Thermotherapy applied in dogs


The thermotherapy It is the application of heat on the body for therapeutic purposes. There are different ways of applying heat on the animal: heat packs, MUDs, Ultrasonic, short wave, infrared, steamer water, baths of contrast, and moist heat.

It has therapeutic effects; It is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, sedative, relaxing and descontracturant.

At the cellular level increases the metabolism, while that level of blood vessels, acts producing thermoregulationthat, at the local level will produce brief vasoconstriction followed by vasodilation resulting in hyperthermia. In addition to a vasomotor reaction.

Deep-level also produced hyperthermia. It will produce a reflex action as a result of the vasomotor changes of the local application that will produce an improvement in cellular nutrition, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Bombilla de infrarrojos

About the heart produces tachycardia and modifies blood pressure in local applications and if its application is increased, produces an increase in stimulus temperature and decreases blood pressure with an increase in volume.

In the blood produces an alkalinization of blood Ph decreases clotting, the viscosity of the blood and, as a result, there area greater contribution of lymphatic tissues.

On the skin occurs a temperature increase, with an increase of local circulation and decreases sensitivity.

The heat on the nervous system increases the sensitivity in applications of short duration while if the duration lengthens it produces a decrease in sensitivity, sedation and analgesia.

Muscle relaxation it produces, is antispasmodic, decreases excitability, increases the elasticity of the tissues and decreases muscle tone. And, on the respiratory system, it produces an increase in respiratory rate.

There are a number of circumstances in which heat may not be applied:

    • AnimalsCardiac.

    • In acute inflammations 24-72 hours

    • Animals who have hypersensitivity or even allergic reactions

    • Areas:

      • Open, deep or infected wounds

      • Local infections

      • Burns

      • alterations of sensitivity

      • circulatory deficits

    • leishmaniasis


Heat can be applied one time finished the acute phase of injury or surgery: fractures, dislocations, contractures, tendinitis, etc, or in chronic cases such as the case of geriatric animals or who have osteoarthritis.

It is necessary to check at all times the skin of the animal and in the case of seeing the very reddened skin or the animal this annoying, should stop treatment. It is necessary to place a towel between the animal and the heat never place it direct, since there is a risk of producing burns on the skin.

They exist Special guards o straps for a better fixation of the hot pack.

Marta Subirats & Toni Ramon 

Canine physiotherapists.

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