ABOUT THE VHA
Hyperbaric Oxygen was born in 1662, when a British doctor, Nathaniel Henshaw, created an airtight chamber where oxygen bellows and valves were used to compress and decompress.
In the 1930s, a Brazilian doctor named Álvaro Osório de Almeida recognized the benefits of HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) and published several papers on the effects of high doses of oxygen on animal and human tumors. In 1937, Albert Behnke and Louis Shaw published research by the US Navy to treat decompression sickness using HBOT.
Throughout the history of hyperbarics, animals have routinely been treated in chambers for the purpose of research. As the modality evolved and became more widely accepted, animals were used to study the effects of the hyperbaric environment on various body systems as a prelude to the diagnosis of certain human conditions.
Effectively, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been a viable treatment for decades. In the late 1990’s to early 2000’s an interest emerged from pioneers in the veterinary community to utilize HBOT as an adjunct to traditional medical and surgical treatments. Since then, hyperbaric chambers have been placed in a multitude of veterinary practices, rehabilitation, specialty, and educational institutions across the globe.
Although the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the veterinary field is still in its infancy, tens of thousands of treatments have been conducted with very successful outcomes. The mission of the VHA is to provide current information, ongoing education, research and development on HBOT, to veterinary professionals and the veterinary industry as a whole.