Respiratory distress can be caused by a number of diseases, for example, heart disease, pleural effusion, and pneumonia. Any animal in respiratory distress must be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


  • Labored breathing
  • Open mouthed breathing - especially in cats
  • Head and neck stretched out, elbows pointed outward
  • Blue, pale-white, or gray gum color
  • Bloody, foamy nasal discharge

First Aid: Minimize stress! Transfer your pet to a veterinary facility immediately. Respiratory distress it is a sign of a severe problem and can be fatal in a few minutes.