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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17128
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Fiona, I have a 12 year old catahoula with a hx of DM. He

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Fiona,
I have a 12 year old catahoula with a hx of DM. He recently was anesthetized to have a tooth pulled/mass removal in his mouth. He started coughing (more than usual) yesterday and my husband took him to the vet. He had a 105 degree temp and was dx with pneumonia. They gave him an abx injection and sent him home with PO abx. He is tachypneic and seemingly dehydrated. Should he be hospitalized. The vet told my husband that the pneumonia is mild. I am questioning this??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr.B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Did they xray his chest or diagnose pneumonia on auscultation alone?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or dry/sticky?
Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Are you seeing skin tenting or sunken eyes?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was dx via X-ray and auscultation. His respiratory rate is 40 bpm and his gums are sticky and pale (pale is not unusual for him). My husband says he has been breathing this fast or faster since 6pm last night. It is 5:20 am (I just returned from night shift at the hospital).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His eyes are sunken, but no tenting. He has oral secretions that are thick and sticky.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now this is an elevated resting respiratory rate. Normally, they should be around 20-30bpm. So, we need to tread with care. Now if his gums are always this pale (any paler would be a worry), then we'd hope that there is no decreased oxygenation issues due to the ongoing infection in his lungs. But we'd have to assume that he is having to breathe that much faster to be able to maintain that level of oxygenation.

Furthermore, I have to say that I am concerned to hear that we have a lack of normal gum moisture and sunken eyes. Both are signs of dehydration even if we don 't have tenting. Therefore, especially with the eyes, we'd be concerned that this is a significant dehydration and IV fluids would be indicated. Plus if we had him in for fluids, then oxygen therapy, bronchodilators +/- anti-inflammatories (to reduce airway inflammation but also reduce the fever) would also be of benefit here.

So, no matter the classification of this pneumonia, we have to look at your lad. If he is struggling and dehydrated, then hospitalization would be best. Especially since he is already a delicate soul as a diabetic. So, we'd need to consider ringing his vet about having him admitted or to an ER facility that can provide 24 hours care with oxygen to help support him as he fights this infection.

All the best for Gus,

Dr. B.