3 Ways To Give Oxygen To Your Sick Pet


There are different ways of providing oxygen therapy to pets, and it is crucial to use the least stressful method. A dog or cat that is fighting for breath could be pushed into a crisis if she struggles during administration of oxygen. Here are the most common delivery forms to give oxygen supplementation to dogs and cats at home.

Flow-by oxygen is the simplest to provide. This is administered by placing the end of the oxygen tubing by the animal’s nose. Since this technique does not require using a mask, most pets tolerate it with little to no fighting. But this delivery form only increases the oxygen concentration slightly above room air, so it is not ideal for respiratory distress. However, it is a quick first step, which gives pet parent some time to think about the next best option. And this may be all that is possible for an extremely stressed pet.

Oxygen Mask
Administering oxygen with a mask provides the animal with a higher concentration than flow-by oxygen. Keeping the black rubber on the mask allows a tighter fit and higher oxygen concentration. The oxygen saturation increase is highly dependent on how tightly the mask is fitted to the pet’s muzzle. Some masks especially made for dogs & cats are designed with ventilated sides to ensure the animal does not breath in its own carbon dioxide. Others without ventilated sides may cause the animal to breathe in its own carbon dioxide if the mask is tightly fitted and therefore, aerating the mask periodically is needed.

Oxygen Cage
This is a sealed chamber in which the animal can rest and breathe in an oxygen-rich atmosphere; and is equipped with ventilating and humidifying functions. In desperate circumstances, you can create an oxygen cage by placing plastic or saran wrap taped over a cage but must leave holes for ventilation. Although this is not an ideal solution, it is a feasible replacement option when you are desperately trying to save your pet’s life. Pet owner must keep a close eye on the temperature and humidity inside the cage as a closed cage can heat up quickly. While some pet oxygen cages have internal controls that you can preset to automatically make temperature and humidity adjustments; you can equip a self-made oxygen cage with thermometer and ice packs and replacing them regularly during the therapy.

If the pet is too big to fit in an oxygen cage, you can use an “oxygen hood.” To create an oxygen hood, choose a size larger than ideal, then place saran wrap over the wide end of the cone with a small portion left open for ventilation; and administer the oxygen by feeding a small oxygen line into the hood. You must also monitor the process closely as the same temperature concern applies here. 

At all times, the aim is to prevent the pet from struggling during the oxygen therapy. As medical oxygen contains no moisture, continuous usage of supplementary oxygen requires humidification to help prevent drying of the the pet’s nasal passage. ST Pet Oxygen provides oxygen equipment rental for pets to have oxygen therapy in the comfort of their own home. To know more about our service, check out our website www.stpetoxygen.com ; and if you need further assistance, please contact us