Pulmonary edema in dogs is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs that leads to breathing difficulty and poor circulation of oxygen all across the body. It can have a cardiogenic source meaning it arises from heart failure, or non-cardiogenic, caused by conditions external to the heart. Both types of pulmonary edema in dogs lead to the same symptoms, though their therapy varies.

Fluid in the lungs or pulmonary edema may progress with time and exhibit as a breathing difficulty for your puppy only upon exertion. Or quick accumulation of fluid in the lungs can happen leading to acute respiratory discomfort. If the alveoli get filled with fluid in place of air, your dog will show reduced breathing capacity, due to low oxygen intake and restricted carbon monoxide output. If you detect any breathing problems in your dog, take him to the veterinarian without any further delay. In pulmonary edema an abnormal amount of fluid collects in the air sacs or alveoli within the lungs (where the interchange of carbon monoxide and oxygen occurs) and the interstitium (blood vessels and cells that aid the alveoli).

This particular study examines the dynamics of pulmonary edema in dogs and the sequence of fluid accumulation in the different compartments of the lungs. Based on the research of rapidly frozen lungs of the dogs both kinds of edema exhibit similar sequence of fluid accumulation in different sections of the lungs. Fluid appears initially in the interstitial connective tissue area surrounding the large blood vessels and airways. Alveolar wall thickening follows. The alveolar filling starts after the interstitial compartments are abundantly filled. Alveolar filling takes place independently and swiftly in individual alveoli. Air is not blocked. Atelectasis is not uncommon, although there is a reduction in the total volume of each fluid-filled alveolus.

The researchers suggested that during the interstitial phase there were alterations in the elasticity of the lungs and modifications in extravascular pressure affecting the lung vessels. They believed without explaining how the occurrence of interstitial edema may be significant to the understanding of the mechanisms involved. The most serious stage was air-space filling which obstructs aeration of alveoli. They did not mention the temporal interrelations among the different phases.

Pulmonary edema can be classified into two types: Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema where sodium and water retention rise the circulatory volume and venous pressure resulting in fluid accumulation. A history of a heart problem may be prevalent. In Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema accumulated fluid has an increased protein concentration, and the capillary pressure is normal.

Controlling the causative determinant is an essential component of the therapy protocol in this instance. Based on the cause and severity of the condition, your dog can recover applying oxygen therapy. Antibiotics, diuretics, intravenous fluids, and colloids and anti-inflammatories will be given based on the requirement and the cause of edema. During therapy, blood pressure, body temperature, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation will be examined regularly during the course of treatment. It is very crucial to distinguish the type of pulmonary edema which is affecting your dog to ascertain the proper follow-up.


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