Tech Talk – Why Are We Forgetting to Ice in the Veterinary Field?

Cold Compression

Tech Talk – Why Are We Forgetting to Ice in the Veterinary Field?

  • May 21 2024
  • Admin

Tech Talk with Brooke and Trista Blog Header


Over the past nine months we have started a new journey in our lives, we left part of our passion behind in clinical practice to try something new that was close to our hearts. Walking into veterinary clinics every day and learning how each practice operates, we have shockingly learned that a lot of clinics sadly no longer ice their patients after most procedures.

Our first question is, “Why did this animal need a certain procedure? Was it because they were injured, thus causing them pain?” Well, in the human world we all know what we turn to first to relieve pain and swelling – ice. If any of you have ever had any type of injury or surgery, the moment you sprain your ankle or come out of anesthesia, you wake up to a cold feeling because you are being iced or are instructed to continue icing yourself.

If we ice ourselves to relieve pain and/or inflammation, why are we forgetting this simple step with our pets? Ice has a local anesthetic effect to reduce pain and can be considered one of the easiest and least expensive methods to help our pets post-surgery or injury due to a sprain or strain.

Again, we ask, if we ice ourselves to relieve pain and/or inflammation why are we forgetting this simple step with our pets? The number one reason we see this happening is due to time. Many of the clinics we see are small with only one to three technicians. And really, who has time to stand still for twenty minutes holding a bag of ice on a cruciate repair when the waiting room is filling up with appointments or pet owners are waiting on medications to be sent home? We all know that there are always other things to do besides standing around holding ice for twenty minutes, but are we forgetting how important that simple task is in benefiting our patients?

Instead of avoiding the task we should be considering another modality that will allow us the ease of incorporating that protocol back into our practices, such as a portable cold compression unit. Because this device attaches directly to the area that is being treated and has a pre-set twenty minute time limit, it will free you up from having to sit there and hold the ice in place during the treatment. By occasionally checking on the patient while the cold compression is being used, you can get those take-home medications ready or clean the surgical instruments that were just used. Cold compressioneliminates the typical micromanagement involved with icing while improving the standard of care for your patients.

Meet the Authors:

Trista M. Zink, Product Specialist – I have always had a passion for all animals, but my strongest passion is for horses and dogs.  I grew up showing horses (mostly the quarter horse circuit and some USEF) competing in everything from showmanship to equitation over fences, and also competed with Jack Russells in go-to-ground and agility. I started working in vet clinics at the age of 14, cleaning stalls and kennels, and basically doing whatever I could to help. Knowing I wanted to continue working in the veterinary industry, I studied to become a technician, where I developed an interest in lameness/pain management and reproduction. After graduation, I successfully managed a 5-doctor practice until I was offered a wonderful opportunity to work at Companion Animal Health. I now pride myself on educating clinics on different types of pain management protocols they can integrate into their practice.

Brooke Clark, Product Specialist – I became a vet tech in 2011 and worked in general practice for 5 years before joining the Companion Animal Health team. I have always had a passion for veterinary rehabilitation, and now I am able to pursue that passion everyday by introducing practices to the wide range of rehabilitation products that Companion has to offer. When I am not focused on improving clinical outcomes for veterinary practices, I enjoy singing and spending time with my husband and 3 dogs.