Customers with plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by C&F Insurance Agency, please click here to access your plan.

Difficulty Breathing

Difficulty Breathing

When the pet is gasping for air or having any difficulty breathing, it is a symptom commonly related to other health conditions. Always consults a veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice your pet having trouble breathing, as it may be a sign of a life-threatening emergency. Difficulties in breathing can have a variety of causes, such as diseases of the nose, throat, lungs, and heart. Always consult a veterinarian to determine the cause.

How to Recognize

Signs of difficulty breathing include your pet's belly and chest moving and its nostrils flaring while breathing. Other symptoms of difficulty breathing including breathing with an open mouth, noisy breathing, and an extended head and neck (low and in front of the body).

Causes of Difficulty Breathing

Difficulty breathing may be due to Heartworms, an infection, tumors, an obtrusion in the trachea, allergies, asthma, or trauma. Pneumonia, fluid in the lungs, or other lung conditions are also common causes.


Difficulty breathing is an emergency; you should bring your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will listen to your pet's breathing and take blood and urine samples. Your pet may also need an X-ray and/or ultrasound of its chest.

Treatment for Difficulty Breathing

Treatment depends on the underlying condition. Your pet may need to stay in 24/7 veterinarian care until its breathing returns to normal and he/she is fully oxygenated. You should try to encourage your pet to rest when you return home.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Get a Free Pet Insurance Quote