Normal Vital Signs

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Normal Vital Signs in the Dog

Heart rate: 70-160bpm

Respiratory rate: 10-30rpm

Temperature: 100.5F-102.5F

Capillary Refill Time (CRT): < 2 seconds

Mucous Membranes: Pink and Moist

Hydration Status: < 1 second

Normal Vital Signs in the Cat

Heart rate: 160-240bpm

Respiratory rate: 20-30rpm

Temperature: 100.5F-102.5F

Capillary Refill Time (CRT): < 2 seconds

Mucous Membranes: Pink and Moist

Hydration Status: < 1 second
Monitoring Vitals at Home
Heart rate:

Either place your hand over your pets chest and feel the heart beat or find the large vein on the inside on the back leg (femoral vein). For a quick estimate count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. This will give you beats per minutes (bpm).

Respiratory Rate:

You can either watch your pets chest, or hold a wet finger or mirror in front of the nostrils. For a quick estimate count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. This will give you respirations per minute (rpm).

Temperature:

Use a rectal (not oral) digital thermometer. Call the Vet if the temperature is below 100F or above 103F.

Capillary Refill Time (CRT):

Pull back pets upper lip and find the gum line above their teeth (the gums should be pink). Gently press with your finger or thumb on the gum and release, the gum will blanche white. The pink color of the gum should return within 2 seconds.

Mucous Membranes:

Your pets mucous membranes are the inner cheeks and gums. Pull back your pets upper lips and examine gums. Normal mucous membranes are a healthy pink and moist. Note: Some pets have black pigment in their mouths/gums which is normal, in this case assess the color of the tongue. Dry, sticky, or tacky feeling gums can signal dehydration.

Abnormal Mucous Membrane Color:

White or pale gums are a sign of shock or low red blood cells.

Blue (cyanosis) gums are a sign of low blood oxygen (hypoxia).

Very Dark Red gums are a sign of heat stroke, sepsis (blood infection), and potentially carbon monoxide poisoning.

Yellow (jaundice) gums or the skin are a sign of a liver or kidney problem or destruction of red blood cells.

Petechia (little bruises on the gum or other areas of the skin such as inner ears or abdomen areas) is a sign of severe anemia, blood loss or other critical situations.

Dehydration:

Gently pinch the skin behind the head and in between the shoulder blades and lift up (as in a tent) and immediately release. If skin snaps back against the body in less than 1 second your pet is properly hydrated. If it takes longer than 1 second fot the skin to snap back against the body, your pet may be dehydrated.

**Any abnormal vitals your pet may be experiencing, please contact us at North Mankato Animal Hospital immediately

507-720-6700