HBOT-Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The word Hyperbaric means “under pressure higher than normal at sea level.” HBOT is emerging in veterinary medicine as an effective treatment or adjunct therapy for a variety of disorders in which improving oxygen delivery to tissues is a key.
Patients are exposed to high-pressure oxygen in a specially designed hyperbaric chamber, and the treatment effectively oxygenizes the body’s tissues.
Understanding how HBOT works starts with a review of some of the important laws of physics and their resultant effects on the body. [FIGURE].
According to The American College of Veterinary Medicine, “Delivery of 100% oxygen under pressure allows plasma to carry much more oxygen and reduces the importance of hemoglobin-based delivery.1 100% oxygen dissolved in plasma can be delivered from capillaries to tissues at least three times farther than delivered when carried by hemoglobin alone.1,9 And, increasing barometric pressure from 1.0 ATA to between 2.0 and 2.5 ATA increases the dissolved oxygen in plasma approximately 3-fold compared with a patient breathing room air. When the inhaled oxygen concentration is increased to 100% under the same increased pressure, the plasma oxygen concentration increases by almost 17-fold. In theory, with 100% oxygen at 2.5 ATA, enough oxygen can be dissolved in plasma to meet the normal requirements of the body at rest without the need for hemoglobin.1,9Oxygen under pressure causes vasoconstriction by inducing smooth muscle contraction in all muscular vessels (arterial and venous), but not capillaries or lymphatics, and decreasing bleeding/oozing from vessels while allowing lymphatic channels to continue to clean up and remove edema. The increased partial pressure of oxygen in plasma and the increased CO2 in damaged tissues (CO2 is a more potent vasodilator than oxygen is a vasoconstrictor), offset the vasoconstriction so that tissue oxygenation remains high and microvascular blood flow improves”.3
High oxygen concentration combined with an increase in air chamber pressure, which raises the plasma oxygen concentration to allow oxygen to diffuse into tissues at a higher rate than would be seen under normal circumstances. This higher rate of oxygen being delivered to tissues promotes healing.
HBOT is often used in combination with other forms of therapy to treat injuries and illnesses including infected wounds and burns, snake bites, post-surgical swelling, sepsis, pancreatitis, necrosis, and stroke. It reduces swelling and inflammation, eases pressure and edema caused by head or spinal cord injuries, stimulates new blood vessel formation in healing tissues, improves control of infection, and promotes overall wound healing. Dogs undergoing stem cell regeneration therapy can also benefit enormously from the treatment. Studies show that hyperbaric oxygen stimulates stem cell growth up to an astounding 8x their normal volume!
HBOT has also been used as adjunctive post-operative therapy in orthopedic cases in order to reduce swelling and speed healing. As a general rule, HBOT is most effective for acute conditions, although it has been shown to lessen pain and improve function in osteoarthritis, chronic intervertebral disk disease, long-term management of aspergillosis and many others.￼￼
🐶 🐾 WHAT TO EXPECT:
Prior to HBOT treatment, your FURbaby will undergo a general health evaluation, including ensuring that body temperature is normal, as increased body temperature can lead to an increase in oxygen uptake resulting in toxicity.
IN CONCLUSION: HBOT is well-tolerated by patients with no side effects most of the time. The only side effects recorded to-date included temporary ear problems or Barotrauma (Barotrauma refers to injuries in the ear caused by increased air or water pressure. Generalized barotrauma, also called decompression sickness, can affects the entire body). On occasion temporary blurry vision was documented.
As with ANY veterinary procedure or treatment, it is always recommended to have a follow-up visit to make sure your pet is completely recuperated.
ASK YOUR VET ABOUT HBOT TODAY!
Have a PAWsome Day! 🙏
💋 xoxo Vet Tech Groomer Girl