Frequently Asked Questions

You can always call us at 855-699-4366 for direct ordering or questions about your order 

Ordering

How Long Does It Take to Process an Order?

Typically, prescription orders take between 24-48 hours to be processed. Non-prescription orders (placed within business hours) will process within 2 hours. If you are ordering a prescription item:

And You do not have a perscription: the 24-48 hour window allows a member of the Pawprint Oxygen Team to reach out to your veterinarian to get a prescription approval for oxygen therapy.

And you do have a prescription: on file or upload one upon check out, the order will process much quicker, as this step is already complete.

What Information Do I Need to Have Prior to Ordering?

We recommend having your pet, vet, shipping, and payment information available.

 

When ordering a prescription item on pawprintoxygen.com, we will need your pets information including:

  • name
  • age
  • gender
  • weight
  • breed
  • medical conditions
  • all medications

We will also need your vets information including:

  • veterinarians first and last name
  • clinic name
  • clinic address
  • clinic phone number

Why Is My Order On Hold?

If your order contains a prescription product, your completed order will be placed ‘On Hold’ as a member of the Pawprint Oxygen team verifies your prescription.

 

If you have attached a prescription to your order, or you already have a valid prescription on file, your order will be ‘On Hold’ momentarily while a member of the Pawprint Oxygen team verifies that your prescription is valid.  Once this is complete, you will be notified via email that your order is processing.

If you have selected ‘I would like Pawprint Oxygen to contact my vet’ option at check out, please allow 24-48 hours for a team member to contact your vet and obtain a valid prescription. Your order will remain ‘On Hold’ during this time. Once a prescription is obtained, you will be notified via email that your order is processing.

How Do I Reorder Pawprint Oxygen Canisters?

If you have a valid prescription, you can reorder online, over the phone, or by sending us an email. Your Pawprint Oxygen prescription is valid for one year.

 

To reorder online, please select ‘My prescription is already on file with Pawprint Oxygen’ when checking out. To reorder via phone, please call us at 855-699-4366 between the hours of 9am-5pm EST Monday-Friday. To reorder via email, please contact us at info@pawprintoxygen.com. Please include your name, your pet’s name, and the number of canisters you would like to reorder. If there has been an address change or your preferred method of payment needs updated, please call to reorder.

If you received Pawprint Oxygen directly from your veterinarian, you can either contact their office to reorder, or you can give us a call at 855-699-4366. We may need to obtain a copy of your prescription before completing your reorder.

Veterinarians may order by phone, through Vetcove, or through their distributor.

Where Can I Buy Pawprint Oxygen Supplies?

We are available online direct to your door, 24/7 through our website  at pawprintoxygen.com/shop

Shipping

What Are Your Shipping Options?

UPS Ground, UPS Next Day Air, and USPS are available shipping carriers. Please read below for restrictions.

Orders containing Pawprint Oxygen Canisters must be shipped via UPS Ground due to federal regulations; they cannot be shipped with USPS or UPS Next Day Air. Orders of Pawprint Oxygen Canisters cannot be expedited due to shipping restrictions.

All other products, including oxygen concentrators, oxygen cages, pet oxygen masks, and regulators, may be shipped through UPS Ground, UPS Next Day Air, and USPS. The UPS Next Day Air option is available for an additional cost, and a quote can be provided by calling us at 855-699-4366.

Orders placed Monday-Friday before 3:30PM EST will ship out the same day. Orders placed after 3:30PM EST will be shipped out the next business day. If you are ordering on a weekend, please note, your order will remain on hold until the next business day.

What Are Your Cut-off Times for Shipping?

Orders placed Monday – Friday before 3:30pm EST will be shipped out the same day. This applies to orders with an approved prescription or orders that do not require prescription approval.

 

For orders that DO NOT contain prescription products

Orders placed Monday – Friday before 3:30PM EST will be shipped out the same day.

Orders placed Monday – Friday after 3:30PM EST will be shipped out the following business day.

Orders placed on Saturday or Sunday will be shipped out the following business day (usually Monday, unless it’s a holiday and UPS doesn’t ship that day).

For orders that contain prescription products (Pawprint Oxygen Canisters, Oxygen Concentrators)

Please allow 24-48 hours for us to validate your prescription with your veterinarian. Once we receive approval from your veterinarian, your order will be shipped out according to the following schedule:

  • If valid prescription approval is received Monday – Friday before 3:30PM EST, your order will be shipped out the same day.
  • If valid prescription approval is received Monday – Friday after 3:30PM EST, your order will be shipped out the following business day.
  • If valid prescription approval is received on Saturday or Sunday, your order will be shipped out the following business day.

If you need your order expedited, please call (855) 699-4366 to discuss your options.

Where Does Pawprint Oxygen Ship?

We ship anywhere in the United States, excluding Hawaii.

 

Our products are also available in Canada through our Canadian Distributor: VetMed Solutions.

Unfortunately, our products are currently unavailable outside of the United States and Canada.

How Can I Get Your Products in Canada?

If you live in Canada, you can contact our Canadian distributor VetMed Solutions.

 

VetMed Solutions offers our products in Canada. They are able to service both veterinarians and pet owners. To learn more, you can call them directly at 1-888-976-8696 or email them at info@vetmedsolutions.com. For more information please visit their website. 

Where Can I Buy Pawprint Oxygen Supplies?

We are available online direct to your door, 24/7 through our website  at pawprintoxygen.com/shop

Returns

What is Your Return Policy?

Opened products cannot be returned due to federal shipping regulations and sanitary concerns. There are no exceptions.

 

  • There is a 20% restocking fee on all returned items. All sales are final after 30 days of ordering.
  • Opened products cannot be returned due to federal shipping regulations and sanitary concerns. Please consider donating them to help save another pet. Animal hospitals and rescues are always happy to receive these items as donations.
  • Unopened packages ordered within 30 days can be returned via UPS only. Please contact us by phone (855-699-4366) or email (info@pawprintoxygen.com) and we will provide you with a return shipping label.
  • There is a 20% restocking fee on all returned items, no exceptions.
  • Any item returned that has been misrepresented as unused will not be issued a refund.
  • We cannot refund any costs associated with expedited shipping.

Perscriptions

What Is the Prescription Process for Receiving Oxygen Therapy Products?

Once a prescription is submitted via online profile, email or fax, we will reach out to you.

 

For prescriptions submitted via online profile, pet owners can expect the order to be processed within 2 hours. If there is any additional information needed to process the order, a member of the Pawprint Oxygen Team will call you.

For prescriptions submitted via fax or email within normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST), pet owners can expect a call from a Pawprint Oxygen Team Member within 2 hours to complete the order. For prescriptions received outside of normal business hours, pet owners can expect a call the next business day. All orders placed before 3:30PM EST will ship out the same day.

Orders containing Pawprint Oxygen Canisters must ship via UPS Ground Shipping and may not be expedited.

If your order is urgent or requires special instructions, please call us at 855-699-4366. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact your nearest animal hospital.

Where Should I Send My Approved Prescription?

Completed prescription forms can be uploaded to your Pawprint Oxygen online profile. You can also send it via fax or email.

 

If you are unsure how to upload your prescription form to your Pawprint Oxygen online profile, please call us at 855-699-4366 and a member of our team will assist you. If you would prefer to email or fax the prescription form directly, please email the form to info@pawprintoxygen.com, or fax to 855-699-3366.

How Do I Upload My Prescription to My Online Profile?

Once you have created an online profile, visit the ‘My Account’ page and click on the tab labeled ‘My Prescriptions’.

 

Under the ‘My Prescriptions’ tab, you will see an ‘Add New’ button on the right side of the screen. Click ‘Add New’ and there will be a field to select your file. Once your file has been selected, you will see that file name appear. When you are ordering on the website, you can now link that prescription file to your order. If you have any issues uploading your prescription, please give us a call at 855-699-4366 and a member of the Pawprint Oxygen Team can assist you.

When Does My Pet's Prescription Expire?

Your pet’s Pawprint Oxygen prescription is valid for one year.

 

Unless specified by your veterinarian, you may refill as many times as needed while your pet’s prescription is valid. If you are unsure when your pet’s prescription expires, please call 855-699-4366 and a Pawprint Oxygen Team Member can assist you.

What If the Flowrate I Ordered Doesn't Match the Flowrate My Doctor Prescribed?

We will contact you as soon as we are able to remedy the issue, so that there is no delay in shipment.

 

Typically, we can adjust your order to reflect what the doctor has prescribed. If there will be a delay with your order for any reason, a member of the Pawprint Oxygen Team will call you.

FAQ by Product

Pet Oxygen Concentrators

What Is an Oxygen Concentrator?

A medical grade oxygen concentrator is a device that filters oxygen from the surrounding room air and concentrates it in order to provide high purity oxygen (>90%).

An oxygen concentrator does not need to be refilled like an oxygen tank does, as it is able to create its own supply of oxygen from the surrounding room air. Our units have a run time of over 30,000 hours, and require very little maintenance. We offer both 10 liter oxygen concentrators and 5 liter oxygen concentrators. The 10 liter model offers oxygen flow rates from 1 LPM to 10 LPM. The 5 liter model offers oxygen flow rates between 0.5 LPM to 5 LPM.

What Size Oxygen Concentrator Do I Need for the Oxygen Cage?

The size of the oxygen concentrator needed depends on the size of the oxygen cage you are using.

 

Small and medium Buster ICU Oxygen Cages can utilize a 5 liter oxygen concentrator or a 10 liter oxygen concentrator. Large Buster ICU Oxygen Cages must utilize a 10 liter oxygen concentrator. Please note, Pawprint Oxygen Canisters cannot be used with the Oxygen Cage.

The oxygen cage requires an oxygen concentrator to provide the correct amount of air flow into the cage. When using a concentrator with the cage, you will always set the concentrator to its highest flow rate. This means that you will set the 5 liter oxygen concentrator to 5 liters per minute when using a small or medium cage; or set the 10 liter concentrator to 10 liters per minute when using a large cage.

As you go from a small or medium cage to a large cage, you have to fill up a greater volume of space while also ensuring that you are turning over the air in the cage, pushing out the excess CO2 and other gaseous by-products, while continuing to push fresh oxygen gas into the cage. For these reasons it is essential that you use higher flow rates when you use the cage than when you would if you were administering oxygen therapy in a different way, such as flow by mask.

Do I Need a Prescription for an Oxygen Concentrator?

Yes, we require a prescription for any oxygen source. This includes Pawprint Oxygen Canisters and oxygen concentrators.

 

Prescriptions can be uploaded to your Pawprint Oxygen online profile, emailed to info@pawprintoxygen.com or faxed to 855-699-3366. You can download our RX Form and send it to your veterinarian, giving them everything they need to send us a prescription.

We require a prescription to ensure that your pet is getting the best possible care . If your veterinarian does not currently offer Pawprint Oxygen, we are happy to contact them and discuss the benefits of prescribing Pawprint Oxygen to their patients.

Are There Different Types of Oxygen Concentrators?

There are several different types of oxygen concentrators on the market. We offer medical grade oxygen concentrators.

 

There are several types of oxygen concentrators, however, not all oxygen concentrators are effective for safely administering oxygen to your pet.

If you are using an oxygen cage, your oxygen concentrator needs to be able to produce at least 5 liters per minute (LPM) of continuous flow medical grade oxygen to support a safe environment for your pet. Stationary oxygen concentrators that are not medical grade and portable oxygen concentrators will not be able to produce high oxygen saturation levels at higher flow rates.

Non-medical grade oxygen devices can be misleading and/or ineffective. Many of them fail to provide adequate oxygen purity at higher flow rates, which can be potentially dangerous for your pet. A prescription is required for all medical grade oxygen concentrators, so if you find a device from a seller that does not require a prescription, it is either not medical grade or the seller is operating illegally.

Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) are a type of oxygen concentrator that typically weigh less than 10 pounds and operate on a battery power source. Generally, POCs CANNOT be used for pets because they use “pulse dose” instead of “continuous flow” to deliver medical grade oxygen to patients. Pulse dose is not capable of producing enough oxygen to fill the space of an oxygen cage or a pet oxygen mask.

How do I Set the Flow Rate On My Pet Oxygen Concentrator?

When using a Buster ICU Oxygen Cage, you will set your concentrator to its highest setting. When using a Pet Oxygen Mask, please refer to your prescription for the flow rate indicated by your doctor.

 

If you are using a small or medium Buster ICU Oxygen Cage, set your oxygen concentrator to 5LPM. If you are using a large Buster ICU Oxygen Cage, set your oxygen concentrator to 10LPM.

When using a Pet Oxygen Mask with a concentrator, the flow rate will be prescribed based on your pets weight and medical history. If you are unsure what flow rate has been prescribed, please contact your veterinarian or a member of the Pawprint Oxygen Team.

What Size Oxygen Concentrator Do I Need for the Oxygen Cage?

The size of the oxygen concentrator needed depends on the size of the oxygen cage you are using.

 

Small and medium Buster ICU Pet Oxygen Cages can utilize a 5 liter oxygen concentrator or a 10 liter oxygen concentrator. Large Buster ICU Oxygen Cages must utilize a 10 liter oxygen concentrator. Please note, Pawprint Oxygen Canisters cannot be used with the Oxygen Cage.

The oxygen cage requires an oxygen concentrator to provide the correct amount of air flow into the cage. When using a concentrator with the cage, you will always set the concentrator to its highest flow rate. This means that you will set the 5 liter oxygen concentrator to 5 liters per minute when using a small or medium cage; or set the 10 liter concentrator to 10 liters per minute when using a large cage.

As you go from a small or medium cage to a large cage, you have to fill up a greater volume of space while also ensuring that you are turning over the air in the cage, pushing out the excess CO2 and other gaseous by-products, while continuing to push fresh oxygen gas into the cage. For these reasons it is essential that you use higher flow rates when you use the cage than when you would if you were administering oxygen therapy in a different way, such as flow by mask.

Can I Use an Oxygen Concentrator in My Car or SUV?

Most cars cannot provide a high enough power output to power the oxygen concentrator.

 

Many cars have cigarette outlets and some newer cars and SUVs have regular household outlets to charge phones or small appliances. The oxygen concentrator requires more power than a car or SUV outlet can provide.

If you need to transport your pet, we recommend using Pawprint Oxygen Canisters. This is a safe and effective way to support them with oxygen therapy on the way to your veterinary office.

Buster ICU Pet Oxygen Cages

Are There Different Types of Pet Oxygen Cages?

There are several types of pet oxygen cages on the market, but not all of them are safe for your pet. We recommend using the Buster ICU Pet Oxygen Cage.

 

We recommend the Buster ICU Pet Oxygen Cage due to its robust build quality and adaptable oxygen fittings. The Buster ICU Oxygen Cage includes a Venturi kit that allows you to change the oxygen saturation and flow within the oxygen cage, which disperses carbon dioxide, heat and humidity to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable.

Pawprint Oxygen is the largest provider of the Buster ICU Oxygen Cages to pet owners and animal hospitals. No other pet oxygen cage on the market has been tested like the Buster ICU Pet Oxygen Cage.

 

Do I Need to Purchase Any Additional Accessories with the Buster ICU Oxygen Cage?

No, the Buster ICU Pet Oxygen Cage comes with a 7-ft length of oxygen tubing and a complete Venturi Piece Kit, as well as ice packs, and a carrying case.

 

If you would like to purchase extra oxygen tubing or a replacement Venturi kit, we offer them for sale separately, as well.

What Size Oxygen Cage Should I Purchase for My Pet?

The pet oxygen cage size should be determined by measuring your pet and comparing them to the dimensions of the oxygen cage.

 

Choosing the right size oxygen cage for your pet is very important. We recommend measuring your pet and comparing their measurements to the dimensions of each cage size. Your pet should be able to fit comfortably in the cage both when standing up and when laying down.

pet oxygen cage, buster ICU

If you are unsure which size would be best for your pet, please give us a call at 855-699-4366 and a Pawprint Oxygen team member can assist you.

Cage dimensions:

Small: 18″x13″x13″

Medium: 24″x18″x18″

Large: 44″x26″x26″

 

Cage volumes:

Small: 50 Liters

Medium 120 Liters

Large: 460 Liters

 

Can I Make My Own Pet Oxygen Cage?

This is not recommended.

 

While an oxygen cage appears to be a simple device, there are many factors to consider, including temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide and oxygen levels that can cause a dangerous environment for a pet if they are not maintained correctly.

Veterinary hospital grade oxygen cages can exceed $10,000 and address these issues.  The Pet oxygen cages we provide for home use have been designed with these factors in mind to keep your pet safe while in use.

Portable Pet Oxygen Kits

When Do I Use the Portable Oxygen Kit?

Use the Portable Oxygen Kit when you notice your pet having any signs of respiratory distress.

 

Signs of respiratory distress include:

  • Coughing
  • Vomiting, retching, or gagging
  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive anxiety, pacing, being unable to settle
  • “Belly breathing”, where the pet is involving their diaphragm muscles to breathe
  • Cyanotic episodes, where the pets tongue or gums turn blue or purple
  • Loud breathing, “honking noise”, or wheezing
  • Excessively fast or slow breathing (normal respiratory rate for pets is between 15-30 breaths per minute)
  • Collapse
  • Open mouth breathing (in cats, as it is not normal for cats to pant)

If you notice your pet is in respiratory distress, please use the Portable Oxygen Kit to provide treatment to your pet and make immediate plans to get to your veterinary office or local veterinary emergency center.  

 

How Do I Check the Amount of Oxygen Remaining in the Oxygen Canister?

Start the flow of oxygen and read the gauge on the regulator.

 

To start the flow of oxygen, fit the regulator to the top of the canister and turn clockwise. You will hear a slight hissing sound as the oxygen gas is flowing. You can now read the gauge on the regulator indicating how much oxygen remains in the canister.

If you want to check the amount of oxygen in the canister without dispensing any oxygen, place your thumb over the barbed regulator outlet, which can be found on the side of the regulator (metal stem with notches along it). This prevents the oxygen from flowing out of the canister, but still allows you to check the amount of oxygen remaining.

 

How Long Will Each Pawprint Oxygen Canister Last?

The flow rate prescribed by your veterinarian will determine how long the canister lasts.

 

Pawprint Oxygen Canisters can last up to 20 minutes. How long the canister lasts is dependent on the flow rate prescribed by your veterinarian. The flow rate is the “dosage” of the oxygen drug and determines the rate at which the oxygen gas leaves the canister.

The regulator is a part of the Pawprint Oxygen Canister system and is what dictates the flow rate. Pawprint Oxygen will provide you with a regulator that is pre-set to the flow rate prescribed by your veterinarian.

These are the durations that the canister will last for each of the flow rates:

0.5 Liters per minute: 20 minutes

1.0 Liters per minute: 10 minutes

2.0 Liters per minute: 5 minutes

The attending veterinarian is responsible for determining the appropriate flow rate. Flow rate determination is typically based off pet weight, condition,  and medical history.

Are Pawprint Oxygen Canisters Safe for Travel?

Pawprint Oxygen Canisters are safe to use while traveling by car, but are prohibited for use on an aircraft.

 

For travel by car, Pawprint Oxygen Canisters comply with all necessary Department of Transportation regulations. This ensures that they are safe to use during transport.

For air travel, the FAA prohibits all products labeled as ‘canned oxygen’ to be brought onto an aircraft, whether that is in checked baggage, in carry-on baggage, or on their person. To assist with this restriction, Pawprint Oxygen Canisters can be shipped directly to your destination.

 

Pet Oxygen Masks

How Do I Use the Pet Oxygen Mask?

Fit the oxygen mask over your pet’s muzzle. The mask may cover the muzzle up to and including the rest of the head, depending on the pet’s size and head shape.

To acclimate your pet to the mask, hold the mask six inches away from your pet’s face and start the flow of oxygen. Slowly place the mask over your pet’s muzzle, giving them time to adjust to the oxygen flow and the presence of the mask. Most pets accept the mask once they feel the effects of the oxygen. If your pet is still weary of the mask, you can remove the black rubber diaphragm, which will ensure a looser and more comfortable fit while still providing an adequate level of oxygen.

Which Size Pet Oxygen Mask Should I Purchase?

We recommend taking your pets measurements to ensure you select the correct size. We supply three Pet Oxygen Mask sizes: small, medium, and large. Below are the measurements and weight recommendations for each.

 

Small: 2″ Depth, 3.5″ Diameter (typically for pets under 5lbs)

Medium: 3″ Depth, 3.5″ Diameter (typically for pets 5-20lbs)

Large: 4.5″ Depth, 5″ Diameter (typically for pets 20+lbs OR brachycephalic breeds with flatter muzzles)

Are the Pet Oxygen Mask and Regulator Reusable?

Yes, they can be reused.

 

The Pet Oxygen Mask should be cleaned before being used on another pet or patient, or if it has become soiled. The mask can be washed with a mild soap and warm water. Dry the mask completely before using.

How Do I Clean My Pet Oxygen Mask?

Use warm soapy water to clean the Pet Oxygen Mask. Rinse the mask several times in clean water and let air dry prior to use.

 

Additionally, chlorhexidine solution or wipes can be used to sanitize the mask. Please note, any sanitizing product that is not thoroughly rinsed off can act as an irritant to your pet’s skin. Make sure to rinse the mask several times in clean water and let air dry prior to use.

Common Pet Health Conditions

Diagnosis and Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure in Pets

What is Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

Congestive heart failure is a disease that occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It can result from an inherited defect in heart valves or muscle, or it can be caused by high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, and other conditions. Congestive heart failure occurs most often in middle-aged dogs and cats… read more in our full blog to learn about signs, symptoms, treatments and life expectency 

Diagnosis and Treatment for Collapsing Trachea in Pets

What is Collapsing Trachea in Pets?

Tracheal collapse is a condition where the collagen rings that support the trachea are weakened, leading to the flattening or complete collapse of the trachea. The trachea allows air to pass from the lungs outwards, and where new air is brought into the lungs, so any restriction of the trachea can cause breathing difficulties. There is no known cause of tracheal collapse, but it is thought….read more in our full blog to learn about signs, symptoms, treatments and life expectency 

What Is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries become constricted or blocked, preventing blood from flowing properly. The increase of blood pressure can cause damage to the heart and lungs.

There are many causes of pulmonary hypertension in pets. Congenital heart defects, kidney disease, pancreatitis, and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and certain cancers can all be a cause of pulmonary hypertension. Living at high altitudes has also been linked as a cause of pulmonary hypertension in pets.

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension may include: 

  • Coughing
  • Rapid respiration rate
  • Weight loss
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lethargy
  • Blue or purple tinged gums, tongue, or skin
  • Vomiting blood
  • Syncopal episode (fainting)
  • Distended abdomen
  • Respiratory distress
  • Confusion

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension relies on the results of an echocardiogram (a cardiac ultrasound). Additional diagnostics such as bloodwork and chest x-rays may also help to diagnose the pet.

Treatment of pulmonary hypertension includes certain medications that help to lower the pulmonary blood pressure. Bronchodilators, diuretics, vasodilators, and oxygen therapy also aid in treatment and maintaining a good quality of life.

What Is Laryngeal Paralysis?

Laryngeal paralysis is a condition that affects an animal’s ability to breathe in deeply, as the sides of the windpipe collapse upon drawing breath, which causes difficulty breathing.

Laryngeal paralysis is diagnosed mainly in large breed dogs, but can be found rarely in small breed dogs and cats. There are many causes of the condition, including tumors or lesions in the neck or chest, trauma to the throat, hormonal diseases, and congenital issues. Many times however, pets are diagnosed with idiopathic laryngeal paralysis, which means that the cause of the condition is unknown. 

Symptoms of laryngeal paralysis may include:

  • Coughing, especially after eating, drinking, or exercising
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Change in the tone and pitch of the dog’s bark
  • Hoarse sounding meow in cats
  • Cyanotic episode where pets gums and tongue turn blue or purple
  • Collapse

Diagnosing laryngeal paralysis can typically be done by examining the larynx with an endoscope or laryngoscope. Other diagnostics that may be helpful include chest x-rays, bloodwork, and a urinalysis to rule out conditions with similar symptoms. 

Treatment for very severe cases of laryngeal paralysis may include surgery. Arytenoid lateralization, or tie-back surgery, is very effective at improving the quality of life for these pets. The narrow airway is surgically opened by placing sutures between the cartilage of the larynx to hold it in an open position.

Treatment for less severe cases or for pets who are not eligible for surgery  may include anti-inflammatory drugs, sedatives, antibiotics, and  supplemental oxygen to help reduce issues breathing. 

     

    What Is Bronchitis and Chronic Bronchitis?

    Bronchitis is a disease where the bronchioles and bronchi of the lungs are inflamed, causing mucus to build up and lead to breathing difficulties.

      Causes of bronchitis and chronic bronchitis can be anything that irritates the airway. Some common causes are bacterial and viral infections, tracheal collapse, heart failure, parasites (like lungworm or heartworm), foreign bodies (like pollutants in the air), and cancer.

      Symptoms of bronchitis can include:

      • Persistent coughing (can be wet, dry, or honking)
      • Gagging, retching, or vomiting
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Wheezing
      • Collapse

      To be considered chronic, the symptoms must be present for at least two months. 

      Diagnosing bronchitis relies on the results of diagnostic testing such as chest x-rays, bronchoscopy, bloodwork, and a tracheal wash. A comprehensive exam will help as well, as hearing what the cough sounds like can often help in diagnosing the pet.

      Treatment often includes the use of corticosteroids, bronchodilators, supplemental oxygen, and couch suppressants. 

         

        What Is Pneumonia?

        Pneumonia is a condition that is characterized by an inflammation of the alveoli, or air sacs, of the lungs. The alveoli is where blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide, so any inflammation can affect breathing.

        There are four main causes of pneumonia in pets:

        • Viral infections
        • Bacterial infections
        • Breathing in foreign material – referred to as ‘aspiration pneumonia’
        • Fungal infections

        Symptoms of pneumonia may include:

        • Respiratory distress
        • Exercise intolerance
        • Wheezing
        • Nasal discharge
        • Coughing (often wet in nature)
        • Lethargy
        • Weight loss
        • Weakness or collapse
        • Cyanotic episodes, where the gums and tongue turn blue or purple
        • Fever, in some cases (typically with viral or bacterial pneumonia)

        Diagnosing pneumonia is typically accomplished by performing chest x-rays and bloodwork. Other tests that may assist in finding the cause of the pneumonia (which can dictate proper treatment) include a pulse oximetry and blood-gas analysis, a culture and cytology, and possibly an MRI or CT scan. 

        Treatment of pneumonia depends on the cause of the condition and can include antibiotics, oxygen therapy, fluid therapy, nebulization and coupage, and ventilation (in severe cases). X-rays are typically taken every two to five days to make sure the treatment is effective.

         

        What Is Feline Asthma?

        Feline asthma is a condition caused by an allergic reaction to inhaled allergens. The irritant causes swelling of the airways and an overproduction of mucus, which causes difficulty breathing.

          Causes of feline asthma attacks are typically irritants in the air, like dust, smoke, heavy fragrance, mold, and pollen, but stress can also be a contributing factor in asthmatic attacks. 

          Symptoms of feline asthma may include: 

          • Difficulty breathing
          • Increased respiratory rate or effort
          • Wheezing
          • Hunched posture with neck stretched out
          • Cyanotic episode where the tongue and gums turn blue or purple
          • Persistent coughing
          • Gagging, retching, and vomiting
          • Increased swallowing
          • Frothy mucus while coughing
          • Open-mouth breathing

          Diagnosing feline asthma relies on a combination of diagnostic testing and medical history, as there is not one specific test that can definitively diagnose asthma. Chest x-rays, bloodwork, a comprehensive exam, and a urinalysis can be helpful in coming to a diagnosis, as well as detailed explanations of the episode from pet parents.

          Treatment of feline asthma typically includes bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and supplemental oxygen. There is unfortunately no cure for asthma, so the treatment is designed to limit the frequency and severity of the asthmatic events. 

           

          What Is Altitude Sickness?

          Altitude sickness arises when an animal is exposed to high altitudes too quickly or for too long, and the lower quantity of oxygen in the air causes breathing difficulties.

            Symptoms of altitude sickness can include: 

            • Shortness of breath
            • Dizziness
            • Vomiting and nausea
            • Loss of appetite
            • Dry cough
            • Increased heart rate
            • Pale gums
            • Swelling of the face and limbs
            • Fever
            • Excessive panting and drooling
            • Nose bleeds
            • Lack of coordination
            • Collapse

            Certain heart conditions and pets with breathing difficulties are not considered healthy enough for recreational trips to high altitudes. These conditions can exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness and may become life threatening quickly. 

            Diagnosing altitude sickness typically requires a comprehensive exam, blood pressure reading, blood tests, and chest x-rays. Providing your veterinarian with information for any recent trips will help your vet distinguish between altitude sickness and other possible diagnoses. 

            Treating altitude sickness requires immediately moving your pet to a lower altitude, preferably below 8,000 feet. Offer your pet water, and make plans to visit the veterinarian immediately if symptoms persist. Supplemental oxygen can be provided to assist with any breathing difficulties. Once at the vet, additional treatments may include the use of medications to lower blood pressure and reduce edema.

             

            What Is Hypoxemia in Neonatal Puppies and Kittens?

            This condition is caused by low oxygen levels present at the time of whelping, and can be life threatening if not treated immediately.

              There are many causes of hypoxemia in neonatal puppies and kittens. Aspirating foreign material into the lungs, too much time spent in the birth canal, and birth defects can all be contributing factors to hypoxemia. 

              Symptoms of hypoxemia may include:

              • Gasping for air
              • Lethargy
              • Slow or weak heartbeat
              • Silence at birth (not crying)
              • Noisy or wet breathing
              • Blue or purple tinged mucous membranes

              Diagnosing the cause of hypoxemia will require a visit to the veterinarian’s office, as diagnostics will need to be performed. Typically, a comprehensive exam, x-rays, and bloodwork will assist in diagnosing the cause of hypoxemia.

              Immediate treatment for hypoxemia must include providing supplemental oxygen once the airway has been cleared of fluid with a bulb syringe. Once oxygen has been provided, additional care may be needed if the puppy or kitten will not nurse, or if symptoms continue. Having supplemental oxygen on hand to transport the puppy or kitten to the veterinary office or ER will be crucial to making sure they arrive alive. 

              More Information

              Can I Use Pawprint Oxygen Products for My Small or Exotic Pet?

              Yes, Pawprint Oxygen products are safe to use with companion animals, small animals, and exotic pets.

               

              We require a prescription for any source of oxygen, so please contact a member of the Pawprint Oxygen Team to get the prescription process started today. We can be reached at 855-699-4366 from 9am-5pm EST Monday-Friday.

               

              Can I Use Equipment I Already Have with Pawprint Oxygen Items?

              Some medical grade oxygen concentrators and tanks are compatible with the Buster ICU Oxygen Cage or mask. Only Pawprint Oxygen regulators will work with the Pawprint Oxygen Canisters, as they have been specially designed to fit together.

               

              To ensure that your pet has a safe source of oxygen, please call a member of the Pawprint Oxygen team with information on the device or equipment you wish to use. The items may not be medical grade or produced for use with animals, and they can be harmful to your pet if used.

               

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