Training injuries, such as sprains, strains and muscle injuries, respond well to HBOT. The benefits include reduction of swelling, reduction of pain associated with swelling and inflammation, and enhancement of the connective tissue repair process.
HBOT is effective for many types of wounds, including massive degloving injuries to the lower leg, large surface wounds from trauma, injection reactions, spider bites and pressure sores from prolonged recumbency for debilitated animals or neonatal foals. In the case of chronic wounds, HBOT stimulates fibroblast production of collagen.
Internal abscesses may occur anywhere in the body, but are particularly challenging to treat successfully when located in the lungs or the abdomen. These abscesses are rarely diagnosed early in the course of the disease. By the time of diagnosis, a thick-walled fibrous connective tissue capsule surrounds the abscess, which impairs antibiotics from reaching the affected area.
Prolonged antibiotic treatment, often with no resolution of the illness, results in high costs to the owner and potentially fatal consequences for the animal. HBOT enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics and other treatments, as well as their ability to reach the desired target destination.
Bone infections can result from complications from joint injections, orthopedic surgery, the formation of an involucrum (a thick sheath of periosteal new bone surrounding a piece of dead bone), and in bacterial septicemia in foals.
A bone infection begins with blood borne bacteria or a local invasion of bacteria that results in the localization of the bacteria in sinusoidal capillaries. This creates an inflammatory response within the central cavity of the bone shafts where red and/or yellow bone marrow is stored. This destroys the capillary structures, increases intraosseous pressure and decreases the partial pressure of oxygen, resulting in the necrosis of tissue and the destruction of supportive structure and growth centers.
Impaired blood flow, tissue hypoxia and necrosis and destruction, along with ineffective leukocyte function, impaired antibiotic delivery and antibiotic function (many antibiotics require specific amounts of oxygen to be effective) result in poor bone healing.
The use of HBOT in bone infections helps increase the diffusion of oxygen, enhance neovascularization (angiogenesis), stimulate collagen production to build new bone, improve blood flow by reducing edema via vasoconstriction, enhance leukocyte ability to kill bacteria and enhance delivery and activity of antibiotics.
Head and spinal trauma often result in severe loss of body function. The neurologic deficits appear to result from swelling of tissue within a confined space and the loss of blood and oxygen supply, and the resulting sequential biochemical effects on the nerve tissue.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, commonly called dummy foal syndrome, arises from the loss of blood flow and/or oxygen during the birthing process.
HBOT helps neurologic conditions by reducing the swelling of tissue and salvaging injured nervous tissue.