Oxygen concentrators do exactly what their name implies—they concentrate oxygen by selectively removing other gases to provide an oxygen enriched gas stream to your patient. Since oxygen concentrators continuously pull oxygen out of the surrounding air, they help reduce the amount of cylinders your practice needs. However, this alternative to medical grade oxygen cylinders really isn’t an alternative at all.
The amount of oxygen a concentrator can produce is minimal. In fact, the standard oxygen concentrator is limited to five liters of oxygen per minute, which isn’t enough oxygen your practice needs to care for multiple pets or emergency care. Additionally, since oxygen concentrators run off of electricity, a power outage can prevent you from saving a life.
Instead, oxygen cages that use medical grade oxygen cylinders are a more convenient and efficient way to continuously supply oxygen to small animal patients. Oxygen cages help accelerate healing, similar to a hyperbaric chamber. Additionally, oxygen cages let you observe the animal from a distance. This allows you to adjust the oxygen flow and control the climate of the cage, so your patient stays comfortable and calm. It is also an easier way to perform nebulization, the practice of delivering medicine quickly to the lungs, without changing the patient’s environment.
Although oxygen concentrators are trending in veterinary practices, unfortunately that’s all they are—trending. If you have a veterinary practice that offers emergency medical care or cares for multiple animals, oxygen cylinders and oxygen cages are the best way to consistently provide the best pet care possible.