by Dr Melissa Kozaruk, Erina Heights Vet Hospital, Wamberal, NSW
The Buster ICU cage is mainly used as an oxygen cage. We use it frequently over summer for tick paralysis patients, and also for heatstroke and heart failure cases. If stressed reptiles or wildlife need assessment then we’ll pop them in the cage.
What’s good about it
The cage is made from polyurethane plastic and it zips down and closes, similar to a collapsible dog crate. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t take up too much space. We have piped oxygen at the practice and it’s attached directly through the tubing that comes with the cage. The cage can also be connected to portable oxygen.
Over the past summer, we’ve used the cage pretty much every day for a variety of patients. It’s very useful for any emergency cases. It works very well with animals that might normally get stressed. Restraint can be a problem for tick paralysis patients but if they’re able to relax in an oxygen cage while their sedation kicks in, it’s very beneficial.
The cage comes with a heating unit and freezer packs to either cool or warm the patient while it’s in there. It also has valves that control the rate of oxygen going into the cage. It’s possible to start at 100 per cent oxygen and slowly decrease the percentage until it’s at a sea level rate of 21 per cent.
What’s not so good
We purchased a medium-sized cage that’s fine for medium-sized dogs and cats. However, if you want all varieties of dogs and cats to be comfortable then you would need to purchase all three sizes of cages—small, medium and large.