Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Latest in Veterinary Medicine: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) was originally developed for human medicine, but now there are several veterinary hospitals that offer the treatment for small animals as well.

The chamber allows oxygen to be delivered at a pressure that is much higher than normal air pressure at sea level. The procedure is painless, and because of the high pressure, oxygen is able to reach more of the animal's tissues, promoting faster healing.  HBOT is especially valuable for patients with swollen tissues. At normal atmospheric pressure, blood would not be able to reach all of the cells, causing some of them to be deprived of oxygen. In the hyperbaric chamber, oxygen is able to reach 3 to 4 times farther into damaged tissue. Animal HBOT has been used to for many different treatments, from stem cell transplants to rattlesnake poisonings.