My cat Obi recently presented with feline acne. My first thought was to have him treated with cold laser therapy. The laser has proven to be effective for healing wounds. Plus, when he injured his back a couple of years ago, the cold laser therapy was a godsend. He was running and climbing after just a few sessions.
The acne episode started shortly after my husband and I moved. Taking Obi to Dr. Larry Bernstein, my mentor and holistic vet for more than 12 years, was not an option. The nearly two hour car ride each way would have been far too stressful for Obi, who has some anxiety issues (that’s a story for another day).
I knew of a holistic veterinary practice called Healing Heart, located much closer to our new home. Since the veterinarians there take an integrative approach to care, I felt they would be a good fit. I made an appointment for Obi with Dr. Kim Wilson.
This is how Obi was greeted at Healing Heart
Photo Credit: Cathi Marro
Dr. Kim spent a great deal of time examining Obi and learning about his history. I told her how well he had responded to cold laser therapy and asked if she thought it would work for his infected chin (he scratched the #@$% out of it, thus the need for the visit). She suggested we treat him with ozone therapy, both externally and internally. That piqued my interest. I was familiar with ozone therapy, but did not have any first hand experience.
Ozone (O3) is a potent regulator of the immune system, stimulates increased uptake of oxygen, improves circulation, stimulates mitochondria, and increases antioxidant protection.
O3 is an energized form of oxygen that contains three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breathe. The third atom attaches itself to other molecules. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilizer on earth, as It destroys bacteria, fungi, viruses and odors. When bacteria, fungi or viruses come into contact with ozone, it creates a tiny hole in the cell wall, destroying it. Bacteria, fungi and viruses cannot survive this process, known as oxidation. Because ozone reverts back to oxygen after this happens, it is considered environmentally friendly.
The first thing Dr. Kim did was dissolve ozone in a fluid solution and then administered it to Obi subcutaneously (under the skin). Externally, she used an ozone machine with a cup placed snugly over Obi’s chin for ten minutes. It is important to keep the ozone contained, as breathing it in can damage the lungs and even low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation.
Obi getting ozone therapy on his chin
Photo Credit: Cathi Marro
The staff was quite impressed how well Obi handled it all.
Within a couple of days, his chin started to heal. After two weeks, he had another breakout, so back we went to Dr. Kim. She did another round of direct ozone on Obi’s chin. That did the trick.
More and more holistic, integrative and conventional veterinarians are incorporating ozone into their practices. The most commonly treated conditions include cancer, auto-immune disease, chronic infections, allergies, IBD, ear infections, dental infections, arthritis, chronic pain, intervertebral disc disease, and wound healing.
To find a veterinarian ozone practitioner, visit O3vets.com. You may also want to contact holistic and integrative veterinarians in your area to find out if they are offering ozone therapy. Visit AHVMA.org and click on Find a Vet.