California Riding Magazine • November, 2014

Wearable ultrasound device brings effective healing method to everyday horse owners.

Smaller, portable and more affordable. That's been the trend in technology for some time: think computers and cell phones, etc. So why not in veterinary care? Those ideas have come to the fore in UltrOZ™, a wearable therapeutic ultrasound device distributed by Hamilton BioVet.

"It's kind of a no-brainer," says Hamilton BioVet's Cazzy Smith. "It's low intensity ultrasound therapy that's easy to use and safe." The low intensity delivery and an automatic shut-off feature make it safe to use. "You can't overdo it," she explains.

Best of all, it works. Splints, suspensory ligaments and tendon injuries, muscle strains, joint stiffness, arthritis and bone fractures are among the conditions for which UltrOZ can be a big help in the healing process. Field tested by vets and equine therapists, the device delivers deep targeted healing and can be administered for over five hours without close supervision. Horses can be treated while standing in their stall or in the crossties, for rehabilitation or before and after workouts when used as a part of a maintenance program for performance horses.

"Reaction has been great," says Cazzy. "These days people have become so knowledgeable about their own horse's health care." Like some of her colleagues at UltrOZ's distributor Hamilton BioVet, she's heavily involved in the eventing community and response has been especially strong in that camp. The Horse Nation and Eventing Nation websites have done a lot to spread enthusiasm for the product and UltrOZ's effectiveness has created fans across all disciplines. Show jumper Margie Engle and dressage star Arlene Page are among the product's many equestrian endorsers and the list of veterinarians and therapists is growing every day.

Sales of the units have gone mostly to individuals who own a few to several horses. In many other cases, veterinarians have purchased several units and they lease them out to clients.

Ultrasound therapy has been in existence for a long time, even though many still think of the technology within the diagnostic imaging context. As a therapeutic modality, it works by sending a compression wave that "exerts a physical force on the tissue, blood, vessels and bones," explains the UltrOZ website. The wave produces beneficial deep heating and also increases circulation and flexibility in the targeted area by "pushing/pulling nutrients through the cellular structures." The cellular environment this creates is great for recovering from work and/or healing from an injury. The ability to apply the treatments for several hours at a stretch means those benefits are sustained, which typically speeds healing.

The Low Intensity Therapeutic Ultrasound (LITUS) unit is sold with two neoprene wraps to treat the desired area and ultrasound gel. Application is as simple as placing the unit near the targeted area on the leg and turning the unit on.

Although the UltrOZ is not designed for humans, it is FDA approved and a version meant for people is due to arrive soon. Most likely, that will be big hit, too.

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