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This study is a review of the literature on the possibilities of respiratory function testing in dogs and cats.Following an introduction on the anatomy of the respiratory system of small animals, a survey is given on respiratory physiology and pathophysiology. Respiratory mechanics and functional peculiarities in these species are pointed out.Thereafter, all methods of examination in respiratory function testing are depicted that are applicable or already have been applied to these animals.Beyond that, the diagnostic techniques that are used for humans and considered to be most meaningful, but require active cooperation from the patient, are treated briefly.Then follows a description of respiratory diseases in small animals, which are already objects of clinical pulmonary function esting.The review shows that respiratory function tests are useful and applicable on dogs and, to a lesser extent, on cats.They are of limited diagnostic value, but they facilitate the recording and the description of the course of respiratory diseases. Their main benefit is the possibility of a simple and quantitative evaluation of surgical and medical treatments of respiratory disorders.In the future, furthermore, after a suitable standardization of the techniques, respiratory function tests could contribute to the elimination of unwelcome morphologic and functional changes in the respiratory system of some breeds.