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Laser therapy helping to heal wildlife burned in bushfires - thanks to SpectraVET

Posted in Operations @ Mar 3rd 2020 6:32pm - By Heidi Richardson, Operations Manager SpectraVET
Laser Therapy Helping To Heal Wildlife Burned In Bushfires Thanks To Spectravet 2

SpectraVET donates lasers to assist in the care of animals injured in the Kangaroo Island & Victorian fires

I am extremely lucky to be part of a company that without a doubt or question stepped up to help animals in the recent bushfires in Australia. 

My Boss Peter Jenkins is from Adelaide and only 15 years ago made the move to the US with SpectraVET Inc. He was devastated about what was happening in his homeland and desperately wanted to help, so I had an idea to take some of our reconditioned units and donate them to vets in need. 

There was no red tape, no CEO having to approve it, no official emails....

Just an idea I had and a text message from my boss telling me to go do it. Five days later on 17th Jan 2020 I was flying to Adelaide with a suitcase full of SpectraVET lasers valued at over $24,000. 

In my suitcase was a new control unit and two probes (a 660nm 1W wound probe and a new 12 diode 904nm super pulsed probe) valued at $12,000 for Kangaroo Island Vets and 3 re-conditioned units valued at $4,000 each: one for use on injured koalas at Adelaide Koala Hospital; one for Wildhaven and the third one was for Vets for Compassion.

Control unit and two probes: a 660nm 1W wound probe and a new 12 diode 904nm super pulsed probe for Kangaroo Island Vets

How Laser Therapy can help...

Laser Therapy is phototherapy using low intensity laser light to modulate biological process. By controlling the amount of light and how it is delivered into the tissue, we can then control the photochemical processes taking place in living tissue to produce the desired therapeutic outcomes.

SpectraVET Laser Therapy provides a highly-effective, well-tolerated, drug-and-side-effect free method of treatment for injuries, wounds, surgical incisions, orthopeadic procedures, fractures, neurological conditions, numerous dermatological problems, inflammation and chronic and acute pain.

Importantly, Laser Phototherapy can help to speed healing, decrease inflammation and decrease the chance of infection and offer pain relief. This is highly important in trying to rehabilitate these animals faster so that they can be released back into the bush. 

When I arrived in Adelaide I met up with one of our existing vets, and then flew onto Kangaroo Island where I spent the day with Dr Greg Johnsson from Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic

After a training session on laser therapy we treated a dog with a fractured leg, a puppy with superficial burns on its back and legs, ring tail possum with burnt paws and a koala with burns. 

  

SpectraVET Operations Manager, Heidi Richardson assists in laser therapy on injured wildlife on Kangaroo Island

The veterinarians from Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic also provide cover to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park who have over 400 injured koalas in their care at present. The laser will be of huge benefit to these animals and will be used everyday.

The level of destruction was terrible and the ongoing impact is unknown

The response from all over the world has been overwhelming with donations of medical supplies, offers of volunteers and cash donations. 

I was taken for a drive through the path of the first and second fire and witnessed it's destruction.

  

Driving through Kangaroo Island post fires

Kangaroo Island survives on tourism and agriculture and both of those were wiped out by the fires. Whilst we see the koalas, kangaroos and wildlife affected, many cattle, sheep and horses also perished. 

Cafes and popular camping spots are deserted and the locals are wondering how the island will recover in 6, 12 and 18 months with their two biggest income providers taking such a hit. It is the secondary effects of a fire that will be felt for a long time.

After Kangaroo Island it was on to Melbourne for more treatments...

I then flew to Melbourne and traveled to a privately owned sanctuary called Wildhaven and treated burns on a kangaroo. The sedation, cleaning debriding and rebandaging took 3 hours.

  

SpectraVET Operations Manager, Heidi Richardson assists in laser therapy on an injured kangaroo

The work by the volunteer organization Wildlife Rescuers Inc and volunteer vet Alistair Brown from Vets With Compassion was incredible to be a part of. So patient and thorough as they debrided and cleaned the burns and rebandaged.

They had 6 kangaroos and bandages are changed every 3 days. Their dedication was truly admirable. Again the laser unit I donated to them will be of huge benefit to the healing of these burns and the organization was very grateful.

It was a very intense trip but well worth the effort and organisation to pull this off. 

Laser Phototherapy can help to speed healing, decrease inflammation and decrease the chance of infection and offer pain relief. This is highly important in trying to rehabilitate these animals faster so that they can be released back into the bush. 

SpectraVET will offer ongoing support to these organisations and try to help out others that have since come forward, 

SpectraVET Operations Manager, Heidi Richardson assists in laser therapy on an injured koala with the Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic Team

If you'd like to know more about SpectraVET - click here to read their guest blog post: 3 Things I bet you didn't know about... SpectraVET

If you have any questions about how laser therapy has helped animals injured in the recent bushfires, or any other questions about laser therapy, ask Heidi in the Comments section below.

About Heidi

Heidi Richardson (B.App Sci (Medical Imaging) ) is the SpectraVET Operations Manager, Southern Hemisphere.

She has 22 years expereince as a laser therapist and runs the SpectraVET Laser Therapy Study Days.

Click here to visit the SpectraVET Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory

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