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Assessing Breathing & Nasal Passages in Dogs & Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
FAQ's on Vet. Tests
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Q. How is a glass slide used to assess breathing?

Holding a slide in front of a puppy's nose

If your pet has had signs of an upper respiratory infection, your veterinarian may place a cold microscope slide in front of your pet's nose. Although it may seem rather 'low tech,' this procedure can provide important information. When the cold slide is placed in front of your pet's nose, the moisture from the air he exhales will condense on the slide, just as your breath will condense on a cold window. If the areas of condensation are equal in size, the air is moving through both sides of his nasal passages at the same rate. If the area from one nostril is smaller, it means less air is moving through that side and there may be some type of obstruction in the nasal passage. The obstruction could be discharge as a result of infection, a tumor, a blood clot, or a foreign body (such as a piece of stick) lodged in the nose.

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