Checking heart rate and respiration
- I've found having my stethoscope to be invaluable when I'm listening for what's going on with the heart and lungs. You can hear if the heartbeat is regular or irregular, whether there's a gallop or murmur. You can hear if there's fluid in there too, because it sounds like crackling and/or popping sounds. You can hear the heart rate, how many beats per minute. Normal heart rate can be anywhere between about 120 to 140 beats per minute.
Keeping track of respirations is something I do everyday with my heart kitties. Count how many breaths are taken in 15 seconds and then multiply that by 4 to get how many breaths per minute. I count the breaths when they're asleep, but I also count them when they're awake and resting just to have reference and see the difference in awake and asleep. Normal resting respiration can be anywhere from about 16 to 28 or 32 breaths per minute. When the respiratoin gets up above about 36, that's when I start to get concerned. Anything above 40 is too high. My angel Sweetie a couple of times had her respiration go up to 60 when she had fluid episodes.
When you're checking heart rate and respiration, remember that fluid isn't the only thing that can make the heart rate and respiration go up. If a cat is in pain, that will also make them increase.
Carol and Angel Snowball
and the gang
Yes, of course :-)
For those that deal with fluid buildup, I have heard some say that a stethoscope is useful... others say not. Since I'm holding off on the lasix at the moment (as he doesn't have fluid), I'm wondering if that would help catch anything at the start. I don't know how easy it is to hear the fluid, or if by the time you do hear it, there is already too much.
I imagine I would have to go through a few practice sessions first, just to get him acclimated to it. My guess is he would think it's play time and try to bite and bunny kick it :-)
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