Water in the lungs can be difficult to diagnose, as many signs and symptoms of edema mimic the symptoms of other respiratory anomalies. You need to know the signs, and if you notice any of them, take your dog to the vet immediately for evaluation and treatment. Water in the lungs, or pulmonary edema, is a serious condition.
Symptoms and types
Some of the most common symptoms of pulmonary edema are:
- dry cough
- Crackling noise while breathing (Rallis)
- Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).
- Abnormally fast breathing (quickening of the breath)
- Open breathing
- Pulmonary edema affects both the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system.
Some of the most common causes of pulmonary edema are:
- Low protein in the blood (lack of blood proteins)
- Poisons (such as smoke and snake toxins)
- Blocking the airway of an animal
- Almost drowned (as a large amount of fluid enters the lungs)
Upon examination, the following conditions must be excluded for appropriate treatment:
- Upper airway obstruction
- Heartworm disease
- Heart disease
A blood test is usually done to look for malformations, as well as an x-ray to show possible signs of pneumonia.
Be aware of difficulty breathing
One of the most common signs of pulmonary edema is difficulty breathing. Dogs that have water in their lungs often make unusual sounds, such as breathing or crackling, when they breathe. They suffer from coughing and increased breathing, which may seem as though your dog is making breathing effort.
Other signs to search for
Some dogs with pulmonary edema will also show weakness and may collapse. It is especially common after walking, playing, or engaging in some type of physical activity. Because the water in the lungs prevents oxygen from getting into the lungs, your dog’s tongue and gums may appear blue.
Things to consider
Fluids in the lungs have various causes, and only the vet can determine which is causing the problem in your pet. A common cause of water in the lungs is chronic valve disease, but other heart problems can lead to pulmonary edema. Other causes include trauma, acute lung injury, smoke inhalation, drowning, and underlying lung disease.