In 2000, the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center acquired the first hyperbaric oxygen chamber designed specifically for horses, and became the first veterinary hospital in the United States to offer hyperbaric therapy to equine patients. In the past decade, the Center has incorporated new technological advances and the hyperbaric chamber now is able to immerse the patient in a pure oxygen environment at 2 to 3 atmospheres of pressure for the duration of the treatment. This promotes an increase in tissue oxygenation by as much as 15 times over normal levels.
Some of the beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy include increased antibacterial activities of oxygen on specific anaerobic bacteria, enhanced white blood cell activity, reduction of tissue edema, maintenance of tissue oxygenation in instances of decreased hemoglobin content in the blood, and stimulation of fibroblast activity and collagen deposition. Collectively, these effects facilitate wound healing and stimulate the growth of capillary beds into injured tissues.