Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can optimize healing and recovery from a variety of injuries and diseases.
HBOT has been used safely on horses for 13 years and is most effective when used in conjunction with an accurate diagnoses and appropriate primary therapy.
Your horse will be placed in a large chamber, approximately the size of a stall. The chamber is pressurized with oxygen, which causes very high saturations of oxygen in blood and plasma. Hyper-oxygenation treatments last approximately one hour, with 45 minutes of the process at the highest levels of oxygen.
Hyperbaric medicine can decrease recovery time from surgical and medical procedures. HBOT also shortens the healing process, and increases the likelihood of returning a horse to full work and health.
HBOT produces a wide range of benefits by delivering oxygen-rich blood and plasma throughout the body. The enhanced delivery of oxygen to injured and hypoxic tissues normalizes deranged metabolism, which makes HBOT extremely beneficial for acute injuries. Another benefit is improved white blood cell function, resulting in enhanced antimicrobial action. HBOT can effectively enhance more conventional antimicrobial therapy of serious crippling and life-threatening infections.
Any disease or injury process that produces severe inflammatory or infectious processes can benefit from HBOT, including cellulitis (swollen limbs); lung abscess; non-healing wounds; shipping fever; pneumonia; post-operative colic cases. A few HBOT treatments within the first 48 hours of surgery often prevent complications. Other acute conditions that respond well to HBOT treatments include traumatic injuries to the legs or body, nervous system damage, surgical trauma (incisions), colitis and enteritis (diarrhea or medical colic).
Acute injuries or inflammatory processes may progress to the chronic state if not treated or discovered until an advanced stage. Using HBOT for these circumstances enhances normal body processes, such as stimulation of new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), enhancing leukocyte ability to kill bacteria and stimulation of production of connective tissue cells (fibroblasts) and connective tissue (collagen).
Chronic conditions that respond well to HBOT include poor healing wounds or wounds that involve a large surface area; bone infections; internal abscesses or other infections that result in tissue destruction, loss of blood supply and necrosis.
The chamber used at Reid and Associates is FDA approved and is one of the largest equine chambers manufactured. Horses usually enter the chamber willingly, and relax and explore at liberty once inside. Young or fractious horses can be sedated and then allowed to move freely in the chamber during treatment. Horses do not wear a mask; they simply breathe in the increased oxygen as they would regular air.
Prior to each treatment, your horse will receive a physical exam to check for foreign substances and a bath to remove any grooming sprays or other topical agents. Horses will enter the chamber without shoes and in a cotton halter provided by the chamber manufacturer. The process is extremely safe and horses seem to enjoy their time in the chamber. There is constant video monitoring throughout the procedure. All technicians are certified and receive annual continuing education.
Treatments last about one hour and can be repeated according to established protocols.