Many of the advances in human medicine eventually find their way to pet health care. The latest crossover advance is Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). It has been used for several years in people to treat many conditions. The most common indications in people are vascular brain and myocardial infarctions or ischemia such as strokes, carbon monoxide toxicity, severe non-responsive wounds, severe acute trauma to soft tissue, bone or nervous tissue, non-healing necrotic or gangrenous tissue, severe infections that are hypoxic, radiation or thermal burns, heat strokes, failing skin flaps, certain cancers, glaucoma and much more. Professional athletes incorporate HBOT in their training protocols to enable faster recovery from injuries and overexertion.
There are two types of HBOT chambers (low and high pressure). They are equally effective. The main difference is low pressure chambers are much safer to operate, require longer treatment times known as “dives” of 60-120 minutes versus 30 minutes for high pressure chambers. Protocols vary from only one dive to twice a day treatments, and are typically used as adjunct therapy along with more conventional therapies. Both low and high pressure systems are pressurized enclosures or tubes where pure 100% oxygen is delivered which treats the entire body delivering up to 3x levels of oxygen than what normal respiration provides. Simply stated the high level of oxygen promotes healing.
The therapeutic outcomes of HBOT are great reduction of swelling and edema, stimulation of new blood vessels that enhances circulation, relieves pressure from head or spinal cord injuries, provides wound healing, and eliminates infection (bacterial, viral and fungal). It has been shown to enhance and speed up the healing process and potentially replace invasive surgical procedures. Specific indications for pets include venomous snake and spider bites, infected non-healing wounds, drowning or asphyxiation victims, heat strokes, head/spinal trauma, abscesses, multiple and massive trauma, acute herniated discs, burn victims, respiratory failure, acute pancreatitis, peritonitis, parvovirus infections, glaucoma and toxemias. It is also indicated for any degenerative process such as degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), neuropathy, hepatopathy and nephropathy, and many cancer conditions.
When comparing the human and pet indications for HBOT, the similarities are striking. Pets play vital roles in our families, and exhibit the awesome power of the Human-Pet bond. Therefore, the more advanced diagnostic and therapeutic modalities used in people such as HBOT inevitably find their way to veterinarians to offer their 4 legged patients. HBOT offers a natural substance (oxygen) with a unique non-invasive delivery system with essentially no side effects or adverse events. It is now available at Lake Chatuge.