All Creatures Veterinary Hospital
4549 HW 62 West
Mountain Home, AR 72653
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.