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At Home Respiratory Monitoring


Frequently, the earliest sign of congestive heart failure is difficulty breathing secondary to the development of fluid within the lungs. Early detection of congestive heart failure is critical in making medical treatments more effective and avoiding hospitalization.

How To Take Your Pet’s Respiratory Rate

  • Always perform under similar conditions each time (for example, while sleeping or relaxed).
  • To count your pet’s respiratory rate, watch his/her chest each in and out is one breath.
  • Count the number of breaths they take in 30 seconds and multiply by 2, this will be the breaths per minute.
  • The normal resting respiratory rate in the dog and cat is less than 30-35 breaths per minute, although it can be lower in some individuals.
  • Please record your dog or cat’s respiratory rate 2-3 times per week.

When To Call Us

If you notice a persistent or progressive elevation of more than 20% increase in the rate, recheck the respiratory rate again within 4-6 hours. If two consecutive evaluations are elevated then please contact CVCA. We may be able to adjust some medications or recommend re-evaluation of your pet at the office based on the patient’s condition.

Please call us if you notice any of the following:

  • Heavy breathing
  • Progressive coughing
  • Becoming short of breath with exercise
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Episodes of collapse
  • Abdominal distention

Get the Best Cardiac Care for Your Pet!

At CVCA our team of board-certified veterinary cardiologists work with more dogs and cats with heart disease than any other practice worldwide!

Find a Location (We offer 12 convenient locations throughout Maryland, Virginia & Kentucky)