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The Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Administered after Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) Surgery

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs who have completed surgery for intervertebral disc disease to measure changes in inflammation after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

  • Inclusion Criteria:  Any dog greater than 7.7 pounds who has had IVDD surgery to remove disc material and does not have other significant medical conditions.
  • Treatment: Participation includes one hyperbaric oxygen treatment and blood sampling. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves your pet resting in a metal hyperbaric chamber about six feet in length that provides pure oxygen under pressure for your dog to breathe. The oxygen session will last about 75 minutes in total, during which time your dog will be able to move freely – most dogs rest comfortably in the chamber.  If your dog does not tolerate the session at any point, the session would be discontinued.  A small amount of blood will be taken before and after the procedure.   Your dog’s participation in the study is expected to be approximately 4 hours. After participation your dog will be returned to the care of your regular neurologist for continued treatments of IVDD.
  • Costs: The study will cover the cost of the single hyperbaric oxygen treatment, approximately $155.00 and study associated blood work.
  • Contact:  You can contact our Small Animal Hospital by calling 352-392-2235 Dr. Justin Shmalberg is the Primary Investigator. You can also speak with our clinical trials coordinator at 352-294-4639 or


The study is designed to evaluate the changes in circulation and in inflammation. This information should help to better understand the perceived benefits of hyperbaric oxygen in such patients and to provide information that could lead to a larger study. The researchers hope to find treatments to accelerate recovery from spinal injury and to improve long-term function of these pets.