Respiratory Monitoring at Home

An increase in respiratory rate or effort can indicate underlying or worsening pulmonary and/or cardiac disease. You can obtain a respiratory rate per minute at home by counting the number of times your pet takes a breath over 15 seconds while he or she is sleeping, and multiply this number by 4 to get the respiratory rate per minute. A respiratory rate below 32 breaths per minute is normal (~one breath/two seconds). It is important to monitor your pets respiratory rate during sleep, as elevations can occur secondary to activity, excitement, smelling, or purring, all of which can be normal activities. If you consistently obtain a respiratory rate above 32 breaths per minute while your pet is sleeping, please call us or your local emergency hospital, as this may be an indication that your pet needs to be evaluated. If at any point you feel that your pet is in respiratory distress, having trouble breathing, or has pale/blue gums, please bring him/her to the emergency room immediately.