Cute puppy (Thai Bangkaew dog) sick and sleeping on operating table in vet's office Dog Health 24.10.2023

Water in the lungs in a dog - what to do? Euthanize?

Do I have to put my dog down if he has water in his lungs?

Fluid in my dog's lungs: Terminal or a chance for recovery?If your four-legged friend has fluid in his lungs, it's not necessarily a death sentence!

The diagnosis may sound shocking at first, but there is hope for recovery. The exact therapy depends on:

  • Stage of development of the pulmonary edema.
  • Existing concomitant diseases A dog with sudden respiratory distress needs immediate veterinary attention.

Decreased oxygen intake puts the dog at risk of suffocation. If you are concerned that there is fluid in your dog's lungs, consult a veterinarian immediately. It is complicated for laypeople to clearly identify pulmonary edema, as signs can be interpreted in many ways.

How long can a dog live with pulmonary edema?

Life span of the dog with pulmonary edema.

It is difficult to give a blanket answer. Pulmonary edema detected early has a good chance of recovery. But it is also important to know what underlying condition led to the pulmonary edema. This could affect life expectancy. Pulmonary e dema detected late increases the risk of suffocation.

Signs of fluid in the lungs Common indicators of fluid in the lungs are difficulty breathing and coughing spells. However, these symptoms may also indicate other problems.

Important advice: if you notice these signs, you should immediately present your four-legged friend to the veterinarian. Only he can accurately determine what is wrong with him.

Additional symptoms may include rales during breathing, fatigue, blue coloration of lips or tongue, or a sudden fainting spell.

Reasons for fluid in the lungs

Fluid buildup in the lungs usually results from blood backing up. This is called pulmonary edema. Pulmonary edema can be caused by various pre-existing conditions. Often it is heart problems, such as defective heart valves.

But cardiac arrhythmias, infections or other factors can also cause such edema, such as:

  • Skull injuries
  • Severe stress
  • Seizures These causes are often called neurogenic pulmonary edema.

Therapies for pulmonary edema

Depending on the findings of the veterinarian, there are different treatment approaches. There may be different conditions behind it. If your dog already has breathing problems, he will be given oxygen in the veterinary clinic.

Light sedation may facilitate the following treatment, which may include the administration of:

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Drainage therapies
  • Drip infusions

may be given.

Porträt eines mioritischen rumänischen Schäferhundes in Herzform eines Zauns Depositphotos / paulion

What happens if pulmonary edema is left untreated?

Without treatment, pulmonary edema or the underlying disease can lead to the dog's death.

Suffocation due to persistent breathing problems can result.

When should you put a dog with fluid in the lungs to rest?

Whether or not to euthanize a dog because of fluid in the lungs is probably the most difficult question an owner can ask. Euthanizing a dog is always a very difficult decision for us humans - only a veterinarian can answer this difficult question. The welfare of the animal should always be the focus and any suffering should be avoided.

It is never easy to make such a decision. A trusted person can be very helpful in this situation.

If your dog's pulmonary edema is already advanced, he may face an agonizing death by suffocation. In such cases, euthanization can be a relief.

Recognize the signs when your dog is getting worse You may have noticed that your dog has less energy and sleeps more over time.

It's often said that impending death shows itself in three stages:

  • Refusal of food and water
  • Sudden restlessness - allow your dog to pursue it
  • Uncontrolled emptying of bladder and bowels, difficulty getting up, possibly accompanied by yelping or barking It's important to watch for your dog's signs and be in constant contact with your veterinarian, especially if you think the end is near.

Recognizing Heart-Related Coughs and Other Symptoms Heart-related coughs often sound dry and forced, possibly intensifying at night or after exercise. It may seem like your dog is trying to clear something out of his throat. This may be accompanied by other signs such as rapid exhaustion, difficulty breathing, or a bluish tinge to the tongue and gums.

Symptoms of shortness of breath

Your dog might breathe faster, possibly with an open mouth and stretched neck. In addition, there could be coughing, restlessness, or blue-gray coloring of the tongue and lips.

Possible diseases that cause breathing problems Besides heart problems, lung disease, asthma or infections can cause shortness of breath. Other reasons may be hypersensitivity, parasites or even obesity.

Banner: Depositphotos / stockdevil_666
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