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Rapid Breathing

Rapid Breathing

The dog or cat is breathing faster than usual; normally, resting pets take about 10 to 30 breaths every minute. Breathing faster than this can indicate such things as pain, fever, anxiety or problems with the lungs and/or chest. When rapid breathing is accompanied by difficult or labored breathing, it is a sign of extreme distress. Some things that can cause rapid breathing in dogs and cats include heat stroke, lung disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure and poisoning.

How to Recognize

If your pet is breathing faster than normal, it may be a sign something is wrong. When pets have rapid breathing, they typically breath with a closed mouth.

Causes of Rapid Breathing

Fluid or bleeding in the lungs, lung disease, asthma, tumors, anemia, low oxygen in the blood, congestive heart failure, and kidney failure can be causes of rapid breathing. Rapid breathing may also be due to heat stroke, pain, fever, or anxiety.


Rapid 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 Rapid 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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