You might ask yourselves why a veterinary neurologist/pain specialist decided to bring hyperbaric medicine (HBOT) to Massachusetts.
I first started considering this treatment modality years ago when I became frustrated with the lack of treatments for the many neurologic diseases I see.
So many of the diseases we attribute to vascular problems that we never find the underlying cause for and watch the animal patients and their owners suffer with the fear that they may not improve. Diseases that we call “idiopathic”, could there be an underlying vascular event that sets these off similar to a TIAs (transient ischemic attack) in people. Diseases like Idiopathic Facial Paralysis, Idiopathic Vestibular Disease, Old Dog Vestibular Disease to name a few.
Then, of course, we neurologists see many referrals for central nervous system complications of anesthesia; blindness, deafness, and other brain abnormalities. We know these are due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) secondary to a malfunction in equipment or due to changes in blood pressure (hypertension/hypotension) as well as to idiosyncratic reactions to the medications used for anesthesia. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a potential treatment to these complications that we were not able to treat before.
Of course, FCEs (fibrocartilagenous emboli) and strokes are obvious uses for the hyperbaric chamber – to bring oxygen directly to the part of the brain or the spinal cord that has lost the blood supply due to an occlusion of the blood vessel.
These are the reasons why I started investigating HBOT to bring it to my state-of-the-art neurology/neurosurgery and pain center in Massachusetts and raise the standards of veterinary care in the region! I have since found many, many other beneficial uses for it. Stay tuned to our facebook site and our blog for updates and case reports. Feel free to come by and see the chamber and/or call with any questions to see if it could help your patients or pets.