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by Dr Kathryn Stalder, Nelson Bay Vet, NSW
I started using laser therapy a few years ago and have found that there are immense benefits of incorporating it into my treatment plans.
What’s good about it
The J-Ray Class IV is a versatile therapeutic laser, effective in treating chronic osteoarthritis, intervertebral disc disease, otitis externa, FLUTD, and any condition that involves inflammation. It aids postoperative recovery and I’ve seen dramatic improvements in terms of pain management and wound healing. It can be used as a standalone treatment and it’s particularly valuable if you’ve got an animal that’s older with concurrent comorbidities such as renal disease or liver disease. The laser works as an effective analgesic when you’re a little reticent about using nonsteroidal drugs.
The thing I really like about the J-Ray is that it’s far more affordable than some of the other Class IV veterinary laser options. It’s a little machine that packs a lot of punch at a reasonable price. I can program the settings to suit my specific needs, including power, frequency, duty cycle and time. It gives me a lot of flexibility.
The J-Ray also has the capacity to be used as a surgical laser. It doesn’t have the same range of utilities as a full CO2 laser system, but it’s quite useful for cautery and for lasering off little lumps. I’ve also used it for ectopic cilia with success.
What’s not so good
As this laser is highly customisable, it can be a bit of a steep learning curve when starting out. It has suggested settings for specific animal sizes and conditions, but there are so many options it can be challenging initially. J-Ray is a great company, however, that provides excellent support. I also had hoped to do a bit more with the surgical laser. I now wouldn’t use it for incisions but it’s very good for cautery.