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Foals receive dose of O2

Article

Lexington, Ky.-Oxygen therapy may play a role in treatment of chronic bone infections in sick foals, report experts at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee equine hospital here.

Lexington, Ky.-

Oxygen therapy may play a role in treatment of chronic bone infections in sick foals, report experts at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee equine hospital here.

The veterinarians are testing an innovative use of oxygen therapy onselect foals to determine if they can survive the bone illness.

If successful, plans are to broaden the treatment use to potentiallysave foals from being euthanized because of other infections, say doctorsat Hagyard-Davidson-McGee.

The treatment places horses in a pressurized chamber, which is set atabout two times normal atmospheric pressure. The goal is to help bone tissuesurvive and heal infected areas by increasing blood flow.

This is the first controlled test in the nation for foals with bone infections,says Dr. Fairfield Bain, a veterinarian at the hospital's internal medicinefacility. The chambers are used successfully in human medicine.

"With horses, we just don't know," says Dr. Nathan Slovis,a veterinarian at the hospital. "We're going into this from the researchpoint of view."

Slovis' goal is to test 20 foals with bone infections. The hospital plansto determine the efficacy of the therapy on the foals by the end of thesummer. The foals will receive 15 to 20 treatments, each lasting an hourand a half.

The two chambers, each costing about $175,000, were donated to the hospitalby Equine Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

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