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What is Therapeutic Ultrasound?

Therapeutic ultrasound in cats is the act of promoting chemical, mechanical and thermal effects on tissue to promote healing. The ultrasonic device produces sound waves that are the result of applying an electric current to a crystal, which causes the crystal to vibrate. The vibrations are collaborated to a specific frequency to create continuous pressure waves within the head of the ultrasound probe. The therapeutic ultrasound’s energy is strong enough to pass through the skin and target the tissues. The goal of therapeutic ultrasound treatments in cats is to promote healing, speed healing, and decrease swelling and pain. Therapeutic ultrasound treatments are administered by a licensed veterinarian who has been trained how to use the therapeutic ultrasound device. 

Therapeutic Ultrasound Procedure in Cats

Therapeutic ultrasound in cats will begin with a physical examination and a review of the feline’s medical history. Your cat will likely have radiographs and/or an ultrasounds of the affected area before proceeding with the therapeutic ultrasound treatment. Using imaging tools will both allow the veterinarian to identify the affected area and find a focal point to direct the therapy. The veterinarian will then discuss the treatment plan and consult the cat owner in regards to their expectations from the treatment. 

Therapeutic ultrasound treatments do not require the cat to be sedated, but restraint will be necessary. The cat’s hair will absorb the sonic devise’s vibrations, so the hair above the affected area will need to be shaved. An ultrasound gel will be applied to the cat’s skin allowing the ultrasound head to pass easily over the skin in a steady, circulatory motion. 

Efficacy of Therapeutic Ultrasound in Cats

Therapeutic ultrasound in cats is highly effective in reducing pain, and decreasing inflammation and swelling, as well as speeding up the healing process. Therapeutic ultrasound treatments do not require sedation, so cat owners do not need to worry about anesthetic risks and, because ultrasound treatments release endorphins, felines usually feel relaxed after the session. Therapeutic ultrasound treatments are fast-acting and the majority of felines will show signs of improvement in 12-24 hours following treatment. 

Therapeutic Ultrasound Recovery in Cats

The average length of a therapeutic ultrasound session for felines lasts about ten to twenty minutes, after which the feline can return home. Cats are usually treated two to three times a week until the condition is resolved. Your veterinarian will likely pair the therapeutic ultrasound treatment with medications and condition management. 

Cost of Therapeutic Ultrasound in Cats

The average cost of a feline therapeutic ultrasound session is $30-$40, but can cost pet owners up to $65 per treatment depending on the feline’s needs. The total cost of the therapeutic ultrasound treatment will depend on the number of treatment received, the length of the treatment, and if any diagnostic examinations were performed. 

Cat Therapeutic Ultrasound Considerations

Therapeutic ultrasound in cats should not be used over orthopedic implants or bone plates, such as total hip replacements. If your cat is pregnant, has a known tumor or has undergone open spine surgery, therapeutic ultrasound treatments are not recommended for your cat. The ultrasonic device cannot be used over the skull, eyes or testicles, if the feline is still an intact male. 

Therapeutic Ultrasound Prevention in Cats

The need for a therapeutic ultrasound can be prevented by simply keeping your cat safe and healthy. Many conditions treated with therapeutic ultrasound can be prevented by following a balanced diet and visiting the veterinarian on a routine basis. Other chronic conditions, however, are difficult to prevent as the underlying cause of these feline health conditions are unknown.