As your emergency veterinarian in Omaha, NE, we are open nights, weekends, and holidays to help your pet through emergencies. Learn reasons pets experience respiratory problems and how our vet can help in an emergency.

dog laying down

Reasons Pets Have Difficulty Breathing

There are many possible reasons your pet could develop a breathing difficulty. Common reasons include:

  • Asthma
  • Canine influenza
  • Kennel cough
  • Pneumonia
  • Metabolic problems
  • Bleeding of the lungs (common after ingesting rat poison)
  • Hernia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Bronchitis
  • Heart failure
  • Cancer

Difficulty breathing is different from having a shortness of breath. Signs that cats have difficulty breathing include coughing, open-mouth breathing, blue gums, or foaming at the mouth. For dogs, signals of difficulty breathing are restlessness, pacing, panting, heaving belly, blue gums, or frothing at the mouth. Since this condition is life-threatening, we urge you to bring in your pet if you see these symptoms.

How Your Emergency Veterinarian in Omaha, NE Treats Breathing Difficulties

When you come in with a pet in respiratory distress, we’ll first stabilize your pet so they are comfortable. We can administer oxygen therapy and IV fluids, which rehydrate your pet.

We may also place your pet on medication that can help them breathe. For instance, we may use steroids to reduce inflammation or diuretics to promote water movement out of the lungs.

Once your pet is no longer in a state of emergency we will try to identify the cause. X-rays show us what’s going on inside your pet’s lungs. We can take a blood sample to evaluate your pet’s blood levels, liver function, and kidney function. Once we know what may be causing your pet’s distress we can move forward with long-term treatment options, which depend on the underlying condition.

Contact Urgent Pet Care Omaha 

Urgent Pet Care Omaha has two clinics to best serve you, Millard and Papillon. Call the Millard clinic at 402-991-9444 or reach the Papillon clinic at 402-597-2911. While no appointment is needed to come in for emergency care, we recommend that you call to let our team know you are on the way.