How To Measure Your Pet’s Heart Rate
Wait until your pet is nice and calm and laying down. This is the perfect opportunity to measure his or her heart rate.
1. Ideally, your pet will be laying on his or her side, like Quinn was in the corresponding video for this lesson.2. Locate the femoral artery on the inside of your pet’s thigh by placing your hand there. This artery runs down the inside and middle of the thigh along the bone.3. Once you find it you should be able to feel it pulsating put three fingers on that area and hold it.
Pro Tip #3: You may recall in the video that Dr. Bobbi used the top leg to get that measurement rather than lifting up the top leg to access the bottom leg. Your dog or cat will likely remain calmer if you’re not using their legs like a wishbone, so curl your hand under that top leg instead. And remember, practice makes perfect!
4. Once you feel those pulsations, it time to measure. Using a clock or watch with a second hand, count the pulsations for six seconds.5. Multiply the number of pulsations by 10. This will tell you your pet’s resting heart rate for one minute.6. Compare your findings with the range listed above for your dog or cat.
Getting to know your pet’s normal resting heart rate, along with checking it whenever you suspect something is wrong, will alert you if something really is amiss.
- What are your pet’s other vital signs ?
- How is your pet otherwise doing/feeling?
- Are his or her behaviors normal eating habits, bathroom habits, and social habits?
Taking Your Pets Vitals
One of the most important parts of being a pet owner is knowing when your dog or cat isnt feeling well and should be seen by a veterinarian. There are three simple steps in assessing your pets vital signs. By practicing taking their vitals at home, you will know what is normal and this will help you decide if they need immediate medical attention. The three main vital signs you want to monitor are temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate.
Taking Your Pets Temperature
The most accurate way of assessing your pets temperature is rectally. It may seem daunting, but here is a step by step explanation that will guide you through the process.
- Using a digital thermometer purchased at your local pharmacy, apply a little lubricant to the probe .
- Gently lift your dog or cats tail and slowly insert the probe about 1/4 to 1/2. It is helpful to have another person distracting your pet by treats or affection. A cat may be a little more difficult and require more restraint .
- The thermometer should beep when finished.
A normal body temperature for a dog and cat is anywhere from 99 to 102.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If your pet is too rowdy or upset during this process, you can stop and move on to the next vital sign.
Pulse and/or Heart Rate
To determine your pets heart rate, put your hands to their chest and count the beats that you feel for 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4 and you will get their heartbeats per minute.Normal resting heart rates:
How To Take Your Pet’s Respiratory Rate
Determine your petâs rate of respiration at rest . A healthy dog takes between 12 and 24 breaths per minute, and a healthy cat takes between 20 and 30 breaths per minute.
To measure breathing rate, count the number of times the chest expands in 10 seconds and multiply by six. You can do this either by watching your pet or resting your hand on the ribs.
Normal respiration should not make any noise, and should require very little effort. Of course, if you have a brachycephalic breed like a Pug, English Bulldog, Himalayan cat or Persian cat, a little snort from time to time can be expected!
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What Is Rapid Heart Rate
These valves separate oxygenated blood from un-oxygenated blood and complete the blood exchange through the body, but in order for the blood to move, the heart muscle needs to contract. The sinoatrial node is the electric impulse that triggers the heart to pump blood through each of the hearts valves and chambers. The sinoatrial node or pacemaker, is what we feel as the cats heartbeat and can measure the number of times the electric impulse triggers the heart to pump over a minutes time, giving us the felines general heart rate. The average heart rate for a feline is roughly 140-220 bpm , depending on the size of the cat, but complications with a felines sinoatrial node can make the heart beat over 240 bpm. A rapid heart rate in cats is a heart rate greater than 220 bpm and is known as tachycardia.
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How To Determine Your Cats Respiratory Rate
To determine the breathing rate, watch your cats chest movement up and down. Count either inhalations or exhalations for 15 seconds, and multiply by four to calculate the breaths per minute.
The nature of your cats breathing is as important as the rate, and can help you determine how serious her situation is:
- Rapid breathing can indicate shock or lack of oxygen.
- Labored breathing may be a clue that there is an obstruction or severe chest injury.
- Shallow breathing can indicate weakness or chest pain.
- Irregular breathing is the most serious respiratory sign, indicating the need for immediate veterinary attention.
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Recovery Of Rapid Heart Rate In Cats
If the overall cause of the cats rapid heart rate is determined to be a metabolic condition, the prognosis is generally good. However, heart disease, cancer, and congenital problems could worsen over time, increasing the chance for sudden death. The veterinarian will likely have your feline complete routine veterinary check-ups and may even have the feline wear a Holter monitoring device. The Holter monitor is a portable ECG that will monitor your cats heart rate over several hours.
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You Can Tell Your Pet Isnt Feeling Well But You Dont Know How To Help Its A Rotten Feeling Checking Some Basic Wellness Measurements Can Help You Figure Out Whats Causing Your Pets Discomfort And Get Him Feeling Better
Every pet owner knows that feeling when your pup isnt himself, but youre not sure if hes seriously sick. Simply learning to check your dogs pulse, respiration, and temperature can help you assess his degree of pain, injury, or illness. And that can help you decide on a proper course of action to get him feeling better.
Taking and recording these measurements when your dog is healthy gives you a baseline to know when something isnt quite right. The difference between your dogs normal readings and what hes experiencing when hes unwell might lead you to seek professional medical help.
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Finding The Dog’s Pulse
How To Check Your Cat’s Heart And Respiratory Rates And Temperature
To take your cat’s heart and respiratory rates, you will need a watch with a second hand or the timer on your phone.
Here are the steps for taking the heart rate of a cat:
- Place your hands on each side of your cat’s chest, just behind her elbows. Apply gentle pressure until you can feel her heartbeat. Count the beats for 15 seconds, and then multiply your result by 4 to calculate beats per minute.
- You may be able to feel your cat’s pulse by placing two fingers gently on the inside of her groin, where the back leg meets the body wall.
Note: It can be difficult to take a heart rate on a cat. If you have any concerns with your cat’s heart rate, go to the veterinarian. Using a stethoscope can make it easier for you to take your cat’s heart and respiratory rates.
Here are the steps for taking the respiratory rate of a cat:
- Watch your cat’s chest to see its rise and fall or place a hand on her chest to feel them.
- Count each chest rise for 15 seconds, and then multiply your result by 4 to calculate breaths per minute.
Practice taking heart and respiratory rates on your cat when there is no problem so that you will feel more comfortable and be more adept at it during an emergency.
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Find The Dog’s Pulse And Do The Math
First, prepare a watch, clock, stopwatch or phone and have it beside you.
Step one. To find your dog’s pulse, you must first place your hand under a dog’s left front paw where the paw meets the body, or the dog’s armpit, if you will .
Holding your hand there, you should be able to easily feel your dog’s heart beating. If you don’t feel it, try moving your hand around that area, slowly feeling for the heartbeat. You will find it eventually.
Step two. Once you find the heartbeat on a dog, you’ll need that phone, watch, clock with a seconds hand, or a stopwatch. Count the number of times the dog’s heart beats in a 15 second time period.
Now, multiply that number by x4. The number you get from that is the number of time your dog’s heart beats per minute.
For example, in my video above, you will see that with my dog Chloe, I counted 21 beats in 15 seconds time frame. So doing the math, it’s 21 x 4 = 84.
That means my Chloe’s heart rate was 84 beats per minute here, which is right in the middle of the normal range, which is good.
Again, if you find your dog’s heart rate to be more than 140 beats per minute or less than 60 beats per minute, there’s some problem and you must contact your vet immediately.
How To Check Your Cat’s Heart Rate
Checking your cat’s heart rate is a simple process.2 Put your cat on her right side and put your hand on her chest behind the front left leg . Now, count how many beats you hear in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to get your cat’s approximate heart rate. You can also count for a full minute if she’s very calm.
Be gentle, so your kitty thinks you’re just petting her. If she gets anxious, that could increase her heart rate. If you notice her normal heart rate is consistently too fast or if it seems irregular, schedule a visit with your vet.
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How To Read A Cat’s Vital Signs
This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998. This article has been viewed 8,449 times.
Checking a cats vital signs involves taking its temperature, as well as checking its respiratory rate and heart rate. Use a digital rectal thermometer for the most accurate reading. Practice checking your cats heart and respiratory rates while it is calm and healthy so that you are comfortable with the process. Use gentle pressure, pheromone sprays, or herbs to keep your cat calm while you examine it.
How To Check Your Pet’s Pulse Rate:
Check your pets pulse in the femoral artery, in the crease of the hind leg at the groin. With your pet lying on his side, place the flat of your fingers in the area until you locate the pulse. Note that it may be much more difficult to find if your pet is depressed, dehydrated, or has a low blood pressure. This is why it is a good idea to check it when your pet is healthy so you know what you are looking for.
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How To Take Your Pet’s Body Temperature
A normal body temperature for dogs and cats is around 100.5 to 102.5Â°F. And yes, the best measure of true body temperature is taken rectally with a thermometer, so you might want to distract your pet with a treat or toy while you take the temperature. If you arenât comfortable with that particular method, the next best tool is an ear thermometer or âtouch-freeâ infrared thermometer made for animals.
Once youâve taken your petâs vitals, keep a log of their normal numbers in the event you ever need to grab it and go. You can use a smart phone app to store this information or keep it in your pet first aid kit, along with more details about their medical history and pet insurance information. As important as your petâs vitals can be, their medical history is just as, if not more, important to the treating veterinarian.
Knowing how to take your dog or catâs vital signs is an important key to monitoring and managing their health. It takes less than five minutes to do, and itâs one more way you can become a better, more responsible pet owner!
What’s A Normal Cat Temperature Tips For Checking Your Cat’s Vitals
Keeping your cat’s health in tip-top shape isn’t always easy, especially when they’re extremely adept at hiding an illness. So how can you detect when your feline friend isn’t feeling so hot? Being familiar with baseline vitals, such as what a normal cat temperature is and how many beats per minute indicate a healthy cat heart rate, can help you get a pulse on your pet’s health.
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How To Check Your Cats Vital Signs
Of course, it goes without saying that any cat health check performed at home is no replacement for regular wellness visits. Your vet is paws down your cats best health expert, and NOTHING should take his place. But, in between annual or bi-annual vet visits, learning to check your cats vital signs is one of the best ways you can stay on top of his health.
Why not leave it all to the vet? Well, unfortunately for cat parents, you cant rely on your kitty to give you any obvious signals if hes feeling a little under the weather. Charming and irresistible as it is, a cats typical air of independence and mystery has a serious down side when it comes to kittys health. Cats are masters at masking signs of pain or sickness. By the time you notice that something is wrong, a condition that started out small may have progressed into a much more serious problem!
Thankfully, though, there are ways to monitor your kittys health so that you can catch the early signs that hes hiding from you. Checking your cats vital signs can give you a baseline from which to gauge his general health and a way to check up on him if you ever suspect that theres a problem. The more information you can provide to your vet, the better!
A Guide To Checking Your Cats Vital Signs At Home
Knowing how to check your cats vital signs at home is easy to do and can be a helpful way to keep track of your cats health. Checking their vitals can also help you identify when your cat is sick or not feeling well, and when its time for a visit to the vet. Learn what the normal vital signs are for your cat, and how to step-by-step check your cats vital signs at home.
Capillary Refill Time or Profusion Rate
Capillary Refill Time or CRT, is done by checking your cats gums. This measurement checks the rate of blood flow in the blood vessels called capillaries, of your cats gums. By pressing on the gums with your finger, you are forcing the blood out of the capillaries, and when you remove your finger, youre allowing the blood to refill the capillaries.
So position your cat in a comfortable place on your lap. Pull up their lip and press your finger gently onto their gum until it whitens, then remove your finger and see how quickly the gum returns to a pink color. It should take no more than two seconds for the pink to return. If the gums stay white longer than two seconds, the blood isnt flowing adequately or normally. This can indicate a heart problem, possible shock due to an accident, or a serious illness. If your cats CRT is longer than two seconds, its time to see a vet. Taking the CRT measurement is a quick and easy way to find out if your cat has a serious illness.
Taking Your Cats Temperature
Checking Your Cats Heart/Pulse Rate
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