“Dedicated to providing gentle, compassionate care for companion animals”


Laser Therapy TreatmentRiley receiving a laser therapy treatment

Animal Wellness Center of Maple Grove has added an exciting new technology to alleviate pain, speed healing and reduce inflammation using light energy. Our MLS Therapy Laser delivers light energy from the near infrared spectrum at both 808 nm in a continuous form and 905 nm in a pulsed form. It is superior to other Class 4 lasers because it can deliver both frequencies simultaneously creating the maximal benefit to the patient.

How can light waves help with healing and reduce pain?
The light waves emitted by Therapy Lasers harmlessly penetrate tissue. Through a process called photobiostimulation the light energy is taken up by damaged cells of the body and absorbed by the mitochondria. Mitochondria are organelles which act as the power house for the cell. The light energy is then converted to usable fuel for the cell to use for healing and regeneration.

How does photobiostimulation benefit the patient?
Light energy puts damaged cells back into a positive energy flow. Think about refueling you car with energy in the form of gasoline. Without gasoline your car isn’t going to take you anywhere. But given a source of usable energy your car now has the ability to perform its work.  Similarly, the cell receiving laser energy has the ability to participate in healing and regeneration of new, healthy cells.

What are the tissue effects of photobiostimulation?

1. Anti-inflammatory – causes vasodilatation and improves lymphatic drainage which reduce inflammation
2. Analgesic- causes release of endorphins and encephalin, pain decreases as inflammation decreases, decreases nerve cell sensitivity
3. Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth- increases the energy available to the cell allowing the cell to take on nutrients faster and eliminate waste products
4. Improved Vascular Activity – accelerated angiogenesis (new capillary formation)
5. Faster Wound Healing – stimulates fibroblast development, which increases the production of collagen.

What conditions can be treated with Laser Therapy?
Virtually any patient who has a condition that involves acute or chronic pain or inflammation can be helped by laser light energy. Some of the most common indications we see are arthritis, post operative pain and inflammation, trauma, dental pain, ear infections, hot spots, tendon or ligament injury and wounds. We are so pleased with the results we have seen using this technology that we now include it’s use for all of our spay, neuter and declaw patients.

Laser Therapy is completely painless so there is no need for sedation. Most therapy sessions take about 20 minutes. The number and frequency of treatments depend on the condition being treated. If you think your pet might be helped with Laser Therapy, please call us and we can arrange for an evaluation with one of our veterinarians.

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[caption id="attachment_76" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Carolyn Apker, DVM"]Carolyn Apker, DVM[/caption]

Animal Wellness Center is offering Therapy Laser treatments to treat arthritis, acute or chronic pain, injury, swelling, inflammation and to promote wound healing for our veterinary patients!

Using light energy to treat medical problems sounds like something from the Sci-Fi channel. The space ship’s doctor would point a device at his patient and instantly treat his injury. It all looked too good to be true. Enter the 21st century technologies and the use of light energy to accelerate healing and reduce pain.

What is a laser? LASER is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. There are many types of lasers depending on the wavelengths (or frequencies) of light used, the power of the light (joules or watts), and the rate of pulsation of the light being turned off and on (Hertz). Lasers emit infrared, visible or ultraviolet frequencies of light coherently. That is to say, the light waves are all in phase thereby amplifying their effect.

Animal Wellness Center has been using surgical lasers for the last ten years. The power output of a surgical laser is so great that the focal beam is used to cut tissue. Now a new form of laser has become available to veterinarians, the Therapy Laser (also sometimes referred to as the Low Level Laser Therapy or Cold Laser). The power output of these lasers is much lower than surgical lasers and is safe to use in almost all circumstances.

This February we added a Therapy Laser at our hospital, the MLS Therapy Laser from Cutting Edge Laser Technologies. We are using it to reduce inflammation, reduce acute and chronic pain, speed tissue healing and reduce edema. We selected this particular laser because it is the only one available which simultaneously delivers the correct wavelengths (808 nm in a continuous emission and 905 nm in a pulsed emission) in the near infrared spectrum to maximize tissue healing and provide excellent pain control in a short period of time. These two wavelengths act synergistically enabling a faster return to function for the patient.

Our doctors really put the laser to the test for the first month. They used it to treat post-operative patients who had undergone orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries, wounds, acute injuries, chronic painful conditions such as arthritis, lick granulomas and dental extraction sites. We will soon be starting to use it for ear infections, cats with cystitis, hot spots, and more.

The results we have seen thus far are remarkable. We have been documenting the progress of every patient we have treated using photographs and owner questionnaires about changes in activity, ease of movement, stamina and behavior of their pets.  We are thrilled to see so many patients have a good to excellent response to treatment.  Laser therapy is completely painless, very safe in the hands of trained medical personnel, drug free and its benefits are cumulative over time. What’s not to love? If you feel your pet would benefit from Laser Therapy, please give our office a call.

In my next blog, I will detail the specific effects of the laser on a cellular level which create these wonderful benefits. I will also include actual case examples which demonstrate the power of this technology.

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