We are excited to announce that we are now offering a new service: Photobiomodulation/Low Level Laser Therapy! This is an emerging therapy in both veterinary and human medicine, and Dr Rainbow and Dr Audrey have recently undergone training in the use of specially designed LEDs and lasers for treating a wide array of different conditions in our furry friends. Our vets are now offering this new and exciting treatment at an affordable price to our Aussie Mobile Vet patients all over Sydney. This is a unique service not found in many other veterinary practices, and can make a dramatic difference to your pet’s wellbeing quality of life.
How Therapeutic Laser Therapy Works When we think of lasers, we often think of very high powered lasers that cut or burn with pinpoint precision, or very low powered laser pointers that many people use to tease their cats into a frenzy of activity. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) uses gentle lasers and powerful LED lights to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms and immune defences. Just like photosynthesis, where plants absorb and convert light energy for growth, our cells are capable of absorbing light, which triggers the release of more ATP (cellular fuel) from inside the cell. This encourages healing, stimulates blood flow and can modulate the body’s immune response and pain perception.
Applications of Laser Therapy The applications of PBMT are very broad, as many diseases involve inflammation, abnormal immune response, or cellular degeneration/damage; all of which may improve with PBMT. The most common uses for PBMT are musculoskeletal injuries/pain or nervous system problems (e.g. arthritis, degenerative disc disease) and wound healing, but PBMT is a useful way of helping to manage ear and skin diseases, kidney disease in cats, bladder inflammation, dementia, dental conditions and any disease where there is inflammation, abnormal immune response, cell damage, poor blood flow or pain. Sometimes it can be an effective treatment on its own, but more often we will combine PBMT with other treatments to get the best response possible for your pet.
Are there side effects? Unlike most medicines, PBMT has no bad side effects. However, because it improves blood flow to the treated areas, it is not recommended to be used over cancers as it theoretically could encourage them to grow. However, in specific cancers, it can be useful as a palliative treatment to help manage pain and improve quality of life to the animal without nasty side effects. Animals generally tolerate the treatment very well, and often find it very relaxing. Sometimes if the area being treated is very painful there may be some resistance in the first treatment session but usually this improves with subsequent treatments. There may be some temporary redness in your pet’s skin after a session, but this just reflects improved blood flow to the area. The power of the lasers/LEDs that we use are optimal to ensure there is a good therapeutic effect, without the risk of significant heating or burning to the area being treated.
Do the patients need sunglasses? The only significant risk with PBMT is the risk of eye damage with the use of lasers. Our laser is a Class IIIB laser, which means that there is a moderate risk of eye damage if the eye is exposed to the laser beam. This is why we ensure all people in the room wear safety goggles, and have specially designed “Doggles” for our furry patients. The risks are also minimised by ensuring that the only time the laser is on, is when it is in position for the treatment.