Tag Archive for: electrotherapy

TENS is the acronym for (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), which stands for transcutaneous electrical stimulation. It is the most used electric current in analgesia for its safety, its comfort for the patient and its excellent results.

For its correct application we must take into account the following parameters: From 3-4Hz (up to 10) and high amplitude 250μs or more we will act on the stimulation of the secretion of endorphins.

The device should work between 25 and 30 minutes at a very high intensity, we must clearly see the muscle contractions. The effect can reach up to 24 hours. From 10-20Hz and an approximate amplitude of 250μs we will be generating a muscle recreation, increase in muscle trophism.


We would work about 15-20 minutes at a medium intensity, seeing some muscle contraction.

Between 80 and 100Hz and an amplitude of 100-150μs we would be working in the ideal way to treat localized pain in a knee, elbow, etc … it is what we call “conventional TENS”. In this case and to do local “sedation” we must work at least 20 minutes and we can leave the Tens up to a few hours. The intensity is low, without fasciculations or contractions in the skin and the effect is short from the end of the application.

We must monitor “the habit”, regularly raise the intensity or slightly modify the amplitude without leaving the parameters. There are devices that allow an amplitude modulation that decreases the habit.

To treat according to the “localized pain” we have placed the electrodes in the area of pain regardless of the tissue that is under the electrodes, on the contrary to treat dogs looking for the effect of “stimulation of endorphins” we must put them on beams of large muscle groups since we will stimulate the musculature looking for the contraction of this and it will be much more comfortable and effective if we do it on a large muscle beam.

When we must achieve muscle contractions we will place an electrode proximally and another distal, but within the muscle group we want to treat. Do not put the “positive” Red and the “negative” Black always in the same location, but symmetrical and never crossed. For use in dogs we recommend rubber electrodes and contact gel, since silicone electrodes, widely used in humans, will lose their adhesive capacity and part of the conductivity very quickly.

There are complete packs on the market to perform electrostimulation in dogs.

Watch video of electrotherapy in dogs

Toni Ramon
Baner silla 728x90

x-ray dog with fractures

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Disc herniation is a neurological disease that affects the spine, when part of the intervertebral disc presses on or enters the spinal cord.

The dog has 7 cervical vertebrae, 13 thoracic, 7 lumbar, 3 sacral and, depending on the breed, 20-23 tail vertebrae. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae that make up the spine and at the same time give it its mobility.

Two types of hernia and their symptoms

It mainly differentiates between two types of disc herniation: Protrusion and Discus Extrusion.

We speak of a Protrusion when the intervertebral disc moves and thus presses on the spinal cord but the spinal cord tissue is intact. The dog shows pain, walks awkwardly, sometimes with a hunched back and may drag its legs a little.

Extrusion means that the disc tissue has ruptured and disc material has entered and damaged the medulla. In this case the symptoms can be similar to that of the Protrusion but more serious. Depending on the location of the hernia, it causes paralysis of the forelimbs and/or hindlimbs. The dog loses sensitivity in those extremities, which manifests itself in the absence of pain, does not stand up and begins to crawl. It may also look like incontinence.

The most important thing in these cases is the rapid diagnosis and intervention of the veterinarian!!

A slight Protrusion can be treated with medication and almost absolute rest, however an Extrusion has to be operated to remove the disc material from the marrow.

But beware – each case of disc herniation is different and depends a lot on its location, to what degree it has pressed or damaged the spinal cord and how long it has been between the first symptom and diagnosis. That is why it is very important to choose a good neurologist.

Physiotherapy – recovery

In both cases, physiotherapy is very important for a good and faster recovery of the animal.

Various massage methods help stimulate the peripheral system and increase blood circulation. Passive joint movement prevents loss of mobility in affected limbs. Electrotherapy stops muscle atrophy and is the only passive way to increase muscle mass.

When the dog is already standing, several active exercises are applied to improve stability, balance and coordination.

The owner must take great care with the feeding of his dog during recovery and consult the veterinarian, since the loss of mobility and the same amount of food lead to weight gain – something that should be avoided in any case. Every extra gram makes it more difficult for the dog to get up and walk again.

In the event of a cervical hernia, the use of a harness is recommended to avoid sudden movements in this area and also to raise the food and water bowls so that the dog does not have to bend down too much.

andrea klein

animal physiotherapist

Collaborator of Ortocanis.com