Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Respiratory: nasal oxygen administration

Synonym(s): Nasal oxygen supplementation

Contributor(s): Gayle Hallowell, Mark Senior, Elena Wawra, Jarred Williams

Introduction

  • Oxygen delivery is vital to survival, thus ensuring adequate oxygenation and perfusion is essential to a positive outcome
  • Nasal oxygen administration is a relatively cheap and easy way to provide the horse with oxygen.
  • During anesthesia, and recovery from anesthesia, horses may suffer from hypoxemia.
  • Intraoperative oxygen supplementation is usually provided via endotracheal intubation and oxygenation while the patient is under general anesthesia.
  • Procedures that are fast enough to benefit from total intravenous anesthesia may not warrant oxygen supplementation, however, when they do, nasal oxygen administration is the most efficient method of delivery.
  • Patients undergoing recovery from anesthesia are also at risk of hypoxemia, thus nasal oxygen is a safe and efficient method of supplementing oxygen in such scenarios.
  • Other indications for oxygen administration might be newborn foals after dystocia or caesarean section, in foals with perinatal asphyxia syndrome and in premature foals with under-developed respiratory systems, in pneumonia in both adults and foals, in adults with equine asthma, in cases of smoke inhalation, and for any other severe respiratory diseases.

Uses

  • Provide oxygen during times of increased demand (critical care, laryngeal problems, pulmonary diseases; any respiratory obstruction).
  • Provide oxygen before anesthesia/surgery.
  • Prevent hypoxemia during anesthesia/surgery/recovery.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Emergency resuscitation Foal: resuscitation and care.

Advantages

  • Easy to perform.
  • Does not take long to set up.
  • Better oxygenation of the tissues of the horse under hypoxic conditions.
  • In conscious adult horses and in foals it is very well tolerated as long as intranasal cannulae are well secured and don't move within the nasal cavity.

Disadvantages

  • Special equipment and a source of oxygen needed.
  • Transport of oxygen cylinders (proper mounting support) when performed in the field situation.
  • Smaller diameter of the tubes compared to endotracheal tubes Endotracheal tubes: overview → increased resistance.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Depends completely on reason for oxygen therapy.
  • Can range from excellent to grave.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Wong D M, Alcott C J, Wang C et al (2010) Physiologic effects of nasopharyngeal administration of supplemental oxygen at various flow rates in healthy neonatal foals. Am J Vet Res 71 (9),1081-1088 PubMed.
  • Wilson D V et al (2006) Response to nasopharyngeal oxygen administration in horses with lung disease. Equine Vet J 23 (3), 219-223 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Corley K & Stephen J (2008) The Equine Hospital Manual. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN: 9781405130165.
  • Hall L W, Clarke L W & Trim C M (2000) Veterinary Anaesthesia. 10th edn. W B Saunders. ISBN: 0702020354.
  • Thurmon J C, Tranquilli W J & Benson G J (1996) Lumb & Joness Veterinary Anaesthesia. 3rd edn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. ISBN: 0683082388. 
  • Dyce, Sack & Wensing (1991) Anatomie der Haustiere.


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