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Information About Hypoxia

Hypoxia in dogs

Hypoxia is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalised hypoxia) or region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. Low oxygen content in the blood is referred to as hypoxaemia. Hypoxia in which there is complete deprivation of oxygen supply is referred to as anoxia.

Generalised hypoxia occurs in normal people when they ascend to high altitude, where it causes altitude sickness, and the potentially fatal complications of altitude sickness, high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE).

Hypoxia also occurs in healthy individuals when breathing mixtures of gases with a low oxygen content, for example while diving underwater, especially with closed-circuit rebreather systems that control the amount of oxygen inrnthe air breathed in. Altitude training uses mild hypoxia to increase the concentration of red blood cells in the body for increased athletic performance.

In dogs hypoxia can occur after anesthetic whilst recovering from an operation rather than scuba diving.

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