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Normal cat respiratory rate

Normal cat respiratory rate


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Normal cat respiratory rate is 4--16 breaths per minute, but the resting breath rate of normal cats varies from 5 to 15 breaths per minute.[6](#jvim15409-bib-0006){ref-type="ref"} Cats are typically in wakeful conditions, although cats may also be in sedated states when undergoing routine diagnostic procedures. Respiratory rate can be measured by observing chest wall movements or by using auscultation or Doppler.[4](#jvim15409-bib-0004){ref-type="ref"} The respiratory rate should be recorded before initiating sedation, as it will help identify any changes that may occur with sedation.

In addition to identifying a baseline respiratory rate before the initiation of sedation, the respiratory rate can also be assessed throughout the sedation period by checking the clinical signs of oxygenation. This can be determined by comparing oxygen saturation (measured by pulse oximetry) with the respiratory rate. If the respiratory rate is higher than the heart rate and oxygen saturations are good, the respiratory rate is in the normal range. If the respiratory rate is normal, but oxygen saturations are poor, then hypoxemia may be present. If the respiratory rate is low and oxygen saturations are adequate, then respiratory distress may be present.

A respiratory rate that is much higher than normal should raise concern for respiratory distress secondary to an upper respiratory tract disease (eg, infectious or inflammatory). If no clear diagnosis is made and the respiratory rate remains high, it could be secondary to underlying conditions such as respiratory compromise secondary to hypovolemia, pain, or neuromuscular disease.[6](#jvim15409-bib-0006){ref-type="ref"}

*Oxygenation* is measured with a pulse oximeter. It is recommended that pulse oximetry should be initiated before the start of sedation, and if the oxygen saturation is normal, then the patient can be allowed to self‐regulate the rate. If the oxygen saturation is abnormal, then the oxygen flow should be increased. The oxygen flow can be measured in liters per minute or measured in "cubic feet" per minute and calculated in liters per minute.[7](#jvim15409-bib-0007){ref-type="ref"}

### 2.5.3. Monitoring in the hospital setting {#jvim15409-sec-0014}

*Heart rate* should be checked in all cats at the time of hospital admission and at least every 2 hours during the hospital stay, and should be repeated every hour if tachycardia or bradycardia is identified (Figure [1](#jvim15409-fig-0001){ref-type="fig"}).

![Monitoring a sedated feline patient admitted to the veterinary hospital. Heart rate should be measured at the time of admission to the veterinary hospital (0 h) and every 2 hours during the hospital stay, and should be repeated every hour if tachycardia or bradycardia is identified](JVIM-34-1397-g001){#jvim15409-fig-0001}

*Pulse quality* should be checked and recorded before sedation. At the start of sedation, the presence of *bleeding*, *abnormal rhythm, cardiac arrhythmia, and cyanosis* should be recorded. After sedation is initiated, the presence of *heart murmur*, *tachycardia*, *bradycardia*, *arrhythmia*, and *cyanosis* should be recorded. If hemodynamically significant arrhythmia is suspected, appropriate veterinary assistance should be available. The pulse quality should also be noted throughout the hospital stay, and should be checked every 1‐2 hours if bradycardia, tachycardia, or arrhythmia is present. The presence of *heart murmur* and *cyanosis* should be recorded as well as the occurrence of any *muffled* or *abnormal* heart sounds. The presence of *heart murmur* is an important sign of congestive heart failure and a diagnosis of heart murmur should be considered. In addition, a *muffled* heart sound is frequently indicative of pulmonary disease or tricuspid regurgitation and heart murmurs can be associated with a variety of cardiovascular diseases in cats. *Cyanosis* is indicative of hypoxia and if present, arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis should be performed as soon as possible (if available). If an arterial catheter is not in place, a blood sample should be collected. If hypoxemia is present, oxygen supplementation should be given according to the recommendations given in Table [2](#jvim15409-tbl-0002){ref-type="table"}. The presence of *lung rales* is an important sign of respiratory distress and should be recorded. In patients with respiratory disease, pulmonary function tests are often requested. If a patient develops respiratory acidosis, blood gas analysis should be performed. At least 2 samples should be collected over a 2‐minute period for accurate determination of pH and PCO~2~ values, and only a single sample should be collected for PO~2~ measurement. The presence of *dyspnea* should be recorded. In healthy dogs, this should be evident by increased respiration rate and increased respiratory effort. In sick dogs, *dyspnea* should be manifested by increased respiratory rate and decreased respiratory effort. The presence of *increased body temperature* is an important sign of fever and should be recorded. Feline fever is rarely associated with a true increase in body temperature. A core body temperature of over 40°C or over 39.4°C with a rectal temperature of over 40°C is considered a *true increase in body temperature*. A *fever* is present when the rectal temperature is above 39.4°C and core body temperature is below 39.4°C. Patients with an increased body temperature often have other signs of systemic disease, such as increased heart and respiratory rates, changes in heart or lung sounds, or evidence of gastrointestinal disease (decreased appetite or vomiting).

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Treatment of hypoxemia and hypercapnia in dogs and cats

Therapeutic Goal


Watch the video: How to take your pets vitals? (January 2023).