Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the use of supplemental oxygen in a chamber under increased pressure to increase blood oxygen concentration to facilitate healing. During HBOT, the patient is placed safely and comfortably in a large chamber with 100% oxygen at a pressure 2 times that of normal atmospheric pressure. Treatments average 1.5 hours and are typically given once daily. Most patients appear calm and relaxed during HBOT, many even fall asleep! The total number of treatments and frequency varies by patient and condition.
The UF Small Animal Hospital is one of the few veterinary hospitals in the country to offer HBOT. Although HBOT is used widely in human medicine, with many scientific publications reporting beneficial effects for humans and animals, availability of this treatment remains limited in veterinary patients.
How Does HBOT Work?
HBOT increases oxygen delivery to the body, reduces tissue swelling, stimulates new blood vessel formation into damaged tissue, reduces pressure from swelling caused by head or spinal cord injury, improves healing, and improves infection control.
Conditions That May Benefit From HBOT:
- Trauma/Swelling: post-operative, injuries, snake bites
- Smoke Inhalation
- Carbon Monoxide Toxicity
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Non-healing wounds, particularly external wounds where there are concerns about blood supply
- Burn Wounds
- Sago Palm Toxicity
- Urethral Inflammation/Obstruction
- Gas Bubble Disease (aquatic species)
Related Article: UF Treats First Animal in New Hyperbaric Chamber