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Effect of cold compress application on tissue temperature in healthy dogs

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 4 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Abstract

Objective—To measure the effect of cold compress application on tissue temperature in healthy dogs.

Animals—10 healthy mixed-breed dogs.

Procedures—Dogs were sedated with hydromorphone (0.1 mg/kg, IV) and diazepam (0.25 mg/kg, IV). Three 24-gauge thermocouple needles were inserted to a depth of 0.5 (superficial), 1.0 (middle), and 1.5 (deep) cm into a shaved, lumbar, epaxial region to measure tissue temperature. Cold (–16.8°C) compresses were applied with gravity dependence for periods of 5, 10, and 20 minutes. Tissue temperature was recorded before compress application and at intervals for up to 80 minutes after application. Control data were collected while dogs received identical sedation but with no cold compress.

Results—Mean temperature associated with 5 minutes of application at the superficial depth was significantly decreased, compared with control temperatures. Application for 10 and 20 minutes significantly reduced the temperature at all depths, compared with controls and 5 minutes of application. Twenty minutes of application significantly decreased temperature at only the middle depth, compared with 10 minutes of application.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—With this method of cold treatment, increasing application time from 10 to 20 minutes caused a further significant temperature change at only the middle tissue depth; however, for maximal cooling, the minimum time of application should be 20 minutes. Possible changes in tissue temperature and adverse effects of application > 20 minutes require further evaluation.

Abstract

Objective—To measure the effect of cold compress application on tissue temperature in healthy dogs.

Animals—10 healthy mixed-breed dogs.

Procedures—Dogs were sedated with hydromorphone (0.1 mg/kg, IV) and diazepam (0.25 mg/kg, IV). Three 24-gauge thermocouple needles were inserted to a depth of 0.5 (superficial), 1.0 (middle), and 1.5 (deep) cm into a shaved, lumbar, epaxial region to measure tissue temperature. Cold (–16.8°C) compresses were applied with gravity dependence for periods of 5, 10, and 20 minutes. Tissue temperature was recorded before compress application and at intervals for up to 80 minutes after application. Control data were collected while dogs received identical sedation but with no cold compress.

Results—Mean temperature associated with 5 minutes of application at the superficial depth was significantly decreased, compared with control temperatures. Application for 10 and 20 minutes significantly reduced the temperature at all depths, compared with controls and 5 minutes of application. Twenty minutes of application significantly decreased temperature at only the middle depth, compared with 10 minutes of application.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—With this method of cold treatment, increasing application time from 10 to 20 minutes caused a further significant temperature change at only the middle tissue depth; however, for maximal cooling, the minimum time of application should be 20 minutes. Possible changes in tissue temperature and adverse effects of application > 20 minutes require further evaluation.

Contributor Notes

Drs. Millard and Towle-Millard's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Presented in abstract form at the 10th Annual Society of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery Scientific Meeting, Keystone, Colo, June 2011.

The authors thank Kathy Shike for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Millard (rmdvm@hotmail.com).