Meet Alfie Wood, a 10-year-old border collie with arthritis. Alfie is adored by the team at Clent Hills Vets and has been coming here for a year now for laser therapy. Read on to find out how laser therapy has helped Alfie continue to lead a happy, ball-centric life.
Alfie’s owner Melanie chose this charismatic collie to share her home 8 years ago, when she collected him from a rescue shelter. He can be shy at first, but once he gets to know you, he’s a loveable, cuddly, happy dog, with quite a fan club. Alfie has lots of friends and girlfriends!
A ball-centric dog who loves to run
Since he was a youngster, Alfie has always loved nothing more than running and chasing his ball. Melanie was concerned when Alfie started getting slower, and showed signs of pain after partaking in his favourite hobby.
Alfie was diagnosed with arthritic hips and put on long term medication, however, Melanie wanted to do more for him as he was still quite uncomfortable, not eating and seemed miserable. After a consultation with our head vet Rod Stroud, it was recommended that Alfie try laser therapy.
What is laser therapy?
Clent Hills Vets first introduced laser therapy in 2015 and invited Alfie to participate in the initial trials. Melanie was more than happy to give this a go, and hoped it would improve Alfie’s condition.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive, complementary treatment that is used to treat a variety of conditions in animals. Arthritis is one of the most common conditions we treat with it as the use of laser therapy is excellent for relieving pain and reducing inflammation without any side effects. We also use laser therapy to assist post-operative healing and wound management.
How does laser therapy work?
The laser stimulates the cells, making them work harder, producing more energy and increasing blood flow. This stimulation releases chemicals called endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which are pumped out by the brain during times of pain and stress.
The low-energy beams of light emitted by the laser machine are strong enough to stimulate the pressure points, but not strong enough to burn or damage the skin.
Alfie enjoys his laser treatment
Alfie usually comes in about once a month to receive laser treatment on his hips, but this can vary if Alfie is struggling and needs a little boost. Melanie tells us he gets excited before his trips to the vets as he knows he’s going to see Emily, his favourite nurse, who has been administering his treatment since the beginning.
Alfie gets into his regular position on the mat, ready for his treatment to begin. He knows just when and how to move into the different positions needed for his session. “Alfie is a real joy to work with,” Emily RVN tells us, “he’s such a lovely dog and always seems happy to get his treatment and go through his physio exercises.”
A comprehensive arthritic treatment plan for Alfie
As part of Alfie’s overall arthritic treatment plan, he also takes synoquin supplements, which contain omega 3, in his food to help keep the joints supple. Emily also created a physio therapy plan, which Alfie regularly does at home with Melanie, who tells us that he even raises his leg ready for his physio on command now.
According to Melanie, laser therapy has always been the main thing that helps Alfie, with his appetite and happiness returning almost straight away after his first session.
Melanie had this to say: “Laser treatment has revolutionised Alfie’s hips, he can now run and play with his friends and with a lot more freedom of movement in his back legs. I can’t recommend it enough and the team at Clent Hills are brilliant, especially Alfie’s favourite nurse, Emily.”
Alfie will have ongoing laser treatment for a long as it continues to relieve his arthritic symptoms.
If you think your dog or cat could benefit from laser therapy, ask for an appointment with our nurses at your local Clent Hills Vets practice.