by Justin LaClair August 31, 2020

Pets and Oxygen Usage

Our pets are a huge part of our lives, and they can get sick and need help just as much as we can.

Sometimes oxygen is used for animals during surgeries or emergency situations that may require supplemental oxygen. Oxygen can benefit your favorite pets, just as well as it can with humans! It can help administer aerosol medication with the help of a nebulizer. Sometimes it is used with small hyperbaric chambers. It can also be used to help diseases like COPD.

What pets need oxygen therapy?

Your pets lungs collect oxygen from inspired air and transfer it to the red blood cells. The heart distributes blood throughout the body and thus moves oxygen to every organ. Any disease that impairs lung, blood or heart function, if severe enough, may impair oxygen delivery. Examples of diseases where oxygen delivery is compromised include: pneumonia, bruised lungs, anemia, and congestive heart failure, and COPD.

Is it effective?

Oxygen therapy can be very beneficial to animals who are in need of additional oxygen during surgeries or in an emergency situation. The downfall to oxygen therapy in animals is that it can become difficult to decide between the importance of supplying the animal with oxygen and stressing the patient when trying to do so. The cause of an animal needing oxygen, such as heart failure and lung cancer, can be the cause of unsuccessful oxygen therapy. A severe illness that requires oxygen may not be resolved with oxygen, as it is more of a short-term treatment. Oxygen therapy in pets is used as an additional tool in treating an illness, but it will not solely heal an animal. Your vet will give you more detailed answers based on your pet’s health.

How Much does it cost?

The cost will be different for everyone and will be based on how your vet charges for oxygen.Normally oxygen is charged by every half hour and can incur additional fees depending on the vet.Average costs range between $80 and $125 for every half hour of oxygen use. This cost can be drastically reduced if you purchased your own Oxygen Concentrator, which typically last at least 10,000 hours of use.

How do veterinarians know a pet patient needs oxygen therapy?

Nearly any emergency patient showing signs of difficulty breathing will be immediately treated with oxygen therapy, while initial testing is performed to determine the cause of the breathing impairment. Any Emergency Room uses a device called a pulse oximeter to measure the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. The probe clips onto the ear, lip or tail. Pets with low oxygen levels will continue to receive oxygen therapy for the duration of their procedure.

How is oxygen administered?

The Emergency Room and ICU both have specially designed enclosed cages or "tents" for administering oxygen. Instead of bars, the doors are solid Plexiglas and the cage features a valve to control the amount of oxygen delivered into the cage. Oxygen might also be administered via a mask held over the dog or cat’s nose. For pets needing to move about the hospital for tests and procedures, this is a portable oxygen delivery method. This method is commonly used if a pet in congestive heart failure needs an EKG or a cardiac ultrasound. Really big dogs don’t fit into most oxygen cages. In those dogs, veterinarians administer oxygen directly into the nasal passages using special tubes.

What other uses are there for oxygen?

Pets undergoing general anesthesia for surgery or teeth cleaning receive oxygen as part of the anesthesia protocol. Once the breathing tube is placed into their trachea or windpipe, a mixture of oxygen and anesthetic gas is pumped through the breathing tube to maintain the pet under anesthesia. When the procedure is finished, the anesthetic gas is discontinued and the pet breathes only oxygen until adequately awake from anesthesia. Oxygen therapy can be just as helpful for our "fur babies" as it can for the rest of our family! Make sure to contact your local veterinarian so they can properly diagnose any ailments and let you know the best way to not only administer the oxygen, but also the correct amount to give them as well.

Stay Safe!

Justin LaClair
Justin LaClair

Justin has been working with OxygenPlus since their storefront start in 1993. In 2002 he earned the title of CEO and has been operating OxygenPlus ever since. Most of the time if you call, Justin will answer the phone. He tries to be extremely hands on with most every transaction that takes place. Raised with a very high quality standard, any work must meet his satisfaction before it is approved. He is a classic car enthusiast, loves traveling either for work or pleasure, and is a renewable energy advocate. As of 2015, he saw to it that his personal home, and OxygenPlus Medical run 100% off of solar power.


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