LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HYPERBARIC OXYGEN CHAMBER
EQUINE HYPERBARIC OXYGEN CHAMBER
BENEFITS OF HYPERBARIC CHAMBER
Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (HBOT) helps with the treatment of: 
  • Wounds and lacerations
  •  Cellulitis 
  • Bone infections
  •  Acute laminitis
  • Navicular bursa infection
  •  Non responsive infections
  •  Joint infections
  •  Bleeders (EIPH)
Meet Willow
This is Willow. When Willow came to EPC, she had severe laminitis, bone infection, and a very poor prognosis. She was almost unable to walk anymore. Watch her amazing video from her recovery below. 

Willow's life was saved by the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber at Equine Performance Center.

Watch the video to see Willow progress from admission to recovery.
Dr. Rullan’s Secret to Treating Laminitis Successfully
Hi, my name is Dr. Alberto Rullan and I am relieved to hear that you are looking for more ways to help treat your horse’s laminitis. Congratulations on taking the first step in helping your horse!
Before I tell you My Secret, you should have a strong understanding of not only what Laminitis is, but how it happens and why it can be so difficult to treat. So in order for you to understand why this Secret works, I have written a short article for your review below with some basic diagrams for you to get started. When you get done reading this article, we will cover my Secret to Treating Laminitis Successfully.
Basic Review of Lamintis: Part 1
Once laminitis has developed, it is usually categorized as acute or chronic. For simplicity purposes we will define acute laminitis as when the disease has recently happened. At this stage, laminitis is accompanied by lameness before the appearance of external changes in hoof conformation. Chronic laminitis is when the disease has been going on for some time (ie weeks or months). In chronic laminitis changes in the hoof conformation are present. 
Horse showing laminitic stance
Signs of acute laminitis include the following:
  • Lameness, in a straight line. This can vary from severe to mild signs. A mild episode can manifest by a “choppy” short gait. When a horse is turning in circles it shows a difficult, slow turn, putting more weight in the hind limbs. A severe episode can manifest as reluctant to move or even recumbency (laying down).
  • Shifting weight when standing.
  • ​Heat around the coronary band and wall of the hoof 
  • ​Increased digital pulse in the feet. This can be palpated by placing the index finger at the level of the back of the fetlock where the vessels run down to the feet.
  • ​Pain in the toe region when pressure is applied with hoof testers
  • ​A “sawhorse stance,” as shown in the picture, with the front feet stretched out in front in order to alleviate pressure on the toes and the hind feet under the body.
Signs of chronic laminitis may include the following:
  • ​Rings around the hoof wall that become wider as they are followed from toe to heel
  • Bruised soles that can be seen when the hoof sole is being trimmed
  • ​Widened white line, commonly called “seedy toe,” with occurrence of blood pockets and/or abscesses
  • ​Dropped soles or flat feet
  • ​Dished hooves, which is the result of unequal rates of hoof growth
Below are examples of the basic three radiographic views that should be evaluated in a laminitic horse. The notable changes are the loose of parallelism of the coffin bone with respect to the dorsal hoof wall on the lateral view. This is what we call rotation of the coffin bone, deterioration of the solar margin of the coffin bone on the dorso ventral (DV) view and medial-lateral unbalance on the anterior posterior (AP) view.

The veterinarian can take several measurements in order to have an idea of the severity of the disease process and as a baseline evaluation to compare with future radiographs.
Basic lateral view
Basic anterior-posterior (AP) view
Basic dorsoventral (DV)
Venography is a good technique in order to provide diagnosis and prognosis for a laminitic horse. A venogram is basically a radiograph of the foot after injecting a contrast substance into the digital veins. The configuration and the ramification of the vessels can be assessed according the zones of irrigation as shown in the picture.
Abnormal venogram
Normal venogram
After putting together the clinical signs and radiologic changes the veterinarian-farrier team can provide a prognosis and a treatment plan for the horse.
Basic Review of Lamintis: Part II
Laminitis is a medical emergency and should the treated as such. It is very important for the veterinarian to establish a stabilization plan as soon as possible. As with any disease, the earlier the treatment starts, the better the prognosis and outcome. Unfortunately no one has found the complete cure to laminitis, but many horses do recover well from this painful disease if prompt and proper care is given. Many will return to athletic function and others can achieve to have a comfortable life and be pasture sound.

It is important to understand that the first signs of laminitis can vary from a subtle lameness to the typical laminitis stand as in picture 1. There is controversy on how to treat a horse in the early stages of the disease. There is usually an inciting incident that needs to be eliminated. Some of the more common causes of laminitis are obesity, insulin resistance (very common in Paso Finos), toxemia ( from pneumonia, colic, placental retention etc), trauma to the feet, severe non weight bearing of another leg (support limb laminitis) and more.
Then medical treatment will be initiated towards decreasing inflammation, managing pain and treating the inciting cause. Because there is no proven cure to laminitis, there are many different options for intravenous and oral therapies that the veterinarian can choose from. Foot support and good biomechanics are crucial at this stage and all through the treatment of the disease. In order to provide a specific biomechanical treatment for any horse the farrier and veterinarian will perform frequent radiographic exams and sometimes venograms (as shown in the pictures). This will help identify were the coffin bone is located in relationship to the hoof capsule, therefore allowing correct shoe placement and bony alignment. It is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to provide the necessary support to the feet without radiographic guidance.

 A good farrier-veterinarian relationship will provide the best combination of pain management and mechanical support to the horse, therefore achieving the most comfortable solution for the patient.
Sometimes we perform venograms in order to evaluate the blood flow of the foot (picture 7). A venogram is a valuable tool in order to provide prognosis and evaluate the progression of treatment.

Furthermore, the veterinarian and farrier might decide to perform different techniques in order to re establish bone alignment. These procedures are directed at relieving the pressure from the tendon that attaches to the coffin bone (deep digital flexor tendon). These vary from cutting the tendon (tenotomy) to injecting relaxing medications into the muscle of that tendon (i.e. botox).  
 
In summary, there is no cure to laminitis but if detected and treated early in the disease process, the chance of recovery is significantly higher. Pain management, correct biomechanics and proper support are some of the most important treatments for this disease. This is a disease that requires a great level of commitment from everybody involved in the life of that particular horse; owner, trainer, groom or care taker, farrier, veterinarian and others. It can take weeks to years for a horse that has suffered from laminitis to return to athletic function or even to be able to walk comfortably. 

So what is my secret to treating laminitis successfully? We use a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber in conjunction with any anti-inflammatories, therapeutic shoeing, sometimes surgery or other medical adjustments. So you may or may not be thinking to yourself “This guy is crazy” or “He made me read all of that just to hear about an oxygen chamber, how is oxygen going to help?”. Well here’s the skinny on the hyperbaric oxygen chamber and why it works!

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber is designed to pump oxygen into the body, filling the plasma and red blood cells with oxygen. This allows the blood cells to carry the oxygen to parts of the body that are difficult to reach, like the coffin bone. Is this making sense? The laminae are what suspend or hold the structure of the internal hoof in balance with the hoof wall. Part of the reason the coffin bone rotates or sinks is because the laminae are deteriorating at a rate that the body cannot keep up with because the tissue is not receiving a strong enough flow of red blood cells and nutrients to repair it. What that tissue needs is a larger, more consistent supply or flow of red blood cells and oxygen to repair the damaged area(s). Oxygen assists in creating and stimulating blood vessel growth and increases production of stem cells which are the key to repairing damaged tissue. The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber combined with therapeutic shoeing can dramatically improve the internal state of the hoof or hooves affected as well as any other damaged tissue in the body when treated early enough. The beauty of this treatment is that it can be used to improve recovery with any kind of health issue. It is not limited to just infections or severe wounds. It can be used for anything from muscle recovery after a show to dummy foals to severe injuries and infections. I have found that using the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber not only helps in the recovery process, but it can also accelerate recoveries from surgeries and wounds as well!
I have included a short list of examples (believe me, it is much longer) below of different medical issues that I have found Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to be successful with:
  • ​Post Surgical and Slow Healing Wounds
  • Cellulitis
  • ​Bleeders (EIPH)
  • ​Tendon and Ligament Injuries
  • ​Colic (post surgical)
  • ​Laminitis and Navicular Syndrome
  • ​Pneumonia and Internal Abcesses
  • ​Rhodococcus
  • ​Thermal Burns and Smoke Inhalation
  • ​Tissue Necrosis
  • ​Pre and post stem cell surgery patients
  • ​Reproductive Problems in Stallions including low libido, sperm count and morphology
  • ​Reproductive Problems in Mares-including uterine infections, fluid pooling and increased oxygen
  • ​Dummy Foals and Dystocias with fetal asphyxia
  • ​Osteomyelitis
  • ​Joint infections in foals / adults
  • ​Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds Prevention of infection in “dirty” wounds
  • ​Wounds not responding to conventional antibiotic therapies alone
  • ​Selected Aerobic and Anaerobic soft tissue infections
  • ​Staph infections
  • ​Obstetrical infections
  • ​Crush injuries
  • ​Septicemia in adults and foals
  • ​Compromised Immune Systems
  • ​Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • ​Management of Fungal Diseases
  • ​Neonatal maladjustment syndrome
  • ​Dummy foals
  • ​Wound Healing
  • ​Pythiosis -“swamp cancer”
  • ​Tendonitis
  • ​Edema
  • ​Respiratory Conditions
  • ​Necrotizing Infections
  • ​Osteomyelitis (bone infections)
  • ​Rhabdomyolisis (tying-up)
  • ​Head trauma, peripheral nerve trauma
  • ​Lymphangitis
  • ​Intestinal surgeries (normalizes function post-surgery)
  • ​Tissue necrosis due to rattlesnake and spider bites
  • ​Enhanced recovery from athletic performance
So now that I’ve told you my secret to successfully treating laminitis, please take a moment to review the success stories on our hyperbaric page. They are truly unbelievable and if the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber can help those horses, imagine what it can do for yours. Give me a call today so we can get your horse on the road to recovery faster.
If you are still skeptical about the HBOT, here are a few more amazing recoveries.
More Amazing Recoveries helped with HBOT
The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber treatment is sometimes overlooked as a treatment modality. We will show you several cases where the addition of hyperbaric chamber to conventional medicine has speed up the recovery of these horses dramatically. 
Large body wall wound
In a period of around 30 days, this wound healed completely.

The reason HBOT helps wounds is because it increases the Oxygen concentration on the edges of the wound, stem cells are activated, prevent fibrosis and increases healing significantly. 
Severe skin wound
This horse had an accident in the trailer. The picture on the left is how they looked when they were brought into EPC. The picture on the right is after 10 hyperbarcis and 15 laser treatments. 
Meet Freckles
Freckles was suffering from a navicular bursa infection and an RF septic navicular bone. She was not putting any weight on the affected leg for 6 weeks. The infection was so bad that the bacterial was resistant to most antibiotics that were tested. Freckles had 2 surgeries and given multiple treatments, but nothing was working.
Another Amazing Recovery helped with HBOT
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