Many dogs breathe 10 to 30 times per minute;for cats, the rate is 10 to 40 times a minute. Dogs who are hot or exercising breathe faster and may pant up to 200 breathes per minute. Panting and open-mouthed breathing are considered danger signs in cats because they don’t use panting routinely as a means to cool off the way dogs do.
When your pet is resting quietly, anything other than quiet, effortless breathing requires medical attention and possibly artificial respiration.
|Respiratory Signs||What They Mean||Call the Vet?|
|Effortless breathing, quiet to soundless||Normal||NO|
|Increased respiratory rate||First sign of breathing problems||YES, immediately, if condition is worsening. If respiratory rate is increased but problem is not worsening, call the vet the same day.|
|Excessive panting or gasping; dogs stand with elbows outward, cats sit crouched with head and neck extended||Emergency!Progression to early respiratory failure||YES, immediately|
|Labored, open-mouthed breathing and blue gums||Emergency! Pulmonary failure; pet is suffocating||YES, immediately|
|Slowed, shallow, or stopped breathing, unconsciousness imminent||Emergency! Respiratory collapse; prepare for artificial respiration||YES, immediately|
Shojai, Amy D. The First Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats. Rodale, Inc., 2001.