PetMD Seal

Pneumonia (Aspiration) in Dogs

3 min read



Suction of the airways can be performed immediately after inhalation of foreign matter. If your dog is showing signs of respiratory distress, oxygen will be required as part of a stabilizing treatment. Should signs of dehydration or shock be present, or if intake of oral fluids has been prohibited, an intravenous drip may be inserted. Until the primary problem has been diagnosed, oral intake should be withheld, especially in acute cases of aspiration pneumonia.


Your dog should be given a quiet place to rest, preferably in a cage, away from other animals or active children. However, supervision is still important. An animal with this condition should not be left lying on its side in an inactive state for more than two hours.


Once your dog is showing signs of stability, a mild form of gentle exercise could be beneficial in stimulating a cough, which will in turn help to clear the airways. If recovery is progressing slowly, a saline drip is recommended.


Living and Management


Aspiration pneumonia is a life threatening condition, which may require keeping your pet in intensive care for several days before it is fully stabilized. In some instances, if the condition is related to complications with paralysis of the esophagus, a dog will experience great difficulty gaining full recovery.


Once your dog's condition has stabilized, you will need to continue the full course of medication, as well as any follow-up procedures your veterinarian deems necessary. 



Related Articles

Pus in the Chest Cavity of Dogs

Pyothorax occurs when pus accumulates in the chest (pleural) cavity in response to an infection. Made up of white blood cells (neutrophils) and...

Narrowed Bronchi in Dogs

The trachea, or wind pipe, divides into two main bronchi, which further divide several more times into smaller bronchioles, forming the bronchial...

Runny Nose in Dogs

Nasal discharge usually occurs when infectious, chemical, or inflammatory invaders irritate the nasal passages. It may also be from a foreign...

Hole in the Trachea in Dogs

Tracheal perforation is a loss of the integrity of the tracheal wall, in the form of a hole or rip, allowing leakage of air into the surrounding...