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Hi, I can help you with your question today.
The two things you have described - increased effort breathing and reluctance to put her head down - indicate a pretty significant problem in her lungs. I'm worried about pneumonia is a little one like her.
She would benefit from supplemental oxygen right now. I highly recommend getting her to a local emergency vet. I would start with a physical exam and x-rays of her chest. She may need to be hospitalized for a few days until she is stable to go home.
No, 39 breaths/minutes isn't terrible. It could indicate pain rather than respiratory distress. Do you think she ate anything unusual?
Pneumonia is caused by infectious organisms such as viruses, bacteria and fungi - this can happen anywhere.
Hmm. Both the steak and the stick could cause issues. The steak could cause GI upset or possibly obstruction if she ingested a large enough chunk. The stick could cause a puncture or perforation as well.
I do still think it would be best to err on the side of caution and have her examined tonight. Hopefully we will not find anything serious, but I don't think it is safe to assume that at this point.