Effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on uncomplicated incisional and open wound healing in dogs

Vet Surg. 2018 Aug;47(6):827-836. doi: 10.1111/vsu.12931. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


Objective: To determine the safety of a hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol and its influence on the healing of uncomplicated open and incisional wounds in dogs.

Study design: Prospective, controlled experimental study.

Animals: Adult dogs (n = 10).

Methods: Two 2 × 2-cm open wounds and two 3-cm-long full-thickness dermal incisions were created on the dorsum of each dog. Dogs in the hyperbaric oxygen treatment group (HBO) received HBOT once daily (1.7 atmospheres absolute [ATA], 30 minutes on day 1; 2.0 ATA, 40 minutes on days 2-7) for 7 consecutive days, and dogs in the control group (CON) received standardized wound care. Dogs were monitored during HBOT for adverse side effects. Total wound area, percentage epithelialization, and percentage contraction were compared for the open wounds. Subjective wound scores were compared for the open and incisional wounds. Biopsies of both wound types were taken and used to determine histopathology scores. Bacterial cultures were completed on open wounds.

Results: No difference was detected between HBO and CON uncomplicated open and incisional wounds at any time for contraction, epithelialization, subjective wound scores, histopathology scores, or bacterial loads. All HBO dogs tolerated hyperbaric oxygen treatments with no adverse effects.

Conclusion: The HBOT protocol tested here was safe but did not enhance the healing of uncomplicated acute wounds and incisions of dogs.

Clinical significance: These results do not provide evidence to support the use of HBOT to manage uncomplicated wounds in dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs / injuries*
  • Female
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Surgical Wound / therapy
  • Surgical Wound / veterinary*
  • Wound Healing*