Laser therapy (LLLT), with the modern Class4 laser devices, is a fast, comfortable application of four red light wavelengths that can play a significant part in the treatment of itchy, inflamed, infected or painful lesions, whether of a chronic or an acute nature.
The four wavelengths stimulate different areas that are essential for kick-starting the healing process.
The sum effect is the more effective release of oxygen from the red blood cells which in turn enhances the internal cellular energy production, starting a cascade of beneficial effects promoting the acceleration of, even the restart of, the natural healing process.
This healing process can lead to down-modulation of chronic pain, as in osteo-arthritis and pancreatic inflammation, improvement of micro-circulation as in bruising and swellings, reduction of muscle spasm and general soft-tissue stiffness, as in the recovery of joint flexibility. It cannot, per se, be considered a “cure” for OA, as too many permanent changes will have taken place in the joint(s)(see below**).
LLLT will improve and promote healing, particularly with post-surgical and traumatic wounds. It has the advantage of reducing unnecessary antimicrobial use in many of such wounds, as studies have shown that LLLT can reduce bacterial counts by 87%. Blue laser therapy is likely to be even more efficient.
Patient benefits, in summary, will be faster patient comfort, shorter recovery times, deeper tissue laser wavelength penetration which delivers more laser energy to target tissues, shorter treatment times, with effective, established course protocols for treatments commonly within 3-8 minutes per session.
Much work has been done in both medical and veterinary treatments. There is a growing list of LLLT applications in both these professions, although I need to emphasize that I will not use such therapies for cosmetic purposes.
I have successfully used LLLT in birds, reptiles, horses, farm livestock as well as in cats and dogs
Acute conditions can be treated with different settings to those of chronic conditions, perhaps twice daily for 2-5 days. Chronic conditions are best not hurried and may total typically 8 treatments over a 3 week period. Single “top-ups”, as with my own animals can also be useful every 2-4 weeks, depending on the problem being treated.
**It’s important to emphasise that LLLT should be part of any multi-modal, multi-professional treatment plan, particularly in the management of pre-clinical and clinical OA. LLLT, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy and prescribed medication are always important parts of the management of acute and chronic conditions. LLLT can also modulate -reset- the patient’s perception of pain centrally.
If interested, please contact the Practice to access further information and costs. Here’s an initial starting point:
K-Laser Class4 Laser Therapy - Info for Pet Owners - Setting the Standard in Class IV Laser Therapy in the UK and worldwide. (klaser.co.uk)
K-Laser Therapy - Release Physical Therapy (releasept.com)
7. Complementary treatment
“Sometimes your vet may recommend an alternative treatment such as herbal medicine or homeopathy. There’s a wide range of complementary treatments available for cats, dogs and even rabbits! Our policies cover you for acupuncture and up to 10 sessions of therapies such as hydrotherapy for each injury and illness, if it’s been recommended by a vet.”
In my personal experience, ongoing recommended laser therapy has been accepted by this particular major pet insurer, so please check your own pet insurer’s current policy conditions.