Why Your Pet May Need a Therapeutic Ultrasound

Our pets go through pain just like humans do when they get hurt playing or are sick. It’s fitting, then, to have specialized care for animal injuries and rehabilitation programs. Pet rehabilitation has become very popular in recent years, with most veterinaries now offering it.


If your pet has an injury that is beyond superficial, you should take them to the vet. If they have broken a limb, they will most likely have to undergo rehabilitation for a few months to help them heal.


One of the most popular modalities for helping pets with pain during rehabilitation is therapeutic ultrasound. Doctors first used it for humans only; then, vets realized it had similar healing effects on animals.


What Is Therapeutic Ultrasound?


Most people know ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for injuries and conditions hidden under the skin. However, therapeutic ultrasound is different because it helps facilitate and enhance healing. The effects of therapeutic ultrasound are the same for animals and humans alike.


Therapeutic ultrasound utilizes sound waves that cause oscillations in skin tissues as they pass through. The vibration they produce generates heat that penetrates deep into the injured flesh.


It has several side effects that are useful to the body. They are:


  • They reduce muscle spasms and pain

  • They enhance the flexibility of tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, and scar tissue

  • They help with healing injured tissue


What Conditions Does Therapeutic Ultrasound Help With?


It would be best if you kept a close eye on your pet so that you can recognize any symptoms of pain early. Most pets ignore the pain they feel, making the injury worse over time. Some painful conditions that may need therapeutic ultrasound are:


  • Ligament injuries

  • Muscle injuries

  • Tendon injuries

  • Any severe swelling

  • Scar tissue

  • Abnormally healing wounds

  • When scar tissue fails to form after surgery


What Happens During a Therapeutic Ultrasound?


Most people would think that their pets need to be sedated during the procedure. But this is not true because the vet needs to observe the pet's reaction to the process. If the pet squirms and moves out of the way, it may be uncomfortable.


The vet will usually need to shave the hair off the part of the pet receiving the ultrasound. This is so that the ultrasound machine can directly contact the pet's skin. The vet moves the head of the device in overlapping circles over the affected area.


How Long Does the Treatment Take?


A single session of therapeutic ultrasound takes about 10 to 20 minutes. The pet will have to go in for about two to three sessions each week until the issue subsides. Usually, therapeutic ultrasound is used in conjunction with other modalities for pain management and medicine.


Are There Any Contraindications?


Therapeutic ultrasound is growing in popularity because it is non-invasive and effective for pain and inflammation. However, vets do not recommend it for pets that are pregnant, have orthotic plates, bone plates, or overgrowth plates in young pets.


For more on why your pet may need a therapeutic ultrasound, visit Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic at our office in Roselle, New Jersey. You can call (908) 245-7853 to book an appointment today.