Cold therapy is helpful for horses with musculoskeletal injuries, especially of the limbs.
When an injury occurs, an early goal of therapy is to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. Cold therapy is an important part of that. It has maximal effects if applied as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours of injury). Ice and very cold water constricts blood vessels. This slows bleeding into the tissues, and decreases swelling, inflammation, and pain. Ice also slows the inflammatory process and thus the formation of mediator molecules of pain and swelling.
Research has shown that commercial cold packs are easy to use and convenient but ice water immersion is the only treatment method where ideal tissue temperature levels were achieved.
This Treatment Might be used for a horse exhibiting these signsRelated Observations
Related DiagnosesThis Treatment Might Be Used for these Diagnoses
Know Related Treatments
Consider Potential Side Effects & Complications
Long term application of cold or excessively cold temperatures can damage tissues.
Consider Reasons Not To Use This Treatment
If the wound is already more than 3 days old, cold therapy can impede healing by slowing down the metabolism of the healing tissue.
Is It working? Timeframe for effect
The affect of cold should be seen within minutes to hours, reduced swelling and pain at the site of injury.
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