WHAT IS HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing concentrated oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Because of the increased pressure, oxygen loads not only the red blood cells but the plasma as well, allowing the increased oxygen to deeply penetrate the body’s tissues. It boosts cell growth by delivering increased amounts of oxygen to blood, tissues, and organs. Increased oxygen accelerates bone, skin, and muscle regeneration, helps the body fight infections more effectively, and has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Genetically, it up-regulates anti-inflammatory and trophic changes and down-regulates inflammatory and apoptic changes. In essence, hyperbaric oxygen therapy accelerates the healing process, strengthens and normalizes the immune system, and allows body functions to improve.
Over time the combination of increased oxygen and increased pressure allows tissues and organ function to change in ways that were often not physiologically possible before the treatment. HBOT is a powerful anti-inflammatory and normalizes immune function, so is helpful for autoimmune and inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis and its many related forms. It stimulates growth factors and mobilizes stem/progenitor cells, which aid in the recovery of damaged organs and tissues. It is used pre- and post-surgery to facilitate good outcomes.
HBOT encourages DNA switching and mitochondrial biogenesis, which are critical in neuro-rehabilitation and treatment of stroke, and traumatic brain/cord injuries. It allows healing of delayed radiation and thermal injuries by encouraging neo-vascularization—stimulating the growth of small capillaries back into damaged tissue. Human athletes use it for its performance enhancing qualities and to aid muscle healing.
Common applications for animal HBOT include:
- Desmitis (ligament disease)
- Tendonitis (bowed or diseased tendons)
- Fractures, joint trauma
- Post-surgical edema, non healing wounds
- Compromised wounds
- Reperfusion diseases (severe muscle damage, crush injuries)
- Colic (intestinal obstruction, colon torsions, volvulus, etc.)
- Enteritis and endotoxemia
- Ileus (loss of intestinal motility)
- Rhodococcus pneumonia in foals
- Lyme disease
- Anti-biotic resistant infections
- Sudden blood loss
- Myositis (tying up)
- Septic arthritis
- Smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide toxicity
- Neurologic disease, brain and spinal cord injuries
- Severe necrosis (as in snake and spider bites, toxic substances, etc.)
One veterinarian shared the story of a dog that came in with a problematic wound that had not healed in almost a year. After 10 sessions in the chamber, they sent the dog home, fully healed, he said.
“A month later, the dog’s owner came back and said, ‘I want the dog to go back in the chamber for another 10 treatments, because when he came home his arthritis seemed to be so much better.”
Adopting hyperbaric oxygen therapy for veterinary use
Because of hyperbaric chambers’ ability to reduce swelling and expedite wound healing, more veterinarians are installing the chambers in their practices. The renowned University of Florida Small Animal Hospital has installed a hyperbaric chamber.
We are now able to offer you a portable hyperbaric chamber, designed specifically for animal use, at less than half the price of other animal chambers on the market.