Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Laser Therapy

" Melon"
As everyone who reads this blog knows, Mellon, my daughter’s 23 year old Trakehner, has injured his tendon. Actually, it’s more like he’s almost severed it in half by his knee.  Mellon may be getting on in years, but if you were to see this horse moving and interacting with the herd you would definitely not put him above a 12-15 year old, and neither would he. Perhaps this is because he was a jumper who attacked the jumps, or because being the herd leader for the past twenty years has kept him fit. I should also mention he has quite the attitude and acts like a youngster still.

The vet also checked on him the other day when he was here and cannot believe how well he is healing and how quickly for a horse his age. We originally thought he would be in his stall for at least 4-6 months. It’s been about 2 months since his injury. He can be turned out with Dusty in a small grass paddock near the barn - much to Dusty’s dismay, as she really detests him and his egotistical attitude. She’s not one for being told what to do and clearly resents his domineering ways.  We feel we can attribute his speedy recovery to cold therapy, laser boots, wrapping and general good all around care.  In Mellon’s case, stall rest has been of little help because all he does is weave and pace, putting more stress on the injury than his light grazing in a small paddock.

However, we seem to think, along with the vet, that the laser boots are helping. When we had a small boarding/training operation we took in a lot of rehab horses, many from the track.  Their injuries usually included some sort of ligament or tendon injury, splints, etc..  We used laser boots because they did seem to speed the healing process.  I’m not sure why, thought there are many theories.  Among other things, it could be that they increase circulation, which seems to benefit most injuries.  It is also said to increase nitric oxide production which is important in tendon healing especially.  We often apply an ice boot first to remove heat and calm any inflammation before treatment.

What I like about this particular laser equipment is that it automatically cycles between frequencies and automatically shuts off after 15-20 minutes, so there is no fear of over-doing it. So far we’ve only got the hock, ankle, knee and tendon savers.  They are quite expensive to begin with, but I feel that they are worth the price because they do work in speeding along the healing process. They are also easy and convenient to use, unlike traditional cold laser units that are hand held and can only be applied over a small area at a time.  If you’re interested at all in this form of therapy here’s the site where we purchased our equipment: Bio Scan.

I’d love to have all of their equipment but for now we’ve got enough going on around here costing a leg and a hoof so more equipment will have to wait.

Until next time

Quote for Today
If a horse stands on you it’s because you’re in the way.

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