Lisa Miksis – VP and Co-Owner
Degree: BS- Biology

Laser Therapy – What is it?

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as photobiomodulation, is a painless treatment that uses clinically tested wavelengths of light to stimulate natural biological processes leading to faster healing and pain relief. Like plants absorbing sunlight through photosynthesis, cells in the body absorb laser energy that stimulates the body to release pain relieving compounds, increases circulation and energizes the cells to participate in the healing process. There are no side effects and many times laser therapy can take the place of pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat long-term, degenerative diseases.

1. How did you come to be involved in Canine Laser Therapy?

Respond Systems is a second generation, family-owned veterinary therapy device company that manufactures both laser and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy systems. For over 30 years, we have been working with both the equine and canine veterinarians, researchers and therapists to ensure we have the most effective, efficient and reliable therapy systems on the market.

3. Is all Laser therapy the same? All laser therapy is not the same. It is very important to thoroughly research any laser you are considering adding to your practice to ensure that it is the best system for you and your clients. Key factors you should consider are:

a. Wavelength: Different wavelengths have been studied and have been shown to be more effective than others. 808nm has been shown to have the greatest depth of penetration. 670nm has a high absorption at the surface of the skin so is extremely efficient for wound care. 904nm has the ability to be Super-Pulsed and achieve a very high depth of penetration which can reach into deep tissue and joints.

b. Power: When it comes to power, too little cannot deliver the effective dose and too much can overheat tissue and even burn. It is a balancing act. Class 3b and Class 4 are both equally as effective for use in laser therapy however, high power Class 4 lasers can reduce the treatment time which can we quite beneficial in high volume clinics with a dozen or more laser treatments a day. We have engineered our Class 4 to deliver laser energy quickly and safely with no burning that can be experienced with other Class 4 laser systems. Our Class 3b systems have been delivering effective treatments for over 30 years.

c. Treatment in Contact Mode: You should always administer laser therapy with the probe in contact with the skin to minimize the space where the laser light can get scattered. A common thought is that the therapist should wave the probe over the area to be treated however, this causes significant loss in laser energy between the probe and the tissue being treated so proper dosing becomes incredibly difficult to determine.

4. How do decide when laser therapy is appropriate compared with other modalities of rehabilitation?

This is best determined by the veterinarian or certified rehabilitation therapist. Many times laser therapy is used in conjunction with other modalities to complement each other and to customize a program specific to each individual case. Most conditions that either suffer from or result in inflammation, poor circulation, limited movement and/or pain can benefit from laser therapy.

5. You run a successful business, how do manage to do so much?

At Respond, having 30 years of client feedback and relationships with vets, therapists and researchers has enabled us to build a very strong network. This network is what empowers us to do what we do. It takes a village, as they say, and we have an extended village across the veterinary therapy world that helps us manage and guide the growth and innovation of Respond Systems.

6. Do you have any pets yourself?

Of course! We have one spunky tri-pod rescue dog, two cats and my daughter would never let me forget the Betta fish, Eunice, who keeps the cats occupied all day long.
7. What advise would you give to a vet wanting to learn more about laser therapy?

Do your research into the options out there paying attention to power, wavelength and the support offered by the company. Ask questions of the companies you are interested in AND of your colleagues you trust in your field.

8. Is there a website for your products where we can find out more?

9. Why do you think its important for veterinarians to follow through after treatments with rehabilitation therapy?

Laser therapy is most commonly administered for conditions that impact soft tissue including ligaments and tendons. The therapy can decrease inflammation, reduce pain and accelerate healing due to injury or a chronic condition. That condition or injury has weakened the tissue and in a majority of cases has caused compensatory issues elsewhere in the body. Rehabilitation therapy is crucial to help build back strength, mobility and flexibility to ensure the body can recover from the injury and strengthen the tissue to help prevent future complications.
10. Do you think anyone can be a rehabilitation provider?

Rehabilitation therapy requires a comprehensive understanding of not only anatomy and biology but also how the body interacts with its surroundings including diet, pharmaceuticals and lifestyle. An effective rehabilitation provider needs education and training, both academic and hands-on, in all of those areas. It requires a commitment and passion for both the animals and the science. Overarching all of that is patience. Patience with the owner, the animal, the process. So to answer that question, in my mind, not everyone is cut out to be a rehabilitation provider, but for those who are, it is an incredibly rewarding field that helps make lives better each and every day!

11. Would you like to add anything else?

Respond Systems has been successful in the field of laser and PEMF therapy for over 30 years for two reasons: one being our commitment to innovation and service, and the other our partnerships within the industry. We prefer the term partner to customer. We love nothing more than open conversations with our scientific and customer partners to ensure we are providing the best product possible to help make thousands of animals healthier, happier and living a life of comfort and quality!