Pet Symptom Checker

Bacterial or fungal infection of lungs

Medical name: Pneumonia

Emergency Warnings



  • Loss of appetite
  • Stressful breathing
  • Abnormal breath sounds
  • Dry cough
  • Dehydration
  • Easily worn out
  • Feverish
  • Lethargy
  • Runny nose
  • Distressed breathing
  • Weight loss


Pneumonia in pets refers to a bacterial or fungal infection of your pet’s lungs, and can be characterized by stressful breathing, or abnormal breath sounds. Normally dogs breathe 10 to 30 times a minute, whereas the average cat takes 10 to 40 breaths. At rest, these should be silent, effortless breaths. The chest and abdomen rise and fall without signs of discomfort or distress (labored breathing is called dyspnea) and the animal is breathing through its nose. (One open-mouth-breathing exception is normal panting in dogs, which is their way of lowering body temperature. But cats don’t cool off by panting, which in that species can be a sign of cardiopulmonary distress.) Learn to recognize your pet’s normal breathing rate, because anything much over (or under, too) can be a sign of trouble. A moderate increase in respiratory rate could be an early sign of breathing problems — and merits a same-day call to the veterinarian. Excessive panting or gasping (especially when dogs stand with their elbows outward, or cats crouch with neck and head extended) are emergency signs of respiratory failure. Get help immediately! The same for cyanotic (blue) gums during labored, open-mouth breathing. The pet could be suffocating and experiencing pulmonary failure. Paradoxically and sometimes tragically, super-slow breathing follows the fast kind. When a cat or dog takes slow, shallow breaths or none at all, unconsciousness is imminent. Other signs of pneumonia may include a dry cough, loss of appetite, or lethargy. Your pet may also exhibit a runny nose or fever. If you suspect your pet is suffering from pneumonia, you should not delay in seeking veterinary help – prompt treatment can be lifesaving.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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