Chamber of healing
By Sarah Carey
A dog bitten by a rattlesnake is now home with her owners and doing well after becoming the first patient at the UF Small Animal Hospital to receive treatment in a new hyperbaric oxygen chamber, one of only a small number in the country being used in veterinary medicine. The 1-year-old Siberian husky/standard poodle mixed-breed dog, named Jackie (shown here with owner Jan Smith), was given a clean bill of health Oct. 30, 11 days after her initial arrival at UF. “We thought Jackie might benefit from the treatment, as snakebite wounds are associated with tissue death,” said Justin Shmalberg, D.V.M., a clinical assistant professor of integrative medicine at UF. The treatment is provided inside a tube-shaped container known as a hyperbaric chamber, through which animals receive highly pressurized, 100 percent oxygen delivered to tissue that wouldn’t receive it otherwise. Shmalberg and UF veterinary technician Wendy Davies recently received extensive training in the safety protocols associated with the use of the hyperbaric chamber, which was installed at UF in mid-October.