Nonsurgical Laser Therapy
What is it? It is infrared light waves.
How does it work? The laser head is placed on the skin. The infrared light waves penetrate the tissue causing four metabolic reactions: increased blood flow to the area, increase lymphatic outflow which removes the inflammatory by-products, increases cellular ATP(cellular energy) and analgesia (pain relief).
What conditions can be treated? The most common MLS Therapy indications are pain relief, intervertebral disc disease (back pain), post-surgical pain relief, degenerative joint disease (hip arthritis), wound healing, muscular/skeletal system trauma, and inflammatory conditions (feline idiopathic cystitis- painful urination in cats).
What is the treatment protocol? To some extent, this depends on the condition being treated. Dr. Pendleton purchased the Cutting Edge Laser with the goal of getting his older patients off of the long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs. The protocol for rear leg weakness secondary to spinal disease is: 6 treatments over a two to three week period. After the first three treatments, we re-evaluate your pet to assess the laser’s effectiveness. We prefer every other day for 2 weeks. After the initial series, your pet is treated monthly. The protocol for acute trauma is usually 2 treatments per week for 2-3 weeks.
How long does is a treatment session? It varies from 2 to 8 minutes per site.
What are the laser’s advantages? No drugs needed, which means no recurrent blood work to monitor potential liver damage. It promotes a quicker healing time for traumatic or inflammatory conditions. It is very safe if used properly.
What are the laser’s disadvantages? The following statement is the truth. When it works, it works so well people tend to start skipping monthly treatments until their pet shows clinical signs! Bad plan. It is easier to prevent pain than it is to treat it. It does require multiple trips to the clinic. It penetrates about 2 inches and may not be appropriate for very obese dogs.
How effective is it? When applied to the proper area, it is effective in 92% of all pets.
Are all lasers the same? No. We use a Cutting Edge Laser because it uses two wave lengths to overcome the limits of traditional laser therapy. Traditional laser therapy does not deliver both wave lengths in a reinforcing and synchronized fashion; Cutting Egde does. Continuous laser emissions act fast on inflammation, stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation and inducing fast re-absorption of fluid build ups; however they only have a secondary effect on pain, which is diminished after reducing the inflammatory process. Pulsed laser emissions have a practically immediate effect on pain, since they are able to induce analgesia, interfering with the very transmission of the pain impulse to the higher brain centers, but they are less effective at treating inflammation and edema. Our laser is able to induce strong anti-inflammatory, anti-edema, and analgesic effects simultaneously and within a short period of time because of the way the two wave lengths of infrared light are produced.
Case Study: The day we were trained to use the therapeutic laser Bonz presented for euthanasia. She was 14 years old and had not been getting up on her own to go outside to the bathroom. She had finally reached the point that she could not stand. I said to the owner, “Bob, this is a laser looks a little like voodoo medicine but I would like to try it on Bonz.” After the first treatment, there was no real change. However, when she presented for treatment 3, she was getting up on her own to go out. By treatment 4 she was trying to go up the steps to bed, something she had not done for nearly two years. By the last treatment, her back muscles had started to grow and she was walking! When she came in for her 1 month treatment, she was walking a half-mile and did not look like the same dog. Ten months later, I can honestly say we have given Bonz ten good quality months. She is slowing down but she is also a year older. The laser does not reverse aging!
Is Bonz typical? Yes and no. We have had many dramatic successes. Many are not all. We are running at 90% showing significant improvement, just as the data suggests. We do not know how any one pet will respond until we use the therapeutic laser on her. Call the office where our staff will be happy to explain the protocols and advantages to you.