Physiological monitoring is a critical aspect of in vivo experimentation, particularly imaging studies. Physiological monitoring facilitates gated acquisition of imaging data and more robust experimental interpretation but has historically required additional instrumentation that may be cumbersome. As frame rates have increased, imaging methods have been able to capture ever more rapid dynamics, passing the Nyquist sampling rate of most physiological processes and allowing the capture of motion, such as breathing. With this transition, image artifacts have also changed their nature; rather than intraframe motion causing blurring and deteriorating resolution, interframe motion does not affect individual frames and may be recovered as useful information from an image time series. We demonstrate a method that takes advantage of interframe movement for detection of gross physiological motion in real-time image sequences. We further demonstrate the ability of the method, dubbed tomographic breathing detection to quantify the dynamics of respiration, allowing the capture of respiratory information pertinent to anesthetic depth monitoring. Our example uses multispectral optoacoustic tomography, but it will be widely relevant to other technologies.