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Scuba treatment could help recovering animals

Wednesday, 27th February 2013

A type of treatment usually applied to scuba divers suffering from the bends, as well as people affected by other serious conditions such as burns, could now become a regular feature in veterinary science.

Hyperbaric chambers, which generate a high-pressure atmosphere of pure oxygen, are currently being tested on injured animals by a team of vets at the Florida College of Veterinary Science, with a view to using the treatment as part of mainstream pet care, reports.

So far, the chamber has been used to improve the conditions of a number of ailing animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and even a monkey, and could prove to be more effective than traditional pet medications in the treatment of infections, rattlesnake bites and even injuries sustained in road accidents.

The research is being led by professor Justin Shmalberg, who says the treatment can be used to decrease tissue swelling and revealed that clinical trials are soon to begin in order to determine the effectiveness of hyperbaric chambers in pet care.