The machine that exploded wasn't one of McCullough's chambers; it was a larger contraption made for horses. The horse inside the chamber apparently struck the side of the machine with its foot, which caused the spark and fire. It underscored the potential danger of the capsules.
Dr. Dorie Amour, the director of Emory University's wound care clinic, suggested that hyperbaric therapy in pets be a last-resort treatment. It "has to be a therapy used when there is no alternative. Or a therapy used for a very serious problem for which there hasn't been a solution."
Pet owners such as Mike Ray, the owner of Maggie, an 11-year-old dachshund with a gaping wound and recurring infection in her back paw, say they're willing to give it a try — and spend the extra money to do so at the University of Florida animal hospital.
Maggie has been through a handful of hyperbaric treatments, and Dr. Schmalberg and Ray say they've noticed a difference after two sessions in the capsule. New fur is growing where raw flesh was once exposed.
"Whatever it takes, we're going do and we'll find a way to get it done," Ray said as he and his wife waited for Maggie to finish her oxygen therapy. "Because we need to get her healed."
Associated Press reporter Johnny C. Clark contributed to this report from Atlanta.
Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush
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