Edinburgh c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2008
Veterinary Student
I am looking up questions through the interview feedback and trying to compile as much as I can before my interview and I came across one I can't find an answer to after some useless internet searching.

Why would you have a sick foal on an oxygen tube rather than an oxygen mask?

I think it has something to do with pneumonia...but I can't find the answer.
I highly doubt this specific question will come up in my interview, but basically it's just bothering me now.


The-OSU CVM c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2007
Resident [Any Field]
Its unlikely you will be asked a question about a topic completely foreign to you(and your experience).

I will throw my guess out on the tube versus mask issue in that I doubt a mask would be tolerated by an animal.

I know in dogs if a dog is too large to be placed in an oxygen cage and needs supplemental oxygen they will staple a tube onto their head that leads into their nose.


Medical Tire Fire
10+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2007
Veterinary Student
Masks are fragile, often don't fit perfectly, and most importantly are easily and rapidly removed, if not destroyed, by most horses. Even nebulizing a horse for 10 minutes can be dicey -- you have to stand there with them and some horses require a lot of *cough* coaxing to let you hold a mask over their nostrils for that long.

In horses, a urinary catheter (not a foley, just a straight cath) or similar tube is threaded up the nostril several inches, then sutured in place. Even then, if the foal is reasonably bright and decides they do not like the tube, they will rub their nose trying to get it out and you have to keep going in the stall and pushing it back up their nostril.

Another issue is that an older foal with pneumonia, assuming they are not completely down and out and recumbent, will be feeding (nursing and/or hay) frequently, if not free choice, so they can not have their mouth covered.

Typical rates for foals are 10-15L/min of oxygen, although I have seen a 1 mo. old foal in ARDS who was on 30L/min (a cannula in each nostril, each at 15L/min).
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