Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Under these conditions, oxygen is driven into the patient’s lungs, which is then carried and delivered by their blood to oxygenate all of their organs, tissues, and body fluids. This enables oxygen molecules to penetrate compromised tissues three to four times faster than normal and helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

At Veterinary Specialty Center, we offer HBOT as an additional treatment option for our patients. Therapeutic benefits of HBOT include a greatly increased oxygen concentration in all body tissues (even with reduced blood flow), improved healing time of stubborn wounds, and stimulated the growth of new blood vessels in areas of reduced circulation. It also increases the efficiency of white blood cells to kill bacteria and aids in infection control, assists in the treatment of chronic bone infections (osteomyelitis), reduce swelling (edema), reverses damage to tissues exposed to radiation therapy, and reduces effects from toxic exposure to carbon monoxide.

HBOT can be used as an adjunct therapy for hundreds of conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Spinal Cord Trauma/Compressive Cord Diseases/Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)HBOT hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Pre and post-op surgical cases
  • Acute/severe anemia
  • Post-Cardiopulmonary Arrest
  • Fibrocartilagenous Emboli
  • Pancreatitis
  • Sepsis/Peritonitis
  • Immune-Mediated Diseases
  • Cerebral Ischemia and Head Trauma
  • Global Ischemia & Trauma
  • Aortic Thromboembolism
  • Cortical Blindness
  • Paraparesis/Tetraparesis
  • Peripheral Nerve Disease
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Tendonitis/Periostitis/Osteoradionecrosis
  • Myositis/Clostridial Myositis/Gas Gangrene/Myonecrosis
  • Crush and Degloving Injuries
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Septic Arthritis
  • Anaerobic Infections
  • Reperfusion Disease
  • Carbon Monoxide Toxicosis and Smoke Inhalation
  • Non-Healing Wounds

Complications are rare, but can include:

  • Seizures
  • Ear and sinus Barotrauma
  • Pulmonary Barotrauma
  • Absolute Contraindications Include:
  • Untreated Pneumothorax and Pneumomediastinum

Possible/relative contraindications include:

  • High Fever
  • History of Seizures
  • Pacemaker
  • History of Recent Ear Surgery
  • History of Recent Thoracic Surgery
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Pregnancy
  • Optic Neuritis
  • Emphysema
  • Upper Respiratory Infections


Starting Monday, April 8th through the end of September, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin their road resurfacing project along Waukegan Road from Lake Cook Road to Half Day Road (IL 22). Please allow additional travel time to our hospital during the construction. Learn More: Waukegan Road Resurfacing Project