Woodhaven opens hyperbaric chamber for pets in need

- A Downriver animal hospital is taking a medical treatment that's typically used for humans and putting animals inside - to help them heal serious injuries.

The state-of-the-art treatment is saving K9 and feline lives alike in Michigan and it all comes with the help of veterinarians from Florida. Hyperbaric treatment has been used for decades on humans and now, Dr. Lucretia Greear, is finding success with animals as well.

"We don't want to define boundaries with our patients and I don't feel like anyone should define a boundary if we can get results, if we can help, it should be an option," Dr. Greear said.

The first hyperbaric oxygen chamber for animals in the state is now being used at Woodhaven Veterinary hospital. 

Dr. Ronald Lyman, a vet from Florida, explains the painless treatment using oxygen that's 30 times concentrated.

"When they are breathing 100 percent oxygen under pressure, that oxygen is dissolved in the liquid of the blood - in the plasma," he said. "It reduces the inflammation in your body."

The chamber treats wounds, infections, brain and spinal chord trauma while greatly reducing pain -- in pretty much any animal...

Dr. Greear says the chamber will be available for animals coming into Woodhaven Animal Hospital but also, animals saved from house fires.

"Smoke inhalation is the worst, other than the fire. Most (animals) that succumb, succumb to the smoke inhalation," Woodhaven fire chief Michael Clark said.

Dr. Greear plans to make the chamber available to all fire departments.

"If there's an animal that's nearly drowned, a fire victim, if they can get them to the chamber, we can help at no cost."

The results can be seen in one-year-old Jake. The dog arrived at the hospital paralyzed and has received treatment for a few weeks now.

"He's got some wounds healing amazing well bc of the hyperbaric therapy, he's starting to use his back leg," Dr. Greear said.

Greear says she can't wait to help even more animals who may have nowhere else to turn.

"I just want to set a new standard, a new precedent and let people know that there are options and we won't stop we can figure out something we can do to help their pet," she said.

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