dog hip dysplasia signs and treatment

How Heat Therapy Works for Surgery, Injury, and Arthritis in Dogs

Easy and effective, heat therapy can bring your happy dog back and ease pain associated with surgery, injury, exercise and dog arthritis!
dog hip dysplasia signs and treatment1.What is heat therapy?

Heat always boosts blood circulation, soothes muscles and relieves pain. It works best for morning stiffness or warming up before exercise. Compared with cold therapy, which commonly used for reducing swelling and pain during the initial 72 hours, heat therapy is applied after the initial swelling and inflammation stage of an injury.
Meanwhile, Heat therapy is widely used for ongoing conditions such as canine arthritis. It not only helps to increase range of motion by reducing stiffness, but also can lower stress and reduce feelings of anxiety!

2.Where to apply heat therapy?

Heat therapy commonly works for joints: hips, knees and ankles in the hind legs; shoulders, elbows and wrists in the front legs, especially for dogs with arthritis and hip dysplasia. Actually, for anywhere muscle damage or spasm occurs, heat can be applied to any part of your dog’s body.
In case a dog have disc problem in the back, heat therapy can help relieve muscle spasms.

3.What is used for heat therapies?

As you can see in local pharmacies and sporting goods stores, you can find different kinds of commercial heating devices, electric heated blankets and knee panels. Be sure to follow the instructions to avoid overheating. Alternatively, you can resort to a homemade rice heating pad, fill the sock with the uncooked rice and tie the open end of the sock with the piece of string. Put the rice-filled sock in the microwave to your desired temperature. In addition, the time would depend on your oven. To ensure the heat is distributed evenly, shake it for a little while before applying the DIY heating pad on your dog.
(NOTE: Check with your vet before you use any form of heat therapy on your pet.)

4.What are the risks of heat therapy?

Safety is always the first priority! The biggest risk of applying heat therapy to a dog would be burning the skin. You should set the heating device to a warm and comfortable temperature, while not hot.
For avoiding burning, remember to put a thin towel between the heating device and your dog’s skin! Do not apply the heating device directly to your dog’s skin!
Just as testing a baby’s bottle temperature, test the heating device temperature on your inner wrist for 30 seconds before using it on your dog.

5.How to apply heat therapy appropriately?

If your dog just has surgery, an injury or finish intense exercise, remember to apply cold therapy for the first 3 days and then turn to heat therapy.
Recommended with heat therapy, you may receive a similar usage from your veterinarian as listed below:

  • Apply the heating device on the affected area for 15 minutes, or until the skin feels warm to touch
  • Try heat therapy every 6 to 8 hours

For dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia, heat therapy can be applied daily to relieve pain and it will make your doggies feel comfortable.

heat therapy coat for dogs with arthritis waterproof heated brace for dogs with arthritis

How soothing the treatment would be? You may notice your dog fall asleep during the heat therapy process. Stop the treatment immediately and contact your veterinarian once your dog shows any abnormal signs of discomfort during the therapy, such as biting or growling.
As a simple yet effective way to help your dog feel better after surgery, injuries or exercise, heat therapy will bring relaxation, comfort and happiness to you and your dog.

Seek your veterinarian’s advice:

  • Should I apply heat therapy on my dog?
  • Which heating device should I use on my dog?
  • When & how to use it?

In case of any questions or concerns, you should always consult your veterinarian to ensure wellness of you dogs.