The idea of using electricity on your pet in the form of electro-stim may initially seem frightening. After all, electricity can be very dangerous, and even mild electrical shocks can be painful. However, there's nothing to fear from electro-stim, and there are many ways that your pet may benefit. Keep reading to learn more about electro-stim, how it works, and why you don't need to be afraid of it.
What Electro-Stim Is Used For
Electrical stimulation or electro-stim is medically referred to as neuromuscular electrical stimulation. This type of therapy is something that a pet may never need in their lives, but should they need it, it has a very useful function.
Electro-stim helps an animal's muscles to stay strong and healthy while they're ill or injured. When muscles aren't used for a long period of time, they begin to weaken and atrophy. In addition to making this difficult or painful to get back on the feet once they're well, it can also lead to other problems, like decreased circulation, blood clots, or pain. When appropriate, electro-stim can help to prevent all of these problems and keep your pet healthy.
How Electro-Stim Works
The use of electricity in electrical stimulation isn't the same thing as electrocuting your pet. Electro-stim works via a medical device that can be finely tuned to deliver the amount of electricity needed, which is funneled through a wire to a medical pad. The pad is attached to your pet's skin over nerves that are attached to the weakening muscle, and minute electrical currents activate the nerve, causing the muscle to flex.
If that still sounds worrisome to you, think of it this way: electro-stim is another way of triggering muscles involuntarily, like when you have your reflexes checked. When your reflexes are checked, your doctor strikes your knee or elbow in a precise point that sends a signal to the nerve, triggering the attached muscle. Electro-stim works the same way, but with minor electrical current instead of a physical strike.
Most pets don't experience any discomfort at all while they're having this procedure performed. Initially there may be some minor discomfort as the weak muscles begin to convulse, but as they become stronger, it won't hurt any more than using the limb normally would.
If your pet is injured or ill and can't get any exercise while they recover, electrical stimulation is an effective way to keep their body from becoming weak. Rest assured that your veterinarian knows what they're doing and has chosen this as the most appropriate course of action for your pet's well-being. To find out more, speak with a business like Downing Center For Animal Pain Management.