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Laser Therapy

Different wavelengths and outputs of low-level light are applied directly to a targeted area

Laser Therapy

Different wavelengths and outputs of low-level light are applied directly to a targeted area

Class 4 Laser

Low Level Laser therapy has been available for several years in the medical field for the treatment of pain, wound healing, musculoskeletal conditions and as an alternative to needles in acupuncture. The same physiological effects are utilized in animal therapy to provide an effective way to improve the healing of:

 

  • Wounds
  • Soft tissue & muscular injuries
  • Tendon & ligament problems

 

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How does it work?

The laser uses different wavelengths and pulsing frequencies of light to stimulate the cells involved in the body’s own healing process. Laser therapy enhances endorphin release which together with its ability to suppress C-fibre activity can be used in pain management. Finally the capability to stimulate acupuncture points allows treatment of conditions by acupuncture.

Low lever laser makes a real difference in both the speed and quality of wound healing, particularly where the healing is delayed. Low level laser can relieve pain in all manners of conditions from arthritic joints to skin disorders.

Laser can be used on its own or in conjunction with conventional veterinary treatment. It is safe, non-invasive, painless and free from side effects. An advantage of laser therapy is that it is drug-free which is especially useful in cases where certain drugs are contra-indicated or cannot be tolerated by the individual animal.

Laser Therapy – Does it help?

Simply, yes.

Background

Our 8 year Old springer/lab cross (‘springador’) has been suffering from arthritic hip joints for about the last 3 years. His condition has been relatively well managed with a daily dose of an anti-inflammatory medication. Whilst this has been satisfactory in most respects, it becomes concerning in how this continuous use will impact the health of his internal organs in the longer term. Additionally, does the long term use eventually diminish the efficacy of the medication as the condition becomes more chronic?

Consultation

To address these concerns, I contacted Glenbrae to discuss if and how laser therapy may be beneficial. The consultation was extremely informative and it was fully explained that the health outcomes vary from one animal to another. Toby was given a full examination and the vet said that she felt that Toby would be a good candidate for laser therapy. We agreed a suitable treatment plan on the understanding that the plan may need to be adjusted (or even discontinued) depending on outcomes achieved.

Treatment Delivery

Initially, Toby received 2 sessions per week for the first 3 weeks. From around the 3 – 4th session I noticed an improvement in his mobility and there were no side effects noted. The laser therapy sessions were in tandem with his existing medication regime. The mobility continued to improve over the initial 6 sessions.

Following the initial treatment plan it was agreed that, because of the progress, the sessions could now be dropped to 1 per week. The medication remained at its prescribed level. Over time, the period between sessions stretched to 10 days and now is at 2 weeks which I think is probably the correct level. More interestingly, perhaps, is that the anti-inflammatory medication dosage has reduced from 17mg daily to 12mg daily.

I was fortunate to be able to witness (and assist) a few of the sessions. It was clear that Toby was fully relaxed throughout the session to the extent that he ‘dropped off’ on a couple of occasions. At no time did he appear in any way distressed.

Outcome and outlook

Toby has seemed more mobile over the course of his treatments. For the first time in a number of years he has been able to jump on the settees at home unassisted. We have also changed his exercise regime to both reduce the length of his walks and ensured that his walks (daily) are on terrain that does not challenge his joints too severely. We have reduced the daily dose of his anti- inflammatory with no noticeable negative effect. The improvement in his condition is both better and faster than anticipated.

It is important to understand that laser therapy is not a cure: it is a pain management technique that will have to be maintained at a level that the arthritic condition requires. That level may change as the dog ages or the condition becomes more chronic so that must be taken into consideration over the longer term.

  • Fentons Story
  • Kias Story

Fentons Story

I highly recommend Glenbrae Veterinary Clinic. I am a recent veterinary graduate from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School, and have spent a considerable amount of time at various small animal clinics as part of the course requirements. Glenbrae is far and away the most progressive clinic in which I trained. All the veterinarians and nurses are up to date with new treatments and protocols. They have diagnostic tools and services that many other clinics don’t have, such as, dental x-ray, which is an invaluable aid in providing the best dental care treatments, as well as, an ultrasound veterinary specialist at the clinic twice a week. Not only do they provide the most state-of-the-art conventional medicine, but, they also practice holistic medicine which includes alternative therapies, such as, acupuncture, laser therapy, and physiotherapy.

After spending three weeks at the clinic as part of my veterinary course, I decided to have my own dog, Fenton treated there. He had recently had his toe amputated at his old vets and then got diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called progressive cutaneous angiomatosis. The surgical site would not heal despite 7+ weeks of traditional wound management: rest, Manuka honey on the wound, bandaging, antibiotics, pain killers and then towards the end trying to get it to heal by going bandage free. Nothing was working and I was tremendously distressed, especially, since the veterinarian treating him postulated that his condition was preventing the area from healing and concluded that his prognosis for recovery was not good!

The holistic specialist and clinic owner, Wendy, saw Fenton. She is brilliant. She prescribed a topical holistic cream to use on the non-healing wound, a homeopathic tablet for healing and low intensity laser therapy at the wound site 2-3 times per week to promote healing. I was astonished and thrilled with the results! The low intensity laser treatment worked so well, that significant healing could be seen in just four days! I have included before and after pictures below.

Kias Story

Kia is a lovely 3yr old crossbreed.​

Unfortunately a week before Christmas, Kia was out running around and cut the inside of her thigh. Her owners took her to VetsNow emergency clinic and was found to have an extensive wound with little skin left to close. The wound was sutured but unfortunately opened up again. Kia was seen back at Glenbrae and we resutured but Kia was left with a large deficit to heal by itself.

Wounds take time to heal and Kia being a lively young dog was very keen to get back to running around and we decided to use our new Laser to speed up the healing. Every 4 days Kia faithfully came back to the clinic for her Laser therapy. It doesn’t hurt at all and Kia enjoys all the attention and tummy rubs she gets from the staff. Every time we see her back we are astonished by her progress.

Now after 6 weeks of treatment Kia is back to her normal walks. Her wound is now a small 5mm scab and is looking fabulous.

Well Done Kia x