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47825Relief about oxygen tank

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  • Jim Sinclair
    Apr 22, 2013
      Whew! Rhapsody made it through the weekend without needing oxygen
      therapy at all, though I kept a crescent wrench by the tank all
      weekend just in case. This morning the company where I got the tanks
      returned my phone message, and I am going there to pick up the valve
      attachment.

      Many thanks to everyone who responded with information, advice, and
      video links during the weekend.

      Replying to several specific comments or questions people sent:

      I know how to use the regulator on the oxygen tanks, and have
      instructions from the ER vet about the flow rate setting. The problem
      I had is that the thing that goes onto the valve at the top of the
      tank, to turn the flow on and off, wasn't there. It was my first time
      swapping out an empty tank for a full one, and I knew the regulator
      came off the old one to be used with the new one, but I didn't know
      the lever on top came off too, and I guess the people at the company
      didn't notice it was still on the tank I turned in.

      I got a plastic storage box to use as an oxygen cage. The critical
      care specialist at the ER drew markings on the box to show me where to
      drill holes, and size of holes to drill, for the O2 to go in and for
      CO2 to go out and room air to come in to mix with the tank oxygen. She
      also wrote down different flow rates to use with the box vs. the mask.
      (I am not going to post specifics because if anyone else is going to
      make an oxygen cage, I want them to get guidance from their own vet
      about their own cat instead of copying what the vet here recommended
      for Rhapsody.)

      Rhapsody is not on furosemide because he does not have fluid buildup.
      The cardiologist doesn't think his current symptoms are related to his
      heart at all.

      He may not have asthma either. The vet who saw him last Thursday heard
      no wheezes or crackles in his lungs, and was unable to explain the
      dyspnea and pale gums and ataxia with hypermetric gait. She said the
      only other times she's seen cats looking like he did, the cats had
      chests and lungs filled with fluid. Again, Rhapsody does not have
      that.

      We're waiting for results of a toxoplasma test, and the vet said
      toxoplasma can affect the brain as well as the lungs. I am becoming
      more and more convinced that whatever is going on with Rhapsody is at
      least affecting his brainstem, and the brainstem may even be where the
      primary problem is.

      Rhapsody had a good weekend with excellent appetite and excellent
      morale. He is still somewhat ataxic, but has improved a lot since
      Friday night when he (terrifyingly!) fell down the stairs, tumbling
      floppily and helplessly like a stuffed toy rolling down. Since
      Saturday he's been a bit wobbly in his gait and has been learning to
      make accommodations for his apparent inability to jump as well as he
      used to, but I haven't seen him fall over. He has been cheerful and
      purring a lot. My housemate remarked on Saturday that he seemed to be
      aware and appreciative of not being in pain, not having trouble
      breathing, and grateful for being able to feel better.

      And now I am off to pick up the thing for the O2 tanks, and also
      refill his azithromycin prescription and get Willow some more vitamin
      B12 shots.

      Thanks again for all the advice, support, and prayers!

      Jim Sinclair jisincla@...
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