Used for decades in human medical care, veterinary application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a comparatively new approach, available at about 30 of the most advanced veterinary practices in the United States.
The RAPS Animal Hospital is proud to be the only HVM veterinary hyperbaric oxygen therapy provider in Canada.
Used in conjunction with other preventative and treatment regimes, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can deliver anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and tissue-healing benefits, accelerating healing dramatically, especially in conditions involving an oxygen deficit.
As part of a comprehensive and holistic approach to animal wellness, HBOT addresses a vast range of medical conditions.
What hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves placing the patient in a pressurized environment of pure oxygen. The higher ambient air pressure allows the body to absorb considerably more oxygen than under normal conditions. The ability for oxygen to travel or be transferred from the blood to the tissue in need is enhanced by hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
During veterinary hyperbaric oxygen therapy the patient is placed safely and comfortably in a large chamber with 100% oxygen at pressure 1.5 to 3 times that of normal atmospheric pressure. Treatments are generally 45 minutes long. The total number of treatments necessary varies according to the type of treatment and the patient’s response. Most patients appear calm and relaxed during hyperbaric oxygen therapy (many even fall asleep!)
How hyperbaric oxygen therapy works
The pressurized environment allows for much greater absorption of oxygen, increasing oxygenation of all organs, tissues and body fluids.
Breathing 100% pure oxygen outside the pressurized environment would not significantly increase oxygen uptake by cells. It is the pressurized environment itself that causes the blood plasma, and other fluids in the patient, to absorb much increased quantities of oxygen, which is then utilized by the body for vital healing functions.
Generally hyperbaric oxygen therapy may result in reduction in swelling, stimulation of new blood vessel formation into the healing/swollen tissue, a reduction in pressure caused by head or spinal cord injuries, improved wound healing, and improved infection control. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be of great help to veterinary patients by speeding up the healing process and may reduce or eliminate the need for more invasive procedures such as surgery, oftentimes resulting in a net savings of time and cost of treatment for pet owners.
How can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help my pet?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy promotes healing generally, while conditions for which HBOT has demonstrated success include:
• Severe skin and tissue damage, including burns and skin grafts
• Fracture healing
• Major systemic or local infections
• Intervertebral disc herniation
• Inflammatory conditions like pancreatitis
• Nerve damage
• Post-surgical swelling and recovery
• Acute ischemic conditions
• Severe wound infection
• Some aspects of neurological degeneration
• Problem wounds like burns, gangrene, ulcers and necrosis
• Stimulating new bone cell activity
• Brain damage
What is HBOT like for my companion animal?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is non-invasive, requiring little preparation or recovery time, and it is completely painless.
The pressurized environment is significantly larger than a typical kennel and most animals experience little or no anxiety, frequently falling asleep.
They experience no physical sensation as a result of the therapy, either during or after the procedure.
Suite 205 - 13340 Smallwood Place
Richmond, BC V6V 1W8
Regional Animal Protection Society
Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is a no-kill animal services agency that operates the City of Richmond BC shelter and what is now Canada's largest cat sanctuary.
Charitable Registration No. 89073 3777 RR0001
The RAPS Animal Hospital is a program of the Regional Animal Protection Society.
Regional Animal Protection Society is not overseen by Government or a Crown corporation and is in no way similar to provincial health authorities and their regional facilities.
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