Description

Pulmonary edema is an abnormal collection of fluid and electrolytes (mostly serous fluid) inside the alveoli or the interstitial tissue of the lungs.

Urgency

Urgency level 5

Danger

Danger level 4

Course

Shortness of breath, decreased ability to exercise, a prolonged period of recovery after exercise, and/or restlessness may be the first symptoms of a pulmonary edema. Other symptoms of pulmonary edema are weak and rasping coughing, serious respiratory distress, increased pulse and/or an irregular pulse, or a blue-violet discoloration of skin, mucous membranes and lips. The overall health of the dog is often compromised. In very serious and acute cases of pulmonary edema white or red-tinged foam is expelled from the dogs mouth and nose. Dogs with pulmonary edema are also known to collapse.

Cause

In most cases, pulmonary edema–the abnormal buildup of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs–is triggered by cardiac insufficiency, which is a malfunction of the heart that occurs while it is pumping blood. Furthermore, pulmonary edema may also occur after a traumatic injury or brain inflmation caused by poisoning.

Therapy

The serious more serious the pulmonary edema is the easier it is to diagnose. The underlying causes are determined by a through examination of the animal him/herself and their clinical history. However, a pulmonary edema with less obvious or sever symptoms may be challenging to diagnose. X-rays can help your veterinarian to make a diagnosis by picturing the fluid inside the lungs. As a pulmonary edema can become critical quickly, they require immediate medical attention. Keep the animal calm and void any excitement. Before actual treatment with intravenous fluids, medication, transfusion etc. can begin your veterinarian or a clinic will provide your pet with pure oxygen in order to stabilize their circulation.

Emergency measures

A pulmonary edema is considered to be a very serious condition and requires immediate medical attention. The dog’s life is in danger. If the symptoms are very intense, stress of any kind for the animal has to be avoided. Calm your dog and refer him straight to a veterinary practice or clinic. In chronic cases, please refrain from strong physical exercise and provide enough rest and relaxation.