Dog lung infections result from bacteria, fungi or viruses. If your dog contracts a lung infection, he may develop various conditions, such as pneumonia, caused by a build-up of fluid in the lungs, or pneumonitis, inflammation in the lungs. Several symptoms may indicate if your dog has a lung infection, and will vary according to the severity.
The most common symptom of a lung infection is difficulty breathing, also called dyspnea. Your dog may pant excessively even though he has not exercised much. You may notice that his breathing rhythm is fast, accompanied by short and shallow breaths. This is caused by fluid in the tissue of the lungs. You may also hear your dog make wheezing sounds, similar to a low whistle, while trying to breathe.
If your dog has trouble breathing, oxygenated blood cannot properly circulate through her body. This creates cyanosis, a discoloration of the gums, tongue and lips so that they appear gray or bluish. You may also notice that her paw pads are pale and discolored.
If a lung infection is present, your dog’s body will use more energy to fight it. Also, associated breathing problems will decrease the flow of oxygen throughout his body; fatigue may occur, and it will be more difficult for him to engage in regular activities. He may need to rest often when taking walks, or may run briefly and then seem overly tired. When maintaining regular breathing becomes too difficult, he may avoid activity altogether.
Sneezing and Coughing
If your dog has a cough that lasts more than a day or two, he may have a lung infection. Your dog’s cough may be dry or accompanied by phlegm, which may be clear or yellowish-green. Sneezing is also a symptom that indicates infection, but only if it persists for more than a few days. Sometimes coughing and sneezing are not cause for alarm, and may be signs of an allergy. To be sure, monitor your pet and consult your vet if the symptoms are excessive or prolonged.