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Labored Breathing

Labored Breathing

When a pet has a difficulty to breathe in oxygen it's because it has a labored breathing, which is often caused by issues with the nose, windpipe, or lungs. Tumors and infections can affect the nose, windpipe, or lungs, making breathing more difficult for your pet. It is advised to visit a veterinarian to determine the cause of the labored breathing in your cat or dog.

How to Recognize

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

Causes of Labored Breathing

Labored 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.


Labored 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 Labored 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.

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