This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Apnoea means cessation of breathing. Breathing is a reflex which the animal cannot voluntarily stop, however there are some circumstances in which apnoea (or breath holding) can occur. E.g. over-oxygenation of the blood, as can occur during artificial ventilation , may result in breath holding. Also, severe respiratory depression and apnoea can occur with some induction agents - such as barbiturates. These are of no consequence providing the animal is being monitored and positive pressure ventilation can be provided. However, prolonged apnoea can lead to respiratory arrest and death.


Last updated : October 2013