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Low Blood Oxygen in Cats




Treatment is dependent on the underlying cause of the oxygen deficiency. Oxygen is usually given to support your cat's heart and lungs (cardiovascular system); the oxygen is delivered using a face mask placed securely around the muzzle. However, it is important to keep in mind that this treatment is not always successful.


If the problem is low cardiac output, intravenous (IV) medications to strengthen muscle action will be prescribed. In case of cardiac failure, diuretics and oxygen will be administered, as well as medications to strengthen muscle action.


If there is hemorrhaging, injury, or shock from infection, hospitalization will be required so that an IV can be inserted and fluids brought into the veins to stabilize the body. This will also allow oxygen to reach appropriate levels.


Living and Management


Hypoxemia is a life-threatening condition. Therefore, observe your cat carefully following treatment. Symptoms to watch out for are a decreased ability to breathe, as well any paleness of the tissues (such as the tissues of the mouth and gums), which would signal lack of oxygen diffusion in the tissues. Frequent follow-up visits with your veterinarian will be needed for arterial blood gas measurements.


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