Treatment for pneumonia is done while the animal is hospitalized. The first treatment is cage rest and oxygen therapy, if required. The animal can not and should not move around. Young puppies have to be treated aggressively since their respiratory tract and immune systems are immature and prone to a fomenting bacterial infection that can kill them. An intravenous catheter is placed with fluids. An appropriate antibiotic is administered. Intravenous doses of Baytril® and or oral Clavamox® are usually given together. Some patients may have cephalosporins also administered. One of the most important therapies is nebulization. Animals that breathe in steam vapor, with the drug cocktail that is mixed in, will breathe so much better. This will help the dog to loosen and cough up mucous and phlegm from the bronchi and lungs. This should be done initially at least 4-5 times per day. You do not want to administer cough suppressants with a productive cough. These drugs will suppress the cough reflex allowing mucous and other debris to sit in the lung. This material is a sitting duck for bacterial infections, worsening the pneumonia. When the animal starts to feel better short walks are recommended. This will stimulate the expulsion of mucous and phlegm from the chest.
Calorie intake is also important. Animals are given Nutrical® gel plus Hill's Prescription a/d; which is a high caloric food that aids in the convalescence of many diseases or surgical procedures.
Radiographs are periodically taken to gauge response to therapy. When radiographic signs of pneumonia are clearing and the animal is acting better and eating on its own, it may go home on antibiotics and other supportive care. It is important that the animal be kept as quiet as possible with very little initial exercise. If the animal gets stressed or is too active, the animal may relapse.