Oak Tree Vet Centre believes we were the first veterinary practice in Scotland to invest in a Class IV Therapeutic Laser for the benefit of our patients.
In March 2011, we were only the fifth vet in the UK to have one. Therapeutic laser treatment is much more common in the U.S. where, at the time of purchase, more than three thousand machines were in service in small animal, human and equine practices.
Our machine has full FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval in the U.S. and CE approval here. Currently, lower powered lasers are routinely used in human physiotherapy in the UK but they take too long to deliver the energy required for all but very small veterinary patients or superficial lesions
The new technology that has increased power means deeper penetration of the laser beam and shorter treatment sessions. This makes the Class IV therapeutic laser suitable for veterinary use, where we often need to treat multiple sites in a reasonable time. We invested in the higher specification, computer controlled model for our patients and have been very pleased with the treatment results.
When is the laser used?
The laser allows your pet to heal faster after surgery or a traumatic injury.
The laser eases pain and improves mobility removing or reducing the need for pharmaceuticals and surgery.
Laser therapy provides the older or arthritic animal relief from aches and pains and allows for more freedom and improved quality of life.
Everyday disorders such as painful lick granulomas and chronic ear infections are improved, instantaneously.
after two treatments
How and why does it work?
From clinical studies and trials, it has been established that laser therapy brings about a wide variety of biological effects on cells and tissues. These include:
Laser therapy reduces oedema (soft tissue swelling) as it causes vasodilation and activates the lymphatic system which drains swollen areas. As a result, there is a reduction in swelling caused by bruising or inflammation.
Laser therapy has a beneficial effect on nerve cells by blocking pain transmitted by these cells to the brain and by decreasing nerve sensitivity. Also, as a result of less inflammation, there is less oedema and less pain. Another pain blocking mechanism involves the production of high levels of pain killing chemicals such as endorphins and encephalins from the brain and adrenal gland.
Accelerated Tissue Repair And Cell Growth
Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. The laser light increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take in nutrients faster and get rid of waste products. As a result of exposure to laser light, the cells of tendons, ligaments and muscles are repaired faster.
Improved Vascular Activity
Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue. This speeds up the healing process and closes wounds quickly.
Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation
Laser therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns or surgery.
Improved Nerve Function
Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissue can result in numbness and impaired limbs. Laser light will speed up the process of nerve cell reconnection and increase the amplitude of action potentials (nerve impulse power) to optimise muscle action.
Laser light has a positive effect on the immune system by stimulating production of immunoglobins (antibodies) and lymphocyte (white blood cells) activity.
Faster Wound Healing
Laser light stimulates fibroblast development (fibroblasts are the cells that manufacture collagen). Collagen is the essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. As a result, Laser Therapy is effective on open wounds and burns.
What happens in a laser session?
After diagnosis by your veterinary surgeon, a treatment plan is established detailing the areas of the body to be treated together with the power and duration for each zone.
During the session, one of our veterinary nurses will issue protective goggles for all persons present and a light proof pad to protect your pet’s eyes.
Depending upon the area treated the laser light is delivered with a probe hovering above the area or where possible, through a transparent massaging roller ball. The vast majority of pets are content to receive the therapy and many seem to enjoy the deep heat, in the damaged tissues provided by the infrared light. There is no tranquiliser or heavy restraint involved.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Q How long is a session?
A. Depending upon how many areas are being treated, a session can last from three to thirty minutes.
Q Can I watch?
A. Absolutely. We like you to participate, to reassure your pet, in order to maximise the benefit, from the session.
Q Can I just come along for sessions?
A. We need to have a signed veterinary referral. This allows us to provide therapy, knowing that it is appropriate for your pet. It also allows us to report back to your vet after the first session and periodically thereafter so that he or she can best guide your pet’s ongoing care.
Q. I’ve just moved here or don’t have a vet. What do I need to do?
A. You will need to register with a practice locally for your veterinary needs. We would be delighted to welcome you to Oak Tree Veterinary Centre.
Q Does my pet insurance cover laser therapy?
A. If referred by your vet, many policies will cover a substantial amount of laser therapy but you would need to check your individual policy for details.