Oxygen Therapy in Cats

Oxygen Therapy for Cats - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention
Oxygen Therapy for Cats - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention

What is Oxygen Therapy?

Oxygen therapy for cats is a form of treatment that delivers a controlled level of oxygen to the feline. Oxygen therapy can be delivered through the nose, the mouth, trachea tube, or normal breathing. Oxygen therapy is often prescribed and calculated (ml/kg) by the veterinarian, then monitored by the licensed staff. There are several forms of oxygen therapy a veterinarian can choose from to accommodate a feline’s current state and overall condition. 

Oxygen Therapy Procedure in Cats

Prior to hooking the feline up to oxygen gas, the veterinarian will review the cat’s medical history and conduct a physical exam. Further routine diagnostic tests may be conducted after oxygen therapy has begun and the cat is stabilized. 

Note that oxygen therapy can is a monitored procedure and, like other stabilizer therapies, can be delivered at a high or low rate. The calculations of rate of administration are to be determined by the veterinarian. 

Below is a summary of each of the most commonly used oxygen therapy methods:

Nasal Cannula

A fast and easy technique that involves the placement of a human cannula. A nasal cannula is often placed when it is anticipated that the feline will be moved for diagnostic tests. In order to keep the two small prongs from slipping out of the nose, a nose band is creating using adhesive tape and skin staples. The Y section of the tubing will then be tightened behind the cat’s head. 

Nasal Catheter

Sedation is required to place a nasal catheter, which the veterinarian will select based on the feline’s health. A few drops of proparacaine will be placed into the nostril to numb the area and a suture will be placed at the base of the nostril, which will serve as an anchor later on. A feeding-tube is selected (size and style considered) and lubricated with a water-soluble jelly. The length of the tube is pre-measured from the outside, along the cat’s face before inserting the tube into the nasal cavity. Once the tube is in proper place, the premade suture at the base of the cat’s nostril will be used to tie the tube and secure it. Tape will be placed around the cat’s neck to anchor the loose tube and the end of that tube will be attached to oxygen. 

Oxygen Mask

Oxygen therapy can be delivered through the use of an oxygen mask, specially designed for felines and commonly used during anesthesia. The correct sized mask is found and secured in place with either tape, or a feline muzzle. The mask is then attached to oxygen gas. 

Crowe Oxygen Collar

An Elizabethan collar (one size larger than generally used for a cat) is secured around the cat’s neck and an oxygen tube is allowed underneath the collar from below. Tape is then used to secure the collar is place. Plastic wrap is then laid over the face of the Elizabethan collar, covering 50-80% of the surface area. 

Oxygen Cage/Chamber

A noninvasive form of oxygen therapy, filling a small space with oxygen to allow the feline to breathe in. 

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Efficacy of Oxygen Therapy in Cats

Felines requiring oxygen are in a life-threatening situation and oxygen therapy is one of the best stabilization treatments available. Oxygen therapy can give the feline’s body a ready supply of oxygen gas with or without the need of inhalation. 

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Oxygen Therapy Recovery in Cats

Oxygen therapy for cats may be administered for a few minutes to weeks, depending on the feline’s critical condition. 

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Cost of Oxygen Therapy in Cats

The cost for feline oxygen therapy depends on a variety of factors. Whether the feline was taken through emergency care or a regular clinic or hospital, the form of oxygen therapy, whether, a sedative was involved, the amount of oxygen delivered to the feline, and other diagnostic tests paired with the oxygen therapy can influence the overall cost of treatment. The cost of oxygen therapy can cost anywhere from $70 to $1,000. 

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Cat Oxygen Therapy Considerations

No true considerations are paired with oxygen therapy. The use of oxygen therapy is beneficial for all oxygen-deprived felines. 

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Oxygen Therapy Prevention in Cats

The need for oxygen therapy cannot always be prevented. Feline asthma, brachycephalic patients (flat-faced cats) and severe allergies are conditions a feline is born with, making prevention unobtainable. 

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Oxygen Therapy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Persisn

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Sixteen Years

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

My cat is on supplemental oxygen at home. What is a good temperature for an oxygen tent to be? Thank you!

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. You do not want the temperature inside the oxygen tent to get too warm, and it should be maintained around room temperature. I hope that all goes well for your cat.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Mimi

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Tabby bicolor

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13 Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Respiratory Disease
Asthma
Acute Asthma Attacks
Bronchitis
Laboured Breathing

Hello, Mimi has been diagnosed with bronchitis and asthma 3-4 years ago. She had episodes of acute attacks a few times in the last two years and needed emergency attention. We administer seretide inhaler once to twice a day ever since. Her condition has gotten progressively worst although we do have very good days and she has a stable quality of life. She's extremely sweet. She had an attack last night and we brought her in, and she's been in the oxygen chamber for the past 48 hours together with all the test procedures. We were supposed to bring her home today but she could have panicked and her nose turned purple off the oxygen chamber and the doctor put her back in. How would you recommend an oxygen tent for home use for her? Any advice will be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Aug. 11, 2018

Mimi's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

I'm not sure that an oxygen tent at home is completely feasible, or safe, honestly. If you already have someone in your home on oxygen, have tanks and regulators, you may be able to fashion a tent of some sort, but to set that up can be complicated. Since you are working with your veterinarian for Mimi, they would be in the best position to let you know if that is possible for her.

Aug. 11, 2018

My cat has pulmonary hypertension and lung disease - I just purchased the JorVet Buster ICU cage for her. I will be picking her up soon for this at-home treatment. She was also supposed to have come home and the same thing, once she was out of the oxygen tent her nose turned purple. I'm hoping this will provide good treatment for her lungs.

Aug. 31, 2018

Lisa G.

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