CLASS IV LASER THERAPY
We can proudly say at West Coast Veterinary Clinic that we are pioneers of Class IV Laser Treatment in New Zealand.
After almost 2 years of extensive use of Laser Therapy and successful treatment of more than 2000 dogs and cats for various condition it can be easily said that we specialized in laser therapy for small animals.
Conditions that we treated successfully were:
all kind of wounds and degloving injuries
pyotraumatic dermatitis (â€śhot spotsâ€ť)
cat bite abscess
post surgical pain relief and healing
degenerative joint disease
intervertebral disc disease
acute and chronic pain
lower urinary tract disease in cats
and many more
To some, the word "Laser" suggests missile defense systems and warring science-fiction space ships. Others think of laser light shows at rock concerts. Still others may think of some lasers' capability to cut and weld steel, or to scan the bar code on products at the grocery store, or to print a crisp image on a piece of paper.
Not only can lasers perform all of these all tasks, they also have created remarkable medical breakthroughs, such as their use for vision correction and precision surgery. Another type of laser, commonly called a "Therapy Laser" has the proven ability to reduce pain, speed healing, and to reduce inflammation. This technology is now available to treat pets.
The word laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers differ one from the other in two important ways: the wavelength of light that they produce, and the power of the light that they produce. In medical applications, different wavelengths affect living tissue in different ways. For example, ophthalmologists use one wavelength of laser light to make fine incisions on the surface of the eye, and another wavelength of laser light to harmlessly transmit through the eye to treat the retina.
When the beam of laser energy causes a chemical change in the body, this is called a photochemical effect. Therapy laser light stimulates the mitochondria within the cells to help tissues heal. Scientists call this "photobiomodulation". A cascade of beneficial effects then takes place at the cellular level which accelerates blood flow, heals tissue, and reduces pain.
Veterinarians are applying this technology every day to treat their patients that are in pain, or that have an injury or a wound that they would like to heal more quickly. For pets who have had surgery, or who have had a traumatic injury, the laser is used to speed healing. For surgical patients, this is a simple, quick treatment immediately after surgery along the incision.
Laser therapy is an excellent way to assist older pets who often have aches or pains and have decreased mobility. Chronic conditions and degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis respond well to laser treatment. More severe cases often require a series of treatments to realize the full benefits of laser therapy. Laser treatments are drug free, which is especially important with patients who may suffer side-effects from medications.
Any pet that is in pain or discomfort is a candidate for relief with a therapy laser.
WHAT DOEAS IT DO?
Infrared laser light from therapy lasers harmlessly penetrates deep into tissues where it is absorbed in the cells, and this energy is converted into chemical, not thermal, energy. In athletic environments, therapy lasers are primarily used to reduce swelling, reduce pain, and speed the healing process. These mechanisms allow us to successfully treat a wide range of conditions non-invasively and without drugs.
Laser therapy speeds healing, so we can routinely treat injuries with the laser, as well as treating patients immediately after surgery so incisions heal more quickly. Studies indicate that laser-treated wounds heal in a third to a half faster than the time required in normal healing. A single laser treatment is usually all that is required for post-surgical patients to reduce swelling and to speed healing. Skin wounds, abrasions, bite injuries, dermatitis, and burns all respond well to laser therapy.
Acute conditions may require more than a single treatment, but also respond well to laser therapy. Because laser therapy laser can be administered without touching the painful area, we are able to provide immediate pain relief and edema control to very sensitive tissues.
Laser therapy also reduces inflammation by increasing vasodilation, activating the lymphatic drainage system, and reducing pro-inflammatory mediators. As a result, inflammation, erythema, bruising, and edema are all reduced when treated with laser. This is especially important for conditions where anti-inflammatory medications are risky for the patient because of the patientâ€™s age, liver health, or species. Laser therapy is a drug-free treatment modality that can often replace or enhance other treatment plans recommended by your veterinarian.
A benefit of the more modern, higher-powered therapeutic lasers, like the Companion Therapy Laser, is that adequate dosages of laser energy, or photons, can be painlessly and efficiently delivered to deeper tissues. This is a huge benefit in treating chronic conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, back disease or injury, and degenerative joint diseases. Geriatric patients often suffer from one or more of these painful problems, as well the aches and pains that come naturally with aging. There thousands of reports of pets who were lame and inactive who return to normal, or almost normal function after laser therapy. More chronic and more severe cases may require multiple treatment sessions to fully benefit.
We are also using therapeutic lasers to stimulate muscle and acupuncture points painlessly and without needles.
WHAT DOES CLASS IV LASER THERAPY ACCOMPLISH?
Laser therapy reduces pain, reduces inflammation and accelerate healing.
How does it reduce pain?
Through its effect on nerve cells and nociceptors, increased stimulation thresholds, reduced neuronal impulses, and increased release of tissue endorphins, pain perception is decreased.
How does it reduce inflammation?
Inflammation is reduced by decreasing release of prostaglandins and inflammatory mediators, by increasing macrophage activity and leukocyte phagocytosis, and, by reducing edema through dilation of lymphatics.
How does it accelerate healing?
Healing is accelerated by increased blood flow from vasodilation, by increased angiogenesis and capillary production, by increased release of cytokines, and by stimulation of fibroblast activity and collagen production.
How do I treat patients with Class IV laser therapy?
The laser hand piece is moved in a scanning motion over the affected tissue. Treatments take 3-5 minutes for each affected area. Patients tolerate treatments very well, experiencing a gentle and pleasant warming sensation in the tissue. Most patients relax as treatments are administered.
CASE 1 Dog fight
Image above shows day 1 and day 5 after 2 laser treatments
CASE 2 - Wound dehiscence after tumor removal
Image above shows day 1 and day 5 after 2 laser treatments
Image above shows day 10 after 5 laser treatments, and day 16 after 8 treatments
CASE 3 - Severe allergy licking paws
Image above shows day 1 after one laser treatment, and day 5 check up
GIVE US A CALL TO SEE HOW YOUR PET CAN BENEFIT FROM LASER TREATMENT.