while it is under treatment. Good caloric intake is of paramount importance for the recovery of your dog; your veterinarian can guide you on crafting a good diet for recovery and immune system health.


Breathlessness is the most common problem in these animals, and good home-care should be ensured to minimize the stress, with a quiet space to rest that is out of the way of daily foot traffic and away from main entryways. Your veterinarian will schedule a follow-up examination, with chest X-rays and laboratory testing to monitor your dog's physical response to the medications.


The prognosis for this this disease depends on the identification of the primary cause or allergen. However, if the allergen can not be identified, long-term palliative treatment may be required to control the symptoms. In case of progressive and chronic disease, the overall prognosis is often not very good.



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