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Equine Ultrasound General Treatment Protocols

equine therapeutic ultrasound protocols

Always clean the area to treat before each ultrasound treatment session.

Spread some gel specific for ultrasound use on the hand probe surface and on the area to treat; repeat the procedure during treatment in order to help ultrasound penetration and the hand probe smooth sliding on the area to treat.

By default EQultrasound is set to start each treatment with a 50% power output and with a 20 minutes treatment time. It is a good rule to start each treatment with the default power output (i.e. 50%) so that the horse can get used to it, and after a minute or so raise the power output to the desired value.

Treatment is to be performed by massaging the areas to treat with the hand probe transducers in direct contact with the horse hair. Slide the hand probe while applying some pressure on it, using both circular and linear movements. Always move the hand probe, never keep the hand probe still on one spot.

As a general rule, treatments of muscle conditions should be performed on alternate days; treatments of joint conditions should be performed either on alternate days or once every three days (depending on the type and severity of the pathology to treat); treatments of calcifications should be performed for the first week once every other day, for the second week once every three days and for the subsequent weeks once every five days.

It is important to wait between one treatment and the other to allow time for the horse body to perform its own repair processes, which have been stimulated by the ultrasound treatment.

Please keep in mind that in 20 minutes you will be able to properly treat a surface area equal to a letter size piece of paper (8.5” x 11”). Therefore for larger areas you need to adjust treatment time accordingly.

Flat hand probes were conceived to treat flat areas, while concave hand probes were conceived to treat smaller rounded areas, since the concave shape allows better coupling on rounded surfaces. In any case you should always try to have the best possible adhesion between the hand probe and the area to treat, since air does not allow ultrasound propagation: this is the reason why you need to make sure there is always gel between the hand probe and horse hair.

Red hand probes (continuous emission) were conceived to treat pathologies where the use of heat is particularly indicated, while silver hand probes (pulsed emission) were conceived to treat conditions where heat is undesirable, but could still benefit from ultrasound non-thermal mechanical effects.

The slower you move the hand probe, the deeper the ultrasound effects.
The faster you move the hand probe, the more superficial the ultrasound effects.
More pressure on the hand probe equals to deeper ultrasound effects.
Less pressure on the hand probe equals to more superficial ultrasound effects.

Concave hand probes have deeper and more powerful effects than flat hand probes (providing they are all set at the same power output, moved at the same speed and applied with the same pressure), because of the concave shape of the transducers, which focalizes the ultrasound output.

Make sure that the patient does not suffer from any of the conditions listed in “Contraindications”.

CAUTION: Federal Law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.