Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
The Veterinary Teaching Hospital offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment modality through the Dermatology and Integrative Medicine Services. Hyperbaric oxygen has been used worldwide for decades (even centuries) in human medicine and its use on veterinary patients is only increasing. Although limited in availability, it is being offered more frequently in the last decade in both veterinary private practices as well as academic settings.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used most commonly to help heal wounds, decrease nervous system injury, minimize inflammation, and treat infections. It is frequently used a secondary therapy to improve healing time and decrease the overall length of hospital stay for patients. This can ultimately decrease the overall treatment cost. At this time, there is limited published information about the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in veterinary medicine, and extrapolation from human medicine is often used.
During a treatment session, the patient is placed in the hyperbaric chamber which is then filled with oxygen at increased pressure (typically 1-2 times that of normal atmospheric pressure). Treatment times can vary depending on the individual case, but a session typically takes 1-1.5 hours. Most patients tolerate the chamber well (some actually seem excited to return after the first treatment), don’t require sedation for the procedure, and have no side effects. The chamber at LSU VTH is always under direct observation by a trained person. Each individual patient has a treatment planned formulated by a veterinarian for their specific health issues.