Why Would My Veterinarian Recommend Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for My Pet?

In innovative veterinary care, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has recently emerged as a powerful treatment for various pet ailments. 

Though initial applications of hyperbaric therapy found their roots in treating human conditions, it’s also making waves in animal care. But why exactly would your vet recommend this treatment for your furry companion? Let’s delve deeper.

Your Pet’s Health and the Role of Oxygen

Essential to life, oxygen plays a crucial role in overall health, from boosting metabolic processes to speeding up healing. When delivered at pressures higher than atmospheric–up to three times more, to be precise–it can bring about healthful transformations. And this is precisely what HBOT does.

Understanding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy works by administering pure oxygen in a controlled chamber at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressures, oxygenating the pet’s tissues and promoting healing. 

Originating as a decompression treatment for divers, HBOT has expanded over time. Today, it treats various human conditions, from decompression sickness to wound infections, anemia, and burns.

Delving into Veterinary Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Regarding our four-legged companions, the use of HBOT is still emerging, but the results so far are encouraging. Leading veterinary healthcare providers have started using veterinary hyperbaric chambers to administer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, treating ailments that were otherwise challenging to manage using conventional treatment methods.

Why a Veterinarian Might Recommend HBOT for Your Pet

Often, vets turn to HBOT when faced with conditions that require increased oxygen levels for healing. These can range from wounds that refuse to heal, burns, arthritis, anemia, and pancreatitis, to more severe conditions like spinal cord injuries, stroke, and osteomyelitis.

In internal medicine, internist vet specialists might recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy for conditions like pancreatitis and anemia, where the treatment helps reduce inflammation and increase oxygen supply.

From Prescription to Procedure: What HBOT Involves

Once a vet recommends HBOT, the treatment process follows a structured pattern. A typical therapy session lasts for about one to two hours. The pet might need to undergo multiple sessions depending on the severity of the condition.

During the session, the pet is placed in a controlled hyperbaric chamber. Rigorous precautions are taken to prevent any buildup of static electricity within the chamber and to maintain the pet’s safety during the therapy.

The Impact of HBOT on Pets

Post-therapy, most pets appear visibly healthier and more lively. The therapy usually helps reduce inflammation and heal wounds, showcasing considerable improvements in the pet’s health condition.

Side Effects of HBOT in Pet Therapy

Although hyperbaric therapy is generally safe, there could be potential side effects based on individual health conditions. HBOT may not be recommended if the pet has a high fever, heart problem, respiratory infection, or malignant disease.

Hyperbaric Therapy and Your Pet’s Lab Tests

In conjunction with HBOT, lab tests conducted in a veterinary laboratory may give your veterinarian an in-depth understanding of your pet’s health. These results help the medical professional ensure that the therapy has the intended beneficial effect and adjust treatment plans if necessary.


With veterinary medicine constantly evolving, therapies like HBOT are helping pets heal faster, live healthier, and stay happier. Though it’s not free from potential side effects like any treatment, the benefits often outweigh the risks. 

Hyperbaric therapy opens a new avenue for pet treatment that could be a significant game-changer in many cases. Trust your vet’s advice—they’re after your pet’s well-being, after all!