Many of you might think of ultrasound as a diagnostic technique for pregnancy, tendon and ligament damage and internal organ imaging. This is when sound-waves are pulsed into the body and reflected back by the varying tissue structures to produce an image.
Ultrasound can also be used as a therapeutic modality to treat:
- Tendon and ligament damage
- Fracture repair
- Scar tissue
- Muscle spasms
Within physiotherapy, ultrasound can be used as a therapeutic modality in a session or for owners to use at home. At Mochdre Vets we have purchased a portable ultrasound machine that has pre-selected setting for owners to use at home safely. This will provide your animal with that additional care and attention at home and support their recovery. There are precautions to consider with this treatment therefore it is best you speak to the veterinarian or physiotherapist to decide if this modality suits your animals condition.
How does it work?
Ultrasound uses sound waves to treat deep within tissue structures when the treatment device is placed on an aqueous solution such as ultrasound gel. Without the gel the waves cannot transfer their energy through to the tissue and you risk damaging the machine. The machine can work on different depth based on the frequency and intensity of the wave. Acute injuries are treated with less Hz than chronic injuries as often the issue is more superficial and does not need as much energy to treat. The sound wave stimulates or vibrates the tissue which has multiple effects on the body:
- Increases circulation
- Breaks down fibrous tissue
- Increases gene expression for fracture healing
- Internal deeper temperature changes
As with many electrotherapy modalities there is limited evidence to support this treatment from a scientific point of view. Therefore, we would like to share some success stories from our lovely clients!
Gibbs has an unexplained thickened patella tendon on one of his hind limbs, which affects how much weight he places through the limb and how he flexes his stifle. He has been attending both treadmill sessions and physiotherapy sessions to help strengthen the surrounding muscle and encourage active flexion of the joint. His owners decided to trial ultrasound to help break down the thickened and fibrous tendon to ease tension in the limb. They found after a week of using the ultrasound “His tendon was smaller and softer and the device was excellent”.
Tess is a retired mountain rescue dog and has been treated with ultrasound to help manage pain when she had an arthritic flair up. During her working days Tess suffered from a shoulder injury that caused some compensatory changes in her posture. In addition, Tess struggles with spondylosis in her spine, which is a fusion of the vertebra. This can cause weakness in the hind limbs and pain.
To add further to Tess’ issues she also suffered from mild fraying of her cricuate ligament. With so many little niggles it can be hard for Tess’ mum to manage them all at once. However, by taking the ultrasound home it was possible to treat her on a day to day basis, manage her arthritis if she became inflamed and help any niggles.
Tess was still attending weekly laser and physiotherapy sessions to ensure she was progressing but found having some form of treatment at home kept her in better condition between sessions. The ultrasound was used on her shoulder to break down scar tissue and trigger points within the muscle. In addition she used it on her spine to help with pain relief and inflammation but more successfully was the treatment on her cruciate. Her mum noted “a marked difference in her lameness” after using the ultrasound.
Molly has an extensive neurological history and manages very well at home. She initially started with us in the treadmill to maintain muscle mass. After a bad turn at Christmas Molly was being treated with laser therapy on a weekly basis. Whenever Molly can’t attend one of her weekly appointments her mum is able to use the ultrasound at home to keep her comfortable, supple and break down any tight trigger points in her muscle. Her mum feels “It helped her a lot and enabled her to walk more”. Molly’s mum noted how she benefited form the daily treatment and found she could even go on walks with her two younger dogs.
Consultation Times (by appointment only)
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 20:00
Saturday 09:00 – 12:00
Sunday 10:00 – 13:00
Mochdre Vets is the trading name for Heywood and Heywood Limited
and is registered in England and Wales. Registered Number 10654839.
Registered Office Williams House, Conway Road, Mochdre, Conwy. LL28 5HE.