Yes. There was a tragic accident in Florida last year where a young woman and a horse were killed when an HBOT unit exploded. Horrible… If you plan on using the HBOT – which has incredible healing successes – please understand the dangers as well as the benefits.
HBOT – HYPERBARIC OXYGEN TREATMENT FOR EQUINES
Well, I had heard the expression Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers… I know Michael Jackson had one…
I guess I also know, in the back of my mind floating about, that I’ve heard of these chambers for healing flesh. But, truly, I knew nothing concrete about any of it until someone brought HBOT to my attention for equines.
You see, recently I met the owner of Horseshoe Gift Packaging, Nancy Yonko. She is VERY familiar with the chamber. It saved the life of her filly. In fact, there is an entire video devoted to the chamber on her website…
So, I decided to learn about this. I clicked on her website and saw the story of her horse, Angel. In that story, (link here) Nancy and her vets speak candidly about the chamber and how it heals. Hmmmmm. There must be something to this. So, I dug and clicked around.
Then, I asked a human spine surgeon friend of mine what he thought about the treatment. He was all for it in humans and wondered how the equine device worked since there are many precautions – of which the horse could not participate directly. One of the most vital precautions is the “exploding” part. Yup. That layman’s term is addressing a static electricity issue which has been remedied by the use of abundant water showered onto the equine before he enters the chamber. The build up of static electricity mixed with petroleum products could create a spark in an oxygen rich environment. Not good. So, the horse must be clear of any coat product or fly spray that may have a petroleum base. That is also why the horse should be without shoes, or have their shoes covered. Should the horse rub its feet together, there could be a chance of a spark. However, technicians are very aware of these issues which is why they take hydro precautions. For me, the benefit of the HBOT would outweigh the risk.
WHAT IS IT?
To my understanding, this chamber is built to manage oxygen content and pressure. The idea is that if a body is able to pull in more oxygen than through simple breathing, that excess oxygen helps in cell growth which aids in healing. Very simply, it speeds up the process. It increase tissue oxygen levels in diseased tissue which improves and speeds healing, improves the body’s ability to fight infections, and reduces inflammation and swelling.
All of us horse owners probably know the “beat the clock” game of certain injuries. If you get to it soon enough, you might be OK. Time can be our enemy otherwise.
This chamber slows down time, in essence, by allowing excess oxygen within a particular time frame. So, critical time situations, like colic or founder, can be remedied more quickly when the Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber treatment is used.
From all testimonials that I’ve read about the HBOT, it seems to be a miracle…!
I learned the particulars in the video about Nancy’s Angel and her HBOT treatment/recovery (link here). Angel had ingested too much hot food, they believe. She started to exhibit colic-like symptoms but it ended up not being colic. She had severe colitis that rapidly progressed to endotoxemia. What does that mean? The lining of the colon basically dissolved so the toxins could seep into her body. This created the endotoxemia. Ouch. And, this toxemia often expresses itself through laminitis which appeared shortly thereafter. Poor girl. She got it all.
Well, Angel’s astute vets transported her to an HBOT chamber and worked to battle her colitis and laminitis. The idea was that the excess oxygen would repair her colon more rapidly and also heal the inflamed cells of her feet.
And, you know… they were right. She got better rapidly. For a horse whose gums were black and legs were cold, she survived beyond all hope.
I get the impression that no one will say that this HBOT is the cure, but they will say that it helps immensely. That’s OK by me… Any rope to hang onto really helps in dire situations. And, this one seems pretty reliable!
Also, the list of illness that the HBOT helps includes quite everyday maladies as well as the unusual. Laminitis, Colic, Shin splints… For me, in my lifetime of horse illnesses, I’ve had several problems listed below: shin splints, a dummy foal, laminitis and septic arthritis. I know I would have used this on Aladdin when he had juvenile spavin, if it had been around. That would have saved him years of hurt with his adult arthritis stemming from his bout as a youngster.
I’m sure those who have had their horses survive a fire would love to know about how this can heal the lungs. Also, those flesh eating bacterias… necrotic tissue… ugly diseases that can kill a human or horse! There are many practical uses for this chamber even though the thought sounds impractical. Here is the generic list and I’m sure there are more specific uses that would apply to particular issues.
- Post-surgical wounds and wounds that were slow to heal
- Thermal burns and smoke inhalation
- Intestinal surgeries (normalizes function post-surgery)
- Tissue necrosis due to rattlesnake and spider bites
- Rhodococcus Infection
- Internal Abscesses
- Dummy Foals (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy)
- Anaerobic Infections
- Antimicrobial Activity
- Infections not responding to antibiotic therapy
- Sub-fertility (mare and stallion)
- Post Surgical trama
- Colic (post-surgical)
- Endotoxic Shock
- Central Nervous System Trama
- Head and Peripheral Nerve Trama
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Desmitis and Tendonitis (ligament and tendon injuries)
- EIPH (Exersice Induced Pulmonary Hemorrage)
- Rahabdomyolysis (Tying Up)
- Shin Splints
- Athletic performance recovery
- Septic Arthritis (Joint III in Foals)
- Severe Trauma / Edema
- Circulation Disorders
So far, I could not find an ultimate list of which hospitals have this. But, I did find some listed in Florida, KY, CA, TX, TN and a few other states. Plus there are mobile units! I love this! The vet brings it to your critically ill animal. So, you can email the manufacturere or google for the HBOT in your area and see what you can find. (Here are the links for FL, KY, CA, TX, TN, PA)
I’m sure this isn’t cheap… but we all know what we have spent to save the lives of our horses. Perhaps this is actually less expensive because it works more quickly! In any event, keep it in the back of your mind. You may just need it someday…
After all, they say it is a miracle and there are those awful days when we need one.
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
July’s Bucket Fund will benefit the charity THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY. To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate $5, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)