Low Blood Oxygen in Dogs

Hypoxemia is defined as insufficient oxygenation of arterial blood necessary to meet metabolic requirements. Simply put, insufficient oxygen for arterial blood is termed as hypoxemia or low blood oxygen. Hypoxemia is a low level of oxygen in the blood that disrupts body function and harms vital tissues. It can be life-threatening in severe cases.

Oxygen is the critical nutrient for life and the body can die within minutes due to lack of oxygen. Brain can suffer irreversible damage by lack of oxygen, even if it is for a very short time period. Lack of oxygen also leads to anemia in the organs, which can progress to arrhythmia and heart failure.

Common symptoms associated with low blood oxygen in animals include


Difficulty breathing

Shortness of breath

Rapid breathing (tachypnea)

Open-mouthed breathing

Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)



Unable to endure exercise (exercise intolerance)

Discoloration of skin and mucous membranes


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