Your assessment results for:

Breathing Difficulties

Urgency level: High priority

Contact your regular veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact your regular veterinary hospital ASAP and monitor your dog closely

  • If your regular veterinary hospital is open, contact them now. If they are closed, it is probably safe to wait until morning.
  • Monitor your dog closely for any new symptoms or changes in behavior. If they begin to exhibit any of the following, contact an emergency hospital. Signs include:
    • Severe lethargy
    • Non-responsiveness
    • Gums that are red, white or blue-ish


Why it’s high priority

Mild-moderate breathing difficulties typically indicate a chronic underlying condition

  • Any condition that causes difficulty breathing requires veterinary intervention ASAP. Difficulty breathing can be caused by problems with the heart and lungs, and typically results in inadequate delivery of oxygen throughout your dog’s body, which can lead to organ failure.
  • Based on the signs you’ve selected, your dog doesn’t appear to be in critical condition, but should be seen by a vet.


Home care tips

Keep your dog quiet

  • Keep your dog calm, quiet and at comfortable room temperature on the way to the vet, especially if they were exposed to extreme heat or cold temperatures
  • If the breathing problems are happening intermittently (on and off again), take a video on your phone so you can show your vet
  • Don’t use a leash that tightens around your dog’s neck (ex. collar). A harness is preferable.
  • Learn more about breathing problems in dogs


Talk to a veterinarian now

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Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.