Pets Under Pressure

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 10:50am

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are now being used to help heal ailing pets.

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment once only used to treat humans is now helping to treat injured pets.

Eight-year-old Piper is one grateful dog.

She has been under the care of Dr. Andrew Turkell and has been treated with the HBOT since June.

Piper was mauled by another dog and was left with a huge wound that wouldn’t heal.

"She had closures surgically four times. Every time it closed it reopened," said Turkell.

HBOT uses pressure to deliver pure oxygen to four-legged patients.

This type of treatment has been used for the bends scuba diving condition as well as to help heal human wounds.

"Hyperbaric is helping Piper bringing oxygen to the edges of the wound allowing all the elements to allow the healing process to close that wound," Turkell said.

The pet-sized chamber at Calusa Veterinary Center in Boca Raton, Florida is the only one of its kind in South Florida.

Piper is in the chamber for about an hour and fiteen minutes at a time.

Each treatment costs $125.

"The standard of care usually is between I would say 10 to 40 treatments depending on what you’re actually treating" said Turkell.

Many months and thousands of dollars later, Piper’s gaping wound closed and she is scheduled to go home after Thanksgiving.

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