All Creatures

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital
4549 HW 62 West
Mountain Home, AR 72653
(870) 425-5175

Resting Respiration Rate Resting Respiration Rate

New research has shown that one of the most easily monitored signs associated with the development of Stage 3 heart disease (fluid accumulation in lungs) is an increase in resting respiration rate. This can be easily monitored at home by the pet's owner.

In a dog, a resting respiration rate (RR) higher than 30 breaths per minute at home is highly suggestive of fluid build-up in the lung.

30 Breaths per minute is a good cut-off point for most dogs but it may be more valuable to determine a baseline or "normal" for your individual dog and compare future RR to that "normal".

Observe the rate of breathing over 60 seconds while the dog is sleeping (1 breath = chest rising and falling once)

Do this daily for the first week to establish a baseline or "normal" for your dog

If the dog has not yet been diagnosed with fluid in the lungs, he/she is in stage 2 heart disease and RR should be checked once a week.

If the dog is already in stage 3 heart disease (has had fluid in lungs), the RR should be checked and recorded daily.

If the RR is elevated, recheck the RR 2-3 times over the next few hours to confirm that this is repeatable.

If the RR is reproducibly greater than 30 or increased above their baseline by 25%-50%, you should schedule a re-evaluation appointment to recheck your dog's condition and the need for medicine changes.