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Dog lying down and sticking its tongue out

Pet Laser Therapy

We are able to provide our clients and their beloved pets the wonderful benefits of Laser Therapy.

What is therapeutic laser?

The beneficial effects of laser light on various tissues were first recognized nearly forty years ago. Since then, there have been thousands of studies documenting the positive effects laser light has on different types of cells, tissue, and disorders in both humans and animals. Simply put, laser therapy uses photons, or light energy, which is sent deep into tissues without causing any damage. These photons are absorbed by the mitochondria of each cell – the part of the cell that is responsible for energy production. This induces a chemical change called “photo-bio-modulation,” which increases the production of ATP in the cell. ATP is the fuel cells need for repair and rejuvenation; when a cell is injured, such as through inflammation, injury or surgery, for example, ATP production can be significantly reduced. Increased ATP production leads to healthier cells, healthier tissue, and markedly improved healing times. In certain conditions, the use of the therapeutic laser has been shown to cause the body to release endorphins, a natural pain killer produced by the body.

Further, laser treatments are associated with increased blood flow, which can help to reduce inflammation. Finally, the light energy safely kills bacteria. Collectively, the effects of the therapeutic laser allow us to improve the quality of life of many patients with chronic conditions, often leading to a reduction in the amount of medications that are required to keep our patients comfortable.

What is therapeutic laser therapy used to treat?

  1. Arthritis: there are huge benefits of the therapeutic laser to patients suffering from arthritis, including a reduction in inflammation, increased tissue healing, and the release of endorphins – natural painkillers that are produced by the body. We can notice significant improvement sometimes even after a single treatment! Often times, the laser also helps to reduce the cost of pain medications, reducing the chance of potential side-effects.
  2. Ear Infections: the therapeutic laser can be hugely beneficial to patients suffering from chronic ear infections. Not only does it reduce inflammation and provide relief of chronic pain and irritation, but it also provides antibacterial effects. The reduction in swelling allows ear medications to work more proficiently.
  3. Post-Surgery: the use of the laser post-surgery can greatly improve postoperative comfort through the reduction of inflammation and increased healing times.
  4. Wounds: wound healing can be dramatically affected with the use of the laser as it not only speeds up healing time, sometimes significantly but also provides a natural antibacterial effect.

The therapeutic laser is free of any negative side-effects, with proper safety precautions. If emitted directly into the eye, or if light energy is reflected in the eye, it can cause damage to the retina. Therefore, both our staff and patients wear special safety goggles to ensure there is no chance of this happening. If you ask us, the goggles (or doggles for our furry-friends) are pretty stylish, too!

 
 
 

Two veterinary staff members and a dog wearing safety gogglesDog wearing safety goggles

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Dog thinking about ticks and fleas

Year-round protection means more peace of mind!

“Tick season” used to mean spring/summer/fall, with a break over the winter – the colder weather meant that we could take a break from worrying about these pesky bugs and the diseases they can transmit. But in the last few years, we’ve seen a change creeping up on us, with the weather staying warm later into the season, and spring arriving earlier each year – and the bugs are loving it! You may have already heard us talking about how any day that the temperature is above the freezing point, ticks are potentially active. This past year, we had days above 0°C in all 12 months! Ticks aren’t killed by the cold, they simply go dormant, waiting until it’s warm enough to come back out – so last year, even January and February had days warm enough for ticks to be active! This means that we are now recommending that all dogs (and cats that go outdoors) take advantage of year-round flea and tick protection. There are several options, our first choice being an all-in-one that protects against fleas, ticks, and heartworm, as well as providing regular deworming against roundworms. One pill, once a month – what could be simpler? If your pet is already on a monthly preventative, all you need to do is pick up a refill and continue throughout the winter months. If your pet hasn’t yet started on comprehensive parasite prevention, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have and set you up with the best option for your pet. What does this mean for testing? The 4DX test that we recommend most commonly screens for heartworm disease, Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes (so every dog in Ontario is potentially at risk – at Westbridge we treat a few cases every year!), and the others are all transmitted via tick bites. We have seen an increase in Lyme-positive dogs in the last few years, one of the reasons we are recommending some of these changes. For better early detection and the safety of your pet, we are recommending annual 4DX testing for all dogs. This simple blood test can be done at any time, although the optimal time is in the spring. Catching disease early is key to successful treatment – and no matter how careful you are with preventative medications, there is always some risk of infection. As always, our veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians are available to answer any questions you may have about the best options for your pet. Email us at info@westbridgevet.com, or call us at 905-285-0002

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Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital