FAQ LASER Therapy
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Frequently Asked Questions

LASER Therapy

See also: Laser Therapy

If you have questions not answered here, please let us know (contact details)

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Q. Will my horse (or pony, dog, cat, donkey, goat etc.) accept the treatment?

A. Animals generally accept veterinary LASER treatment very well indeed (also known as LEPT or Low Energy Photon Therapy). Relaxation is the usual response. In the rare cases when the patient does not readily accept the LASER, it is usually because the wrong 'frequency' has been chosen for the treatment. It is important to take notice of this. Changing the frequency setting usually overcomes the problem and, in fact, we usually test each patient before selecting the frequency of the LASER. We do not sedate patients for LASER treatment as, apart from the potential toxicity of the chemical used, the patient's perception of the LASER stimulus and response to it is likely to be altered. Furthermore, they cannot refuse an unsuitable frequency setting when sedated. Our experience is that most patients willingly submit themselves to a second treatment, when offered, thus demonstrating their comfort with the process. The treatment is entirely pain-free.

Q. What conditions/diseases can be helped by LASER treatment?

A. There is a wide selection of problems that can respond favourably to LASER therapy. The treatment of soft tissue injury, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules and bursae, is an especially fertile field of use. Wound and ulcer treatment with LASER can transform prospects. LASER can also be used as a method of acupuncture point stimulation. Therefore, the potential benefits are also as per Acupuncture - Equine Acupuncture - Canine Acupuncture - Feline Acupuncture. Paralysis and painful conditions such as arthritis, back pain and other back problems, nerve injury and prolapse intervertebral disc are common applications. Headshaking and Recurrent Uveitis (Periodic Ophthalmia - Moonblindness) in horses are also regular calls on our time.

Conditions in which clients have reported great benefit include: wound healing, ulcers, burns, wounds, cruciate ligament injury, sprain, strain, shoulder lameness, arthritis, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, lick granuloma, headshaking (head shaking), back pain, back injury, disc disease.

Q. What sort of cost can I expect?

A. It is always difficult to compare costs across different treatments but, in general, successful treatments are very cost-effective. Three treatments are usually required, in order to find out how well the LASER input may help a patient. After this, sporadic treatments may be required, to maintain the benefit or some patients may run on indefinitely. Of course, as with any form of medicine, a failed treatment appears costly, however much or little is charged! The AVMC's charges are usually time-based; detailed estimates of cost can be requested from our office (contact details).

Q. Will my insurance pay?

A. Most insurance policies allow for LASER therapy to be used on your animal. However, some will try to marginalise it under 'complementary or alternative treatments'. This can result in reduced benefit. This appears to the AVMC to be a travesty, since the treatment is performed by a vet and should be handled under general veterinary cover. LASER treatment by a non-vet is legal in the UK (see below).

Q. What is the legal position regarding LASER for animals?

A. The relevant legislation is the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. LASER Therapy can be performed on animals by non-vets, on the recommendation of a vet and under supervision of a vet.

Q. Can LASER radiation cause damage or injury?

A. LASER radiation in the infra-red wavelength is potentially damaging to the retina of the eye. It is a very intense form of light radiation but is invisible to the unaided eye. The eye therefore cannot protect itself in the usual way employed in bright sunlight. Special protective goggles are available. The instrument used is a Cold LASER and is otherwise harmless and is a therapeutic tool. It is NOT to be confused with LASER surgery, which clearly has the capability of damaging tissues.

Q. Will my horse (or pony, dog, cat, donkey, goat etc.) require sedation or anaesthetic?

A. Animals generally accept vet LASER treatment very well indeed. Relaxation is the usual response. In the rare cases when the patient does not readily accept the LASER, it is usually because the wrong 'frequency' has been chosen for the treatment. Changing the frequency setting usually overcomes the problem. We do not sedate patients for LASER treatment as, apart from the potential toxicity of the chemical used, the patient's perception of the LASER stimulus and response to it is likely to be altered. Our experience is that most patients willingly submit themselves to a second treatment, when offered, thus demonstrating their comfort with the process. The treatment is entirely pain-free.

Q. Can LASER be used instead of needles?

A. LASER acupuncture (acupuncture-by-LASER) is a valid technique. However, it is not a direct substitute for needling as it is clearly a different process. It suits some patients better than needling and in others it is not so effective. LASER can also be used in conjunction with needling.

Q. Is it safe?

A. The use of cold LASER according to well-tried guidelines, is not attended by any special dangers (except to the retina, as specified above).

See also: Laser Therapy

If you have questions not answered here, please let us know (contact details).

Image: LASER beam marking the Greenwich Meridian, over London, showing the coherence of the light

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Veterinary LASER Therapy - LASER Therapy for Animals - LEPT

Low Energy Photon Therapy

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