PULMONARY EDEMA is a medical term for an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the lung tissue. This condition can be very dangerous for your pet because this accumulation of fluid prevents adequate intake of oxygen by the lungs. The fluid build-up provides a barrier between the air sacs and the air that is inhaled. Therefore the oxygen in the air cannot be absorbed into the body tissues. If adequate oxygenation of the body does not occur, it can cause death very quickly.
There are many causes of Pulmonary Edema. It may be due to trauma, exposure to irritating substances, shock, infection, or heart disease.
Pulmonary Edema is life-threatening and requires very quick and intensive treatment. Treatment includes increasing the available oxygen supply by supplementing the pet with extra oxygen, drugs to remove the fluid accumulation, minimizing the body needs during this period of crisis by restricting exercise, and drugs to enlarge the air passages. Hospitalization is usually required.