Ozone is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for both humans and pets. As a powerful oxidant and anti-oxidant, ozone kills viruses, bacteria, parasites and even cancer cells while also boosting the immune system. It has many different medicinal uses both for people and for pets.
What is Ozone?
Ozone is a gas that is composed of 3 oxygen atoms (O3). Having 3 oxygen atoms makes it quite unstable. The oxygen that we breathe is composed of only 2 oxygen atoms and is much more stable, meaning it wants to stay as it is.
However, it is exactly ozone’s instability, and that extra oxygen atom that makes it such a powerful healer: as soon as it touches human (or pet) tissue, it reacts with the tissue and releases that extra oxygen. This action, stimulates the mitochondria (the part of the cell that produces energy), and sends a super surge of oxygen to the tissue and the body.
Ozone can have some great health benefits inside our body.
At the same time, you may have heard of ozone in terms of its negative effects on the lungs. You may be thinking: Isn’t ozone a pollutant? Something we shouldn’t be breathing in?
The answer to this is: Yes.
Ozone is what makes up the ozone layer. When the reactive and unstable ozone particles react with common air pollutants, they can bind together and form smog. This is not good to breathe in.
Also, ozone in and of itself can cause damage when breathed in directly to the lungs. This is the only tissue that shouldn’t be exposed directly to ozone.
However, even though it’s not great to breathe, ozone can have therapeutic benefits for the rest of the body!
Brief History of Ozone
Ozone has been around for a long time.
It was discovered in the late 1800s, and was used as a water disinfectant as far back as 1870. Today, many water systems use ozone as a purification method, due to how well it kills pathogens like bacteria and microscopic parasites.
Nicholas Tesla created the first ozone generator in 1896 and was one of the first people to use Ozone for medicinal use. He was also one of the first people to create “ozonated olive oil.” He also formed the Tesla Ozone Company.
Ozonated olive oil is a popular treatment we still use today, especially in holistic veterinary medicine.
Even though it is not safe to breath straight ozone, it is safe to breathe the ozone that is released from ozonated olive oil. Once it has been bubbled through olive oil or certain substances, the ozone becomes safe to breathe.
In the 1930s, a Swiss dentist published a paper on using ozone for cavities. Ozone is still used by some dentists today to help disinfect the gum and also to help prevent bacterial proliferation.
In the 1980s, ozone was studied in more depth, and even tried as a therapy against the new AIDs pandemic at the time.
In 2010, the International Scientific Committee for Ozone was created, allowing scientists, practitioners, and doctors using ozone to connect and collaborate on the uses of ozone.
How does Ozone work?
Some may say that ozone is poorly studied and just “alternative medicine” hype that doesn’t work. However, you may be surprised to learn that to date, there have been over 3000+ published papers in peer-reviewed journals about the medicinal use of Ozone.
If you want to read more, click here: https://aaot.us/page/Literature
In these studies we learned how ozone therapy works in the body.
One of the key ways that ozone works, is by increasing both the amount of oxygen in the body and also its utilization. When tissue has been receiving less oxygen for a while, it can become weaker.
By hyper-oxygenating it, it’s almost like we give it new life!
Ozone stimulates cytokine function. Cytokines are the part of the immune system that target cancer cells, viruses and other infections.
AND, ozone itself, as we mentioned before, is directly toxic to viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. It was found that ozone disrupts the bacterial cell wall through oxidation of the phospholipid layer. In the same way, it also damages the viral capsid (what surrounds and protects a virus).
Ozone stimulates the release of Nitric Oxide (which helps improve circulation), and also stimulates anti-oxidant enzymes, which in turn help to protect from free radical damage.
Ozone also has some anti-cancer effects: It stimulates the immune system to produce more interferon and tumor necrosis factor. These, in turn, fight against the cancer in the body.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that ozone can help the body fight both pathogens and cancer.
Common Ozone uses in Pets
One common use for ozone in pets is for skin infections.
Antibiotics are the most common treatment for skin infections. However, there are some limitations to this approach. With the overuse of antibiotics in recent years, we are witnessing the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
With the increased problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ozone can be a great solution. There are no bacteria right now that are resistant to ozone. Ozone also kills yeast and fungus, which is another common pathogen that may colonize the skin in susceptible animals.
Sometimes we will use topical antibiotics to treat an infection, and sometimes we use systemic, or oral antibiotics. Oral antibiotics can upset the digestive flora with are the good bacteria in the the gut. This can create digestive problems in the future and a weakened immune system. By using ozone, we avoid this problem.
Another common use is for cancer. Ozone boosts immunity and can be an excellent adjunct treatment for animals with a cancer diagnosis.
Cases: Lilac and Brady
Lilac is an FIV+ cat (FIV is the equivalent of HIV in people) that was recently being fostered by one of my clients.
As you can see in the photos, Lilac had a bacterial skin infection. I was hesitant to put her oral antibiotics. She needed her good bacteria in her gut in order to keep her immune system strong.
And so we decided to try ozone baths instead. She received baths once a week for 6 weeks.
At one point during the treatment, Lilac began to develop flakey skin (it looked like very large pieces of dandruff). This turned out to just be old, dead skin cells that were shedding. After this shedding, a new thick hair regrowth came in.
Here is what Lilac looked like after 6 weeks of treatment with ozone baths:
While I would not use ozone as a sole treatment for cancer, it can be a great adjunct therapy.
As I discussed earlier, ozone hyper-oxygenates the body and gives the immune system a boost. It can also treat concurrent viral and bacterial infections, which allows the immune system to focus its efforts on attacking the cancer.
Here is a photo of one of my patients, Brady, that we are currently treating for cancer using ozone therapy:
Brady was diagnosed in August 2019 with bladder cancer. While there was no solid mass or tumor at that time, cancer cells were found on a routine urinalysis. We later confirmed that this was indeed a transitional cell carcinoma with a cancer screening test called a BRAF test.
Brady receives ozonated saline bladder flushes every 2-3 weeks. Using a catheter, we inject saline infused with ozone into the bladder. We allow it to stay there for as long as possible. When Brady urinates later that day, he will flush out all the saline naturally with his urine.
So far, in his followup ultrasound in December, there has been no change to the bladder lining (no actual tumors growing) since August. So that is great news!
Ozone can be given in different ways.
Since it is a gas, it can be mixed with blood and given IV. It can also be given rectally (this is the most common method used for general health and detox).
In Brady’s case, we mixed the ozone with saline and flushed his bladder with it. However, it can also be injected into a tumor or nodule itself.
In Lilac’s case, we used the ozonated water to wash her skin, and then followed up with ozonated olive oil.
As you can see, there are many ways to use Ozone!
I hope you enjoyed this post.
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