A veterinary perspective
Why Hydrotherapy Works for Leg Injuries in Horses.
Traditionally horses were stood in cold running streams or walked in the sea as an aid to the treatment and prevention of leg problems and, today, cold hosing is a standard modality for cooling down horses after exercise.
Sea water in particular with its high salt content has an anti-inflammatory effect which facilitates healing and helps guard against injury. However, the temperature may not normally be sufficiently cold enough to affect the structures most often involved in injury.
To properly understand how Equine Spa low temperature hydrotherapy works we need to review how the body reacts to the trauma of strains, cuts and bruises.
When soft tissue is injured through a cut, tear or by concussive trauma the body releases enzymes and proteins causing the blood vessel walls in that vicinity to dilate and become more porous.
Lymphocytes are directed to the site of the trauma passing through the porous membranes and entering the injured tissues to begin fighting the infection. The extra fluids, carrying the oxygen and proteins for tissue repair, pool around the injured area causing edema or swelling which helps to immobilize the injury. Tissue damage also triggers the secretion of hormones which cause much of the pain the horse feels in order to prevent overuse of the affected limb. Additionally, the increased blood flow to the site of the injury results in a rise in temperature in the tissues in that vicinity.
The three main symptoms of inflammation, namely pain, heat, and swelling, occur in varying degrees depending on the site, nature, and severity of the injury.
The downside of inflammation is that it may rage out of control and hinder the healing process resulting in secondary tissue damage or hypoxic injury, which can compound the problem. In addition, blood vessels in the area are put under increasing pressure by the fluid build-up, thereby slowing down the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid.
The safest way to break the destructive cycle of secondary cell injury and excess swelling is to use the horse’s circulatory system to sweep away excess fluids that have collected in the tissues.
While anti-inflammatory agents such as butte reduce swelling and heat, they may also mask pain confusing the diagnostic picture. Also, the use of corticosteroids to control heat and inflammation may have the disadvantage of shutting down the whole healing process.
The two natural ways of encouraging the dispersal of excess fluids are the application of heat or cold. Heat, however, is not normally applied to an acute injury which leaves us with cold.
Available Solutions & Disadvantages
Equine Spa (one horse at a time)
Though there are various models of Equine Spas available in the market (which had to be exclusively imported) with very less / no support available locally, and will cater for only one horse at a time.
Comparing to number of horses subjected to hydrotherapy in this part of the world, Equine spa will be an inappropriate choice…
Purpose Built Equine Spa
Keeping in mind specific requirement of the region / client, a unique system to cater larger number of horses with very minimum/no wastage of precious time for entry / exit from the spa had been indigenously developed with inputs received from prominent Equestrian and working system (prototype) had been successfully installed and working satisfactorily.
Dedicated In-house team for system design and Automation Integration as per client’s requirement and project specification with flexible approach towards material sourcing and project implementation with continuous technical support for operations and project development