What is Laser Therapy?
Laser Therapy, or “photobiomodulation”, is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include accelerated tissue repair and healing, and reduction of pain and inflammation. Laser Therapy has been widely utilised in Europe by physical therapists, nurses and doctors as far back as the 1970s. After FDA clearance in 2002, Laser Therapy is being used extensively in the United States also.
Has effectiveness been demonstrated scientifically?
Yes. There are thousands of published studies demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of Laser Therapy. Among these, there are more than one hundred rigorously controlled, scientific studies that document the effectiveness of Laser Therapy for many clinical conditions.
Cellular Effects of Laser Therapy:
During Laser Therapy the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level, and metabolic activity increases within the cell, improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the increased production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health.
Laser Therapeutic Effects:
During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
What to Expect:
Only minimal restraint is required and there is no need for sedation. The experience is usually pleasant and comforting for the patient. Most pets do not need to have their hair clipped. Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, most patients require several treatments (3 to 8) for greatest benefit. For most conditions, we recommend a multi-visit treatment plan. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 2 to 8 minutes of actual treatment time. A majority of patients exhibit greater comfort and mobility within 12 to 24 hours after a laser treatment.
Class IV Laser Therapy treatments are cumulative in nature. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your pet’s condition. A sample treatment schedule is as follows:
- Every other day for one week (3 total)
- Twice the second week (2 total)
- Once the third week (1 total)
- Then boosters as needed – sometimes monthly (chronic conditions) – but depends on individual case
Your veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan specific to your pet’s condition
Numerous studies show that Laser Therapy can help with:
- Ligament Strains
- Tendon Strains
- Muscle Strains
- Edema and Congestion
- Hip Dysplasia
- Neck/Back Pain
- Post-Traumatic Injury
- Post-Surgical Pain
- Orthopaedic Surgical Recovery
- Puncture Wounds
- Chronic Wounds
Reintroduction to Activity
Laser Therapy can relieve pain, reduce swelling and increase range of motion. Often the patient will exhibit renewed energy and freedom of movement. Consult your veterinarian before your pet returns to full activity. A gradual introduction of activity may be suggested to ensure the patient does not aggravate the condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it hurt? What does treatment feel like? There is little or no sensation during treatment. Occasionally the patient feels mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.
Are there any side effects or associated risks? During more than twenty years of use by healthcare providers all over the world, very few side effects have ever been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment.
How long does each treatment take? The typical treatment time is 3 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated.
How often should a patient be treated? Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once every week or two as improvement is seen.
How many treatments does it take? This depends on the nature of the condition being treated, and the response from the patient. For some acute conditions 1-2 treatments may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 5 to 8 (or more) treatments. Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.
How long before the results are felt? Your pet may demonstrate improvement in their condition (usually pain reduction) after the first treatment. Sometimes they will not feel improvement for a number of treatments. This does not mean that nothing is happening. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 or 4 sessions.
Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment? Yes! Laser Therapy is often used with other forms of therapy, including physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage, soft tissue mobilisation, electrotherapy and following surgery. Other healing modalities are complementary and can be used with laser to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
With summer approaching, we decided it was a good time to alert our pet owners to the risk of heat stroke. Unlike people, most animals can’t sweat and have to lose excess heat through evaporation by panting. This makes it difficult for them to cool down and puts them at greater risk of heat stress on hot days and when doing strenuous exercise.
As our companion animals become older, you may start to notice the negative effects of osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a common condition causing inflammation, swelling, pain and discomfort in joints. There are many treatment options available to help control arthritis in our pets. If you think your pet may have osteoarthritis, please speak to your veterinarian. They can examine your animal, discuss your concerns, and work with you to put together a plan to help improve and manage the problems you are seeing.
Joint problems mainly occur in dogs, but some large breads of cats may also suffer. This article explores the causes, diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis, cruciate ligament rupture, hip dysplasia and medial luxating patella in pets.
Urinary incontinence in dogs can be very confronting and frustrating for dog owners. There are many causes ranging from physical problems resulting from injuries or illness to neurological problems, birth defects or old age.
Dogs and cats can suffer stomach and bowel problems ranging from diseases such as pancreatitis, to the ingestion of foreign objects and the build up of hair resulting in hair balls. Read about causes, symptoms and treatments for stomach and bowel issues.
"They all love animals"
Understanding that some couples who have kids and grandkids, treat their animals like people. Having well trained staff, who get to know us quickly, and who are always so nice, helpful and efficient. They do great follow up calls to monitor their patients, and if they say they will call back, they actually do call back. They love animals and are very involved with their work.
"You guys are simply the best"
Thank you for providing a cattery where our 2 cats have stayed several times, and get outstanding care. They come home each time so relaxed - none of this tail and nose in the air for 48 hours story. The result is we go away and have no worries about our cats.
"Always the best care for our fur babies"
I have always been a client of North Nowra Vets. Their care and compassion is so heartfelt. They care for my cats as if they were their own. Always available for emergency after hours calls. I also use the cattery when we go away and have never had a cat ignore me afterwards. We will remain a loyal customer at North Nowra Vets because they care.
"My best respect to all who are part of this team"
These vets, Cathy and Quentin and their team, I cannot speak more highly of their knowledge and care, it is wonderful and you never leave you pet for surgery wondering. They all have a true love of animals. My best respect to all who are part of this team. Well done.
"Visits are never rushed and our dog's checkups are very thorough"
We have always found Kathy, Quentin and staff very pleasant and helpful. Visits are never rushed and our dog's checkups are very thorough. The options for treatment are clearly explained so the best choice can be made. Our dog has the intelligence and strong will that his breed is known for but he is always very happy even excited to go to the North Nowra Veterinary Hospital and that surely is a strong a recommendation as any.
"Everyone is so welcoming and friendly!"
From a client's perspective, or 'owner of your patient', you have many years brought the "whole package" together in relation to you practice. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly which is great for both human and animal. I have for many years been referring friends, neighbours, acquaintances and clients from our own business to you knowing that they will receive professional care and excellent diagnosis.
"It's all about the little things you get right!"
It's not easy to say specifically which one thing makes for your customer service, as it's all about the little things you get right, such as keeping staff for long periods of time, so we see familiar faces and hear familiar voices on the phone. The fact that a number of people want to stay sends a powerful message that it's a good place to work.
"I pass 3 other clinics to get to you"
A lot of people ask me why I go out of my way to go to your clinic. It's because you have always given the best possible care, the centre is always fresh looking and a smile always available. At first I felt a bit apprehensive seeing someone other than Cathy or Quentin. But each and every time my distress has been eased with the knowledge and support given by all the team. I have always received 110%.
"Thanks for providing a hassle free service and a happy place"
I am pretty impresses when whoever is on the counter manages to call up Xena's details as I'm walking through the door so that by the time I reach the counter it's all up on the screen waiting for whatever has to be done. It's great and really efficient!! Thanks for the hassle free service and a happy place to walk into!
"I couldn't be happier with the service and care for my dog!"
Upon arrival I was very nervous as this was my first time taking my dog to Jervis Bay Vets. I had recently moved away from a hospital I was unhappy with. I could not recommend the Veterinary Clinic enough, the team are like a family and the veterinarian spent quality time with pet addressing the concerns I had. I am very happy.
"The vets took every precaution"
Thankyou to the vets and staff that saved my beautiful dobermann bitch "Sophie", I am a dog breeder and was very impressed with the communication between the vets, they were thorough, caring and professional, with a complicated medical condition (VWD). The vets took every precaution. I would recommend their services, your dog is in great hands here.
Our Great Dane has anxiety issues, for which she is being medicated. These medicines worked quite well for a time, but her anxiety started to increase, so we gave acupuncture a go. The difference was noticeable after the first treatment, and she continued to improve. After a few treatments she plateaued, and has been without treatment for a few months now, and still going well – she is much happier and calmer. I highly recommend giving it a go in Kristy's very talented hands.
"Our girl Freyja has a better doctor than us!"
Every time we visit the vets they always go above and beyond for us. I always feel like they put in so much time for us. They also know how to handle one big wriggly great dane!
"I have never been to such a good vet!"
I am so glad I finally found a vet that really understands my anxious dog! All the nurses and vets are always gentle with my dog! Thank you!