Cat With Trouble Breathing? Here’s How To Tell

cat sitting on chair

One of the saddest things I see are cats with breathing difficulties. That’s because they’re almost always brought to the vet too late. In fact, by the time their owners notice, they often don’t survive the car trip.

Here I’m going to give you a very simple trick to recognise when a cat is struggling to breathe. If you do it successfully, your cat will probably be OK.

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Causes Of Collapse In Dogs

dog fallen over

Emergency facts (details below):

When a dog suddenly falls over or cannot use their back legs, it is usually an emergency. You should travel to a vet.

On the way, take a video if you can. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Is there muscle movement? This is common in seizures or poisonings.
  2. Is the dog unconscious? Look for a lack of response and passing urine or faeces.
  3. Are the eyes moving? Vestibular disease causes nystagmus or eye flicking.
  4. Is the heart rhythm normal? Place your hand on the chest and try to feel it.
  5. How long does it last? Fainting and airway issues usually only last for seconds.
  6. Is recovery quick? After seizures, dogs commonly appear incoordinated for some time.
  7. What was the dog doing beforehand? Cardiac, respiratory and thermal problems are more common after exercise.

Cardiac arrest is an extremely uncommon cause, and therefore it is not recommended to try CPR. You will see that most causes either recover by themselves or require treatment that only a vet can give.

Now let’s dive deeper into each of these causes…

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Common Problems Of Dogs, Cats, Rabbits & Chickens

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Do Dogs Get Heart Attacks Or Strokes

dog heart

Kira came to us last year in a lot of trouble. She was weak, lethargic, her heart rhythm was chaotic and her pulses were weak and irregular. She was in heart failure: the likely culprit was a heart muscle disease called dilated cardiomyopathy with a secondary atrial fibrillation.

kira the akita

She was treated with a drug to improve heart function, and a second drug to control her atrial fibrillation. Like many dogs, she responded well. But what is her future?

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