Pulse Oximetry in Exotic Animal Species

Key Points

  • Heart rate and oxygenation should ideally be monitored during every anesthetic event.
  • Hemoglobin oxygen saturation in arterial blood should exceed 95% in most species.
  • Even when small patient size (exotic companion mammals) or lack of validation (birds and reptiles) limits the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings, trends can be monitored during the course of anesthesia that can provide useful clues to patient clinical status.
  • This article is part of a series on anesthetic monitoring in exotic animal patients. Additional topics available include:  blood pressure, capnometry, electrocardiography, and monitoring vital signs.

Heart rate and oxygenation should ideally be monitored during every anesthetic event. Patient size can limit the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings in exotic companion mammals and this technique has not been validated in birds or reptiles, however trends during the course of anesthesia can still provide useful clues to patient clinical status . . .


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