HBOT: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Dogs
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
Canine Massage Therapy & Acupressure
If your furry BFF is showing signs of increased stiffness, slowing down on walks, experiencing gait change or decrease in daily activities interest, your dog may be stressed or in pain and in need of a massage.
Clinical canine massage is a complimentary therapeutic treatment that is used to help support and resolve muscular dysfunction within your dog’s body that may be having a detrimental effect upon their mobility, behavior and overall quality of life. Canine Acupressure and massage uses skilled application and manipulation of muscles, tendons, fascia, joints and connective tissue, incorporating traditional massage techniques along with direct and indirect myofascial release protocols to support healing and movement.
Canine massage therapists are animal health professionals (Dorothy Cline aka Vet Tech Groomer Girl, is a Licensed Vet Nurse/Tech and Groomer) who use their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, acupressure and massage techniques to improve an animal’s physical well-being and aide in healing and often the post-operative recuperation process.
Canine massage and acupressure can be applied to any dog, whether young and active or senior and coping with long-term medical conditions such as arthritis or post-operative healing. The treatment will work to relieve muscular and connective tissue restrictions, spasms and contracture, decrease inflammation, increase joint flexibility and hydration, promote healing and provide some drug free pain relief thus aiding sleep, promoting relaxation and improving energy and mood.
If your dog is showing any of the following signs, please consider contacting Vet Tech Groomer Girl.
-excessive licking or biting of forelimbs for no apparent reason
-Decrease In energy
-Twitches of the skin along the back, legs and ribcage
-Sudden dislike of being groomed or touched
-Difficulty going up and down stairs
-Change in gait
-Difficulty squatting when going potty
-Change in mood or lack of interest in normal playtime activities or toys
-Unusual aggression or antisocial behavior
The Ugly Truth About RAWHIDE!
The Ugly Truth About RAWHIDE!
How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets?
As a licensed Vet Tech, I have personally triaged dogs and assisted on many emergency surgeries from dogs consuming rawhide; either choking on it or developing dangerous bowel obstructions. Just check the product label. It ACTUALLY warns that these exact incidences can happen. Another major concern (besides intestinal blockage, pain, bloat, choking and death!) is where these rawhide chews are made.
So, let’s start with what the heck rawhide really is. The name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be ‘processed-hide’, as the hide (skin) isn’t raw at all.
Rawhide is not dehydrated-meat or the by-product of the beef industry. Rawhide is actually the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew. Rawhide chews are made from the leather industry’s leftovers. Most hides are taken directly from the kill floors at slaughterhouses and placed into high-salt brines, which helps slow their decay (Insert gag reflex here!).
“Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top layer (grain) is generally tanned and made into leather products, while the inner layer, in its “raw” state, goes to the dogs.” (TheBark.com )
The following is a paraphrased tutorial by The Whole Dog Journal from a few years ago. It explains in scary detail just how this toxic leather is processed and how it ends up in cute little enticing shapes and marketed directly to unassuming Pet Parents who innocently believe that rawhide is a dried “meat stick” and will release stress and reward our fury BFF’s with hours of fun. Wrong!
STEP 1: Normally, cattle hides are shipped from slaughterhouses to tanneries for processing. These hides are then soaked in brine and treated with a chemical bath to help “preserve” the product during transport and to help prevent spoilage. Keep in mind, some of these hides are shipping from China and other countries which means more chemicals as brine alone does not preserve.
Once at the tannery: the hides are soaked again and treated with either an ash-lye solution or a highly toxic recipe of sodium sulphide liming. This process will help strip the hair and fat (yuck!) that may be attached to the hides themselves. These hides are then treated with more chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers.
The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, handbags, luggage, etc. But, it’s the inner layer, (along with gelatin and glue!) that is needed to make the rawhide.
STEP 2: Now that we have the inner layer of the hide, it’s time to go to the post-tannery stage! Hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide, bleach (and even harsher chemical whiteners). These chemicals will also help mask the smell of the rotten leather. Yummm! 😡🤮
STEP 3: Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of “leathery by-product” look delicious! This is where the creative artistic process comes in.
“Basted, smoked, and tinted (painted) products can be made literally any color (or shape and scent) underneath the coating made of yet more dyes and preservatives. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide (what???!!!) to make them appear whiter and aesthetically pleasing from a merchandising perspective.”
“…the Material Safety Data Sheet reveals a toxic confection containing the carcinogen FD&C Red 40, along with preservatives like sodium benzoate. But tracking the effects of chemical exposure is nearly impossible when it’s a matter of slow, low-dose poisoning.”– (thebark.com)
Because the FDA does not consider these chews to be “food”, it’s an open market when it comes to the manufacturers. You see, with no restrictions on these leather strips (since they are not considered consumable food by the FDA), they are free to add basically anything to these chewies, to ensure that they last forever. Any type of glue may be added to get them to hold together and last forever. WHEN TESTED: Lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals have been detected in raw hide chews. .
Rawhide chews start out hard, but as your dog works the chew it becomes softer, and eventually he can unknot the knots on each end and the chew takes on the consistency of a slimy piece of taffy or bubble gum. And by that time your dog cannot stop working it — it becomes almost addictive.
Some Healthy Alternatives to Rawhide:
-Antlers. Deer and elk antlers are fantastic treats for your pet.
-Sweet Potato Chews. Sweet potatoes are the ultimate light snack for your pup and good for the digestion. HOWEVER very high in carbs. So moderate.
-Frozen Carrots. Frozen carrots are natural treats that most dogs love.
-Zuke’s Dental 🦷Bones
Let’s Talk Dog Anal Glands.
I am bringing this ugly truth about anal glands to attention because I am constantly asked about them by my clients with the same question;
“SO…WHAT THE HECK ARE ANAL GLANDS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?”
Here’s a simple and quick overview of your dog’s booty and anal sacs. The anal glands lie beneath the muscle layers of the rectum. Dogs have two anal sacs (glands) beneath the skin which are located at the four and eight o’clock positions of the anus. The anal sac duct opens into the edge of the anus. The anal sacs and ducts are closely associated with the anal sphincter muscle. The only real function these anal glands have is in doggy communication. They are what dogs sniff when they say “hello” to each other. They also excrete a scent whenever your dog defecates. This is another way that a dog can mark their territory and leave a “smell signal” for any other dogs that may pass by their fragrant “gift” left by them on the ground. Now.. take deep cleansing breaths and PUT DOWN YOUR LUNCH, while I tell you the story of the anal glands.
Once upon a time…thousands of years ago, these magical little sac features existed in wild animals. The liquid secreted out of them is, to put it bluntly, a DISGUSTING—thick, oily, and kinda-fishy-smelling substance; however, useful to wild animals. For example, skunks and badgers, spray their scent glands at will as a defense mechanism in threatening situations. Our domesticated doggos have largely lost this wild ability as they no longer need to use them in that survival way.
Usually, normal defecating along with routine grooming by professional groomers who express the glands during your pet’s bathing process, help to empty the anal glands; however, sometimes that’s not always the case. When the glands remain full for too long, they can become infected, impacted, extremely uncomfortable and even painful. Anal glands can also overfill if the exit duct becomes blocked. This is called an impaction.
If the situation continues to worsen, an abcess may form and then rupture, requiring emergency surgery and the dreaded cone-of-shame.
“Booty Scooting” or butt dragging is only one of the many signs indicating a potential anal gland problem. Others signs may include:
- A pungent, “fishy” odor coming from their rectum
- Excessive licking of their rectum
- Straining, crying (vocalizing) or otherwise having difficulty or pain when pooping
- A swelling or a hard “bump” under the skin next to their rectum
- Blood and/or pus in their stools
- Blood and/or pus on the carpet (floor), their bed, or on your clothes after they’ve been laying on your lap
If you find that your dog is experiencing derriere distress and doing the “Boot-Scoot- Boogie”, WITH FREQUENCY, the glands are needing to be expressed every few weeks (or sooner), or they are getting infected chronically, then you may need to eventually consider the permanent removal of the anal sacs. This is an invasive surgical procedure and not recommended by this writer unless it is critical to your pets’ health and well-being. Surgical anal gland removal (anal sacculectomy) can disrupt delicate nerve pathways, it can on occasion lead to infections, incontinence, and other chronic complications. Before you rush into surgery, please consider trying holistic home remedies to ease your dog’s anal sac distress FIRST, and always discuss any concerns with your veterinarian to figure out and manage the underlying root cause of the frequent anal gland problems.
HOLISTIC HOME REMEDIES TO TRY AT HOME
1. Increase Fido’s H2O: One simple solution to healthy anal glands is to boost hydration. You will probably need to do this by adding more fresh water to your pets’ food and daily routine. Most FURkids are not instinctively in love with their water bowls, so add some water play elements like bowls with a fountain or make ice chips with toys or treats frozen inside of them. Doggos find moving water more palatable and exciting than the plain, motionless puddle in their bowl.
2. Supplements and Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes and probiotics can also be helpful for reducing anal gland issues. Most holistic veterinarians recommend using digestive enzymes whenever feeding processed (dry kibble or canned) or cooked food. Re-fortifying with canine-formulated probiotics can also help encourage your dog’s anal glands to empty on their own. Of course, every dog responds differently. This is why it is important to start increasing or adding supplements in small increments and increase very gradually. Begin with just a half-teaspoon daily, and work up until you notice slight stool softening. Prebiotics and Probiotics create a healthy gut environment (microbiome) which helps the breakdown and passage of food, thus contributing to regular anal gland function.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Oil for dogs has all-natural nutrients that help your pet systemically. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon oil will not only keep things moving naturally and help with the expression of the anal glands, but it will also help dry skin and coat, itching, shedding, and allergies.
Pumpkin is num-num for the tum-tum and also has immense health benefits for dogs including eye health, antioxidant properties, anti-parasitic properties, and it contains healthy fiber. Adding canned or powdered pumpkin to your pet’s diet will increase their fiber intake, which helps firm the stool to make naturally expressing anal glands easier. Antioxidants protect your dog from dangerous free radicals in the body. If free radicals in the body are uncontrolled, they can harm your dog’s cells and even his DNA. Pumpkin is also a rich source of vitamins E, C, and A. Together, all these vitamins support your furry BFFs’ immune system, brain function, and skin health. Potassium, copper, manganese, and iron play an essential role in cellular health, and pumpkin is loaded with these minerals as well.
3. Weight Loss: Some Veterinarians believe that a dog’s anal sac issues are often a symptom of a root cause or systemic issue. Perhaps this is one reason why pudgy pups are more likely to struggle. If your pooch is packing on a few extra LBS, try switching foods to a recipe with fewer carbohydrates and proteins and this might help alleviate pressure on the anal glands, thus allowing the sacs to empty more easily.
4. Read labels: Read all food and treat labels carefully, and choose food options with real or raw meat as the top ingredient. NO animal byproducts, fillers or additives. Dry food is also dehydrating to the bowels and removes moisture from the bowels, making the passage of food harder and more difficult. Dry food is also full of starches and possible grains. The pancreas of a dog only releases a small amount of amylase (digesting enzyme for carbohydrates), and undigested carbohydrates can cause inflammation and break down gut immunity. A moist fresh diet that is biologically appropriate is essential to healthy anal gland and bowel movement. Fresh, home cooked, or raw food diets are always the best option. A raw food diet is also proven to provide a better digestive bacteria to support gut health and anal sac function in dogs.
5. Epson Bath or Compress: A warm washcloth applied to the under-tail region can sometimes encourage natural drainage of the anal glands. Try soaking a washcloth in warm water infused with 1-2 teaspoons of Epsom salt. Hold this in place or have your pet sit in the water for 10-15 minutes, twice per day, every day.
6. Regular Exercise. Move it or lose it, literally. Lack of exercise causes infrequent bowel movements which cause constipation. Dog constipation and diarrhea are one of the main causes of anal gland problems in dogs. Regular exercise also helps to tone and strengthen the sphincter muscles that help to empty the glands.
Most anal gland problems are not an emergency and can be scheduled during regular business hours at your local veterinarian’s office; however, be sure to notify the veterinary staff if you think your dog has a ruptured anal gland or if the anus area is severely inflamed.
A Healthy Booty Is A Happy Booty.