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CriticalCareVet
CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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How many times should/does a dog breathe a minute

Resolved Question:

How many times should/does a dog breathe a minute?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 7 years ago.
HI there,

How old is your dog?

Breed?

Is this a general question or are you concerned about a health issue?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi ~

 

Two years

 

Mutt

 

He is taking a lot of short breaths, almost like he's panting but not. When he does take a deep breath, it seems to take a while for him to start the short breathing again.

 

Thanks

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 7 years ago.
Hi there,

 

Thank you for your post!

 

Regarding breaths per minute, this can be quite variable between dog, age, and even breed. In general, at rest with good breaths. on average a dog will breathe about 10-15 times per minute.

 

With activity, excitement, fear, anxiety, or other causes such as this, the rate can increase and be normal.

 

The reason is that dogs pant primarily to regulate their body temperature (to get rid of heat) - unlike peolpe, they really do not sweat...so panting is their primary way of getting rid of heat, espcially larger, long haired dogs

Although that would be the primary, and physiologic reason for this behavior, there may be certain problems that cause this abnormally
- Problems with the lungs (pneumonia, fluid, even tumors)
- Heart abnormalities (murmur, arrhythmia, or even heart failure)
- Pain or anxiety
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Kidney issues
- Endocrine disease (Cushing's Disease) where the body produces to many steroids
- Certain medications such as corticosteroids
- Sometimes even diabetic dogs pant more than usual.
- etc.

If you feel your dog is breathing abnormal, panting excessively, and at time that you would not expect, I would recommend seeking veterinary care - with your primary veterinarian or local ER if your veterinarian is not open.

 

A good examination listening to the heart and lungs is essential. Another test that may be very helpful would be x-rays of the chest looking at the heart and lungs.

Many causes, some life threatening, can be easily ruled-out by a good examination and simple x-rays.

I hope this information helps.
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Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and Feedback is appreciated. Thank you.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
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