Photobiomodulation – the use of light and laser in managing pain in your animal companion
By Ashleigh Nicholas
When you have taken your fur baby to the physio, chances are that your physio has used a weird looking machine called a laser on your dogs’ muscles and joints. The even weirder thing is that despite this machine looking like it does absolutely nothing, your dog actually felt much better afterwards!
Basically, a low-level laser is used to stimulate or enhance cellular function and relieve pain. This stimulation or enhanced cellular function means that all the cells that help blood vessels generate, heal nerves, remove inflammation from an area etc., are given more energy to function and do their jobs better.
It is worth a cautionary mention that some lasers are stronger than others and could do harm in untrained hands. Therefore, we advise you only using Class 3B lasers or lower, at home. These are what we refer to as low level, because their power is 500mW or less. This means that the device is unlikely to over heat the tissue. Therefore, they do not require any special training to use, however, we do recommend referring to the manufacturer’s guidelines during use.
The lasers we use within our practices are 1000mW (1 watt) lasers. While very effective, they have the potential to overheat and damage tissue, therefore these should only be used by individuals with the appropriate training. Anything that has power from 1W and higher is termed a Class 4 laser and has enormous potential to do harm – regardless of the wavelength. While this is an amazing machine it is not accessible to the everyday pet-parent, firstly, due to its high price and secondly due to the potential for harm due to improper use, when in untrained hands.
But that does not mean that you, the pet-parent cannot benefit from the healing properties of Photobiomodulation at home. Vetcare Photizo has created an amazing hand-held machine for the average pet-parent called the Photizo. The Photizo is not a laser but rather a set of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) set at a therapeutic wavelength, emitting 320mW of power. The power is similar to a class 3B laser, so tissue damage is avoided. This means we get the same type of therapy, it may take a little longer, but the risk is significantly reduced.
The Photizo also comes with instructions for how you use it for different conditions, such as skin conditions, wounds, joint pain etc. We love this machine as we have seen the results in patients who use it regularly, one of our biggest successes is K9 Law Enforcement who use the Photizo every day on their dogs and have really loved how easy and quick but effective the device is.
If you want to assist your dog’s healing, help with a skin condition or just maintain your dog’s pain at home, the Photizo is the way to go. You can also order your Photizo directly from our online store for R4150.00 click here for more info or to buy.
The Photizo has a motto, which we strongly stand by; “Bringing healing into every home“. As a veterinary physioterapist myself, I personally love to see pet-parents being proactive and involved in the rehabilitation and the management of their animal companion’s health and wellbeing. If you want more information you can chat to any of the physios at Animal Health and Hydro, or check out Photizos site on www.photizo.net.