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Sleeping Respiratory Rate

It is very important to monitor your pets sleeping respiratory rate daily once they have congestive heart failure. This is the easiest and quickest way to pick up recurrence of pulmonary oedema. The sooner this is treated, the quicker the response. While sleeping, count the number of breaths your pet takes over 15 seconds then multiply by 4 to get breaths/minute. Record this number in an exercise book daily or on your smartphone using the Cardalis app. A normal sleeping respiratory rate is < 30 breaths/minute. If your pets’ respiratory rate is consistently over 40 breaths/minute, please have him or her re-evaluated as a higher dose of frusemide will likely be required. However, if your pets respiratory rate becomes > 60 breaths/minute or there is marked effort, please have him or her evaluated by a vet immediately as this may be a medical emergency. 


Remember that respiratory rates taking after activity, excitement or in a panting dog are not accurate and will be elevated. This is also the same for a purring cat (it can be difficult to see the respiratory movements when they are purring). As long as your pets’ respiratory rate normalizes when resting deeply, this is normal. However, if you do notice a persistently elevated respiratory rate, re-evaluation is recommended.

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