cat  | Edinburgh Vets

We were the first veterinary practice in Scotland to invest in a class IV therapeutic laser

In March 2011 we joined 4 other veterinary centres in the UK to use a class IV therapeutic laser.

If you are looking for a treatment that could speed up your pet’s recovery from surgery or a traumatic injury, or to ease their pain, then you have come to the right place. 

Laser therapy is a relatively new form of treatment and is becoming an increasingly popular way to treat a variety of medical conditions. It is a fast and effective way to ease pain and improve mobility by removing or reducing the need for medication and surgery.

Laser therapy not only provides relief from aches and pains, but everyday disorders such as painful lick granulomas and chronic ear infections can be quickly improved.

How the laser works

The laser produces a powerful beam of infrared laser light that penetrates deep into your pet’s tissues. Within your pet’s body cells are components called mitochondria; the special frequency of the laser has been chosen to stimulate these mitochondria.

The mitochondria are the “power stations” of the cells and the light energises the cells, enabling them to function better and improve the condition of local tissues, encouraging rapid healing of the affected area.

The new technology means deeper penetration of the laser beam within shorter treatment sessions. The class IV therapeutic laser is the perfect treatment to ease your pet’s pain and improve recovery rates for a variety of medical conditions.

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laser  | Edinburgh Vets

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.

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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.

before  | Edinburgh Vets


After  | Edinburgh Vets

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.

Anti-Pain (Analgesic)

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.

laser_poster  | Edinburgh Vets

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.

Please ask at reception, telephone us on 0131 539 7539, or email us at if you think your pet might benefit from laser therapy or if we can assist you further.