How to Recognize and Treat Pulmonary Fibrosis in Dogs

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When a dog has a lung injury sometimes scar tissue may develop. This condition is called pulmonary fibrosis and can affect a dog of any breed and age.The most common symptom is shortness of breath. This condition can be very serious and requires immediate care. Here are a few guidelines that will help you address this serious condition.

  • Examine your dog for signs of pulmonary fibrosis. A dog that experiences this condition typically has difficulty breathing. This may present itself as shortness of breath or rapid breathing.

  • Transport your dog to the animal hospital for care. Make sure to keep your dog calm in the car ride. Stress on your dog could cause more serious respiratory issues. Your doctor will take X-rays and blood to make a diagnosis.

  • Partner with your vet to create a treatment plan. Your vet will administer medication to aid in the recovery of your canine. This may include the medications prednisone or furosemide. Make sure to administer the medication as directed to avoid further complications.

  • Keep your dog’s weight under control. A dog that suffers from pulmonary fibrosis can’t afford to be overweight. Extra pounds add more pressure to an already struggling respiratory system. Consider switching to diet dog food and make sure to eliminate table scraps from your dog's diet.

  • Limit your dog’s exercise. Excessive exercise can cause shortness of breath which can be a health hazard for your dog. Watch your dog’s breathing closely while he is walking to ensure he isn’t overexerting himself.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider switching your method of walking. Using a collar on a dog that suffers from pulmonary fibrosis can affect his breathing. Switch to a harness which doesn’t put strain on your dog’s respiratory system.
  • Keep stress to a minimum. A dog with this condition can’t tolerate too much stress. Keep aggressive animals or stressful situations at bay.
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