What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used in human medicine for more than 100 years. Hyper-oxygenation can decrease recovery time from a variety injuries and diseases. Decreased swelling and improved white blood cell function are just two common responses to oxygen therapy, which makes hyperbaric medicine extremely useful in treating infections and acute injuries.

Oxygen therapy using pressurized oxygen works best in conjunction with accurate diagnoses and appropriate primary therapy.

The chamber used at Equine Hyperbaric Center of South Florida is FDA approved and is one of the largest equine chambers manufactured. Our hyperbaric chamber is approximately the size of a standard stall. Horses are at liberty in the chamber for the duration of their appointment, which typically lasts about an hour. Horses do not wear a mask, they simply breathe in the highly oxygenated air. Most horses feel better as the treatment progresses and relax during the appointment.

Prior to each treatment, your horse will receive a physical exam to check for foreign substances and a bath to remove any grooming sprays or other topical agents. Horses will enter the chamber without shoes and in a cotton halter provided by the chamber manufacturer. The process is extremely safe and there is constant video monitoring throughout the procedure. All technicians are certified and receive annual continuing education.

Treatments last about one hour and can be repeated according to established protocols.

Can HBOT help my horse?

An accurate diagnosis, coupled with appropriate medical therapies, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), speeds healing and recovery.

HBOT has proven effective for:

  • Severe muscle swelling, including tying up
  • Skin and muscle injuries
  • Head and spinal injury
  • Lung and abdominal abscesses
  • Prevention of reoxygenation injury, post colon torsion
  • Bone and soft tissue healing after orthopedic procedures
  • Pressure sores from prolonged recumbency
  • Post-injection reactions or infections
  • Birth asphyxia
  • Spider bites
  • Laminitis
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Wounds (traumatic, surgical, etc.)
  • Acute injuries with soft tissue swelling
  • Chronic infections
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH): otherwise known as Bleeders
  • Bone and tendon sheath infections


HBOT decreases swelling and inflammation, resulting in reduced pain and improved circulation. In addition, it stimulates fibroblast production of collagen and enhances the connective tissue repair process.

Increased oxygenation also enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics and other medical interventions. Visit the Case Histories page to see before and after photos.

Call today to find out more information and to schedule an appointment for your horse.