Hemorrhage of the Lung in Dogs

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Pulmonary Contusions in Dogs

Pulmonary contusion, or a hemorrhage of the lung, occurs when the dog's lung is torn and/or crushed during direct trauma to the chest, thus impeding the dog's ability to breath and pass arterial blood to a capillary bed in synchrony. Dogs suffering from capillary damage may also develop pulmonary fluid in the lungs, as well as hemorrhage.

Pulmonary contusion occurs in both dogs and cats and there is no specific breed, age, or gender predilection. 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

  • Tachypnea
  • Coughing up of blood or blood-tinged fluid
  • Respiratory distress, or abnormal respiratory effort after a blunt trauma to the chest
  • Cyanotic (blue-tinged) or pale mucous membranes


  • Blunt trauma
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Fall from a great height
  • Physical abuse (i.e., beating)
  • Coagulopathy (coagulation/clotting disorder)


You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated/preceded this condition. Your veterinarian will then perform a thorough physical exam on your dog, including blood tests, a urinalysis, and chest X-rays. If there are rib fractures, for example, they will show up on X-ray.

He or she will also perform coagulation (clotting) tests, and may culture cells from the trachea.

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