Study for Physical and Behavioral Changes
Test Subject: Spectra Therapy Cold Laser LaserWrap for Canines
Preliminary Results from October 15, 2018 through December 18, 2018
Author: Nelson Hodges, IACP, CDT, CDTA, PDTI
Short Term Results for test subject dogs – Class 2018.2.7 (CHRI Course 2) November 3 through 11, 2018.
Course 2 at the CHRI included 4 subject dogs, all Siberian Huskies from 1 year of age to approximately 6 years old. One Handler per dog, each Human/Canine Team were together for 24 hours per day for a total of eight 24 hour periods, sequentially. Each dog was cared for by one handler, and in the possession of that handler the entire eight day sequence. None of the dogs or handlers had ever met before, and there were no preconceptions of each dog. Dogs were observed for structural, musculature and behavioral characteristics, aberrations and anomalies.
Each dog was given to us for evaluation and rehabilitation of any behavioral issues and/or any observed medical conditions found, by a Rescue Group. The rescue group did not allow blood samples to be collected from the dogs for measurements (before and after) due to these dogs coming from traumatized situations such as Puppy Mill Breeding dogs and back yard seizures due to neglect or abuse.
Each dog was given identical nutritional bases per day, consisting of appropriate amounts of dry and wet food, as well as nutritional supplements for each dog, customized for the particular dog needed to gain, lose or maintain weight, muscles, etc
Each Handler was given a Spectra Therapy LaserWrap with the same instructions for use. The unit was to be placed upon each dog all night, 9 for an average of 7 hours per night) during rest time. As a caveat, the manufacturer recommends also placing the unit on each dog between a morning and afternoon exercise session for an hour or so as well. Due to the nature of this particular class, we were not able to comply with that part of the recommendations. However, each dog wore the vest overnight, with the power unit charging all day. Observational and measurement results were requested from each handler.
During the 9 day Course, it is typical to cover the equivalent of 10 miles per day, average, for both dog and handler through walking, running, agility and training work. Exercises are strenuous, but not to a competition level. Rest periods between exercises occur naturally and through class lecture times averaging 4 times per day for thirty minutes to an hour and a half.
Each Handler evaluated results for each of their dogs. There were uniform reports of better stamina and faster and more complete recovery from each day’s activity levels. We usually see a dip in the energy levels and stamina around day 5. In this case none of the dogs had a decrease in energy or capability and willingness to do physical activities. I also observed this in each of the subject dogs, compared with previous 9 day class subjects prior to the November Class 2018.2.7. The dogs appeared to have more initial energy and maintained it better through the day longer as class went on through the 9 days.
While it is difficult to evaluate individual dogs’ behavioral changes qualitatively, since each is an individual, and the only “control” group was previous classes of this Course (10 total classes), these particular dogs did respond well and appeared to have a good comfort level within three days of their introduction into our program. Some of that is attributable to an improved, calm environment, structured routines, good handlers and training specifically to address behavioral issues. Preliminary observations support conclusions within a 5 day period that each dog was in better physical shape, had more energy, never drained which had an influence on overall behavior and willingness to cooperate and handle new and more difficult situations they were placed into.
One particular 2 year old male Siberian Husky (Rory) subject came in with very weak back legs and hindquarters, little observable muscle structure, visible wobbly movement, and a noticeable lack of balance and confidence. He had difficulty jumping up, with great reluctance, on anything 2’ above his plane level. Within 3 days, a noticeable steadying, and within 7 days a very noticeable and measurable muscle improvement in the hind quarters and legs was noted. Within 5 days he was willing and capable of jumping up on anything requested of him up to 3.5 feet above his plane height. Photographic evidence and videos taken of this subject showed great improvement in stability, capability, performance, and confidence. This subject was the stand out of an obvious difference in all of the subject dogs. I will personally add that I have not seen this much of an obvious improvement in structure and subsequent confidence in a dog during this course in any previous dog. Where little musculature was observed on the first day, the last 2 days showed increased size and defined Sartorius, Tensor Fascia Latea, Fascia Lata, Bicep Femoris and Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus muscle groups. His comfort with, and confidence and ability to do almost any physical task we asked of him was immediate and without effort. Not only did we see the physical change, but the behavioral comfort was substantial.
Long Term Studies with Institute Instructors personal dogs.
Case study 1:
Mia; 16.5 year old, female German Shepherd Dog. 62 pounds, down from 76 due to effects of long term Degenerative Myelopathy (Diagnosed more than a year ago, with effects observed for two years). Loss of muscle mass and control of hind quarters has been severe. Mia has been with me for more than 8 years and has had the best care and nutrition levels possible. I have used her in demo, SAR work, and traveled the Country with her.
Mia has been on Adequan shots for approximately one year. She has been receiving Gabapentin for approximately 5 months. Neither of these aides has shown any direct effect. Most likely, they have slowed the progress of the deterioration of the Myelin Sheathing (Adequan) and dulled any pain or feeling effects from DM (Gabapentin). However, there were no noticeable changes with either of those administrations.
Starting early October we added a Steroid pill regimen to assist in healing of skin issue she had developed from being bitten by a flea (she has severe flea allergies). Other than the assistance of healing the skin issues, she had no observable mobility enhancement initially.
It was also at this time that I began to place the LaserWrap vest on Mia overnight, every night. Within two weeks Mia’s mobility and control improved from about 25% to more than 50%. She was able to track straight, and she could stand without falling over and folding in half. Her ability to come up and go down stairs also improved. In short she could begin to feel, use and control her back legs again. She also could get more exercise for her muscles. The difference was immediately observable.
It is possible there might be a combination and cumulative effect of steroid and cold Laser. One month into the period that she regained some of her mobility there was one night where the laser wrap vest was not placed upon her. The next morning, she had deteriorated to almost the same level of un-mobility that she had had before the use of the LaserWrap overnight. The next evening she wore the LaserWrap overnight again. The next morning, the major part of her regained mobility was restored.
While I would like to experiment to see if the same effects happened in the same way, I am not going to do that to Mia. It took several days for her to regain her mobility to the highest level possible for her. I have not had her off of it since that time.
Overall, her energy levels and behavioral willingness have been maintained, and even restored some confidence to become excited and attempt a small level of play. That is also significant.
Case Study 2:
Spartacus; 9 year old, male Great Dane, wiry in stature, healthy, Low muscle mass and well cared for in behavior and nutrition his entire life. HE has been on low carb BARF diet supplemented with 20% carb kibble for 4 years. Spartacus was used as a Service Dog for mobility assistance and cardiac arrhythmia alerting until 2.5 year ago. He acquired Rocky Mountain Spotted fever at that time. Approximately 1.5 years ago he started declining in energy and had decreasing strength in his hindquarters and back legs including bilateral loss of both gluteus medius muscles . He steadily declined in energy and had apparent reduced joint comfort. Spartacus is on Galaprant for episodes of inflammation in the forefeet.
The cold laser (LaserWrap) product was used on Spartacus overnight, each night, for 8 weeks straight. During the test trial, he showed no episodes of inflammation or swelling in his forelegs or feet. He was observed to have significant and obvious increase in energy levels, quick recovery times, maintained energy levels throughout the day, and even started joining in play with the younger dogs in the household, which he had not done in a couple of years. He was happier and more “bouncy” in his behavior.
There are observable and measureable increases, bilaterally, in the gluteus medius muscles. Being a wiry dog, any increase in muscle mass is significant and apparent.
Case Study 3:
Chinook; a 6 year old male Siberian Husky. Chinook was caught in an animal trap several years ago and found later. His front leg had to be removed. Chinook has been with his family and pack for four years now. He was measured and fitted with a custom brace for the remaining front leg to assist and prevent fatigue and muscle/tendon and joint damage long term. Chinook has been on an ideal nutritional diet for the past 4 years and has had both water therapies as well as other exercises recommended by Veterinarians.
He has been on the Spectra Therapy LaserWrap vest, overnight, for two weeks as of the date of this writing. Dr. Koehler reports the following:
“Observations have to do with how his muscles feel. Usually his muscles feel like a rock and the skin and fur does not move loosely over the muscle. He used to grumble when touching this area above the flank. Didn’t tolerate much touch without grumbling. Didn’t seek out touch. Muscle as become much softer (relaxed). Skin moves more freely. He now seeks touch daily and for longer period. No more grumble when approaching while he is lying down. And now he jumps up more when food is coming. Happier in the face. More relaxed in the eyes.” Further she states: “ Last night, on the walk, Chinook didn’t stop to lie down. That hasn’t happened but a handful of times since we have had him.” “He has been initiating a LOT more play. He used to never do that.” He is wanting to rough house with Timber (other dog in house).” “ He is noticeably different dog.”
Preliminary Observational Conclusion:
The preponderance of evidence indicates a consistent pattern of physical characteristics that appear to be attributable, directly, to the use of the Spectra Therapy LaserWrap vest. Those attributes are a consistently shorter recovery time from exercise; higher initial and more long term energy maintenance, physical improvement, especially in the observational area of the hind legs and supporting muscular structure of each dog that this product was used in experimentation. From scientific research that is published about Cold Laser Therapy, this appears to be consistent with other findings. Increased circulatory system efficiencies, flushing out of toxins and waste, oxygenation replenishment, better blood cell health, decreased deterioration of performance between uses, increased performance with use.
The most obvious result was the muscle increase in weaker dog, in a short amount of time. This also led to an almost uniform behavior change in confidence, composure and well-being with each dog tested so far.
CHRI will continue a longer term, and wider ranging test of the potential benefits of this product, including dogs in boarding and rescue that may not have the best nutrition or environment.
Nelson Hodges, IACP, CDT, CDTA, PDTI
President, Canine – Human Relationship Institute