Our pets pant when they are excited or its hot outside. When they are breathing with short rapid breaths at rest, or cats breathe with their mouth open, it can be a sign of underlying serious illnesses.
Any number of diseases within the chest can cause short breaths. Fluid can fill around the lungs, the heart can enlarge, or a growth can form that reduced the space needed to breath appropriately.
Anemia from infections, autoimmune disease, internal bleeding, or any other cause will also make pets breath rapidly.
Heatstroke is always possible and life threatening. If your dog doesn’t want to get up and keep playing while breathing hard in the sun, help cool them down or call us if they don’t seem to get comfortable.
The list of possibilities goes on but the most important thing to remember is that difficulty breathing is a critical condition that needs thorough assessment immediately.