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One of the most effective adjunctive treatments in which our emergency veterinarians are trained is in oxygen therapy. Quality pet care is especially important in emergency situations where advanced pet services could mean the difference in your pet’s survival. Whether you have ever had to rely on our emergency care services or not, you can take comfort in the fact that Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin has taken the necessary measures and additional training to respond to any critical condition your pet may be forced to confront.
If your pet’s symptoms indicate respiratory shock or distress, or your pet has fluid in the lungs or chest cavity, our advanced pet services are equipped to administer critical oxygen therapy. If hypoxia, or inadequate oxygen supply, is involved, cellar metabolism is compromised in a way that could lead to organ dysfunction and even death. Our emergency veterinarians understand the physiology of oxygen delivery and recognize cases that will benefit from carefully administered therapy. The high quality of oxygen that your pet receives in this way makes it easier for them to breathe comfortably and to quickly restore oxygen levels to improve circulation and prevent or reduce damage to the vital organs.
Many of the emergencies we see at Emergency Animal Hospital can benefit from oxygen therapy, and most dog symptoms respond especially well to treatment. Oxygen therapy has proven effective for any kind of trauma, especially when swelling of the tissue is involved, a condition that can effectively be decreased and reversed through the proper administration of supplemental oxygen.
This makes oxygen therapy particularly effective for treating pets that have been hit by cars, bitten by rattlesnakes, or those with infected wounds. Other dog symptoms which respond well to oxygen therapy include respiratory distress, sepsis, hyperthermia, pleural space disease, congestive heart failure, anemia, shock, pulmonary contusions, pulmonary hypertension, seizures, and head trauma. Most fire departments around the country are even starting to equip their emergency response vehicles with respirators for pets affected by smoke inhalation.
We most commonly administer oxygen therapy through masks which are custom fitted for small, medium, large, and extra-large breeds and fit comfortably over the muzzle. Nasal catheters can also be used if they are more conducive or if the airway is compromised.
While oxygen therapy is not completely risk-free, it is relatively harmless if properly monitored. Small changes in oxygen supplementation can produce dramatic effects in animals who are responding well, so proper weaning is key. Most pets can be tapered off supplemental oxygen over 24-48 hours, depending on the condition.
Allowing our emergency veterinarians to administer supplemental oxygen therapy allows them to stabilize your pet, so they can focus on addressing the more potentially serious underlying cause or condition to ensure the highest possible level of quality pet care.
To learn more about oxygen therapy as an option for your pet, please call our office.