Laser Therapy Now Available!

Dr. Lee is excited to announce the addition of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to acupuncture treatments. LLLT works in tandem with acupuncture to decrease pain and increase tissue healing.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture can be used alongside pharmaceuticals and other therapies such as low level laser as part of a multi-modal pain management plan. Acupuncture works by tricking the body into thinking it was injured. The body’s own response is then initiated to decrease pain, increase healing, and normalise the body. The needles have effects locally, segmentally along the spinal cord, and systemically. It is important that the animal is relaxed and comfortable during treatment for the best response. Most animals respond very well to acupuncture, and some may even fall asleep during treatment. The treatments will build upon the previous one until a steady state is reached. For this reason it is recommended to try 3-4 treatments weekly to determine if the pet will benefit from acupuncture. In acute cases this may be all the treatment the animal needs, and in chronic cases acupuncture may become part of a maintenance regimen. In those cases the frequency is weaned down to the lowest frequency possible. There is a small percentage of pets that do not respond to acupuncture or will not tolerate treatment. Other treatments such as low level laser therapy can be useful in these situations.

What is Low Level Laser Therapy?

Like Acupuncture, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) encourages the body to use its own mechanisms to promote healing and decrease pain. Similar to how a plant absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis, animal cells can absorb the energy from LLLT. By the activation of multiple biochemical pathways, the energy is used to promote tissue repair, increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, and decrease pain. The treatment is safe and well tolerated. For these reasons LLLT can be used in numerous cases. Like acupuncture, LLLT builds upon previous treatments to reach an effective dose. It can be used in acute cases such as post operative pain relief and wound healing, and chronic cases such as osteoarthritis.

Uses for Acupuncture/LLLT

Musculoskeletal conditions:

Myofascial pain (trigger points)


Post-Op analgesia/wound healing

Soft Tissue Injuries (e.g. ACL tears, medial shoulder instability, tendon injuries)



Peripheral neuropathies


Pain/inflammation from otitis externa

Lick granulomas/hot spots



Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Ileus and other motility disorders

Pain from GI Disease (e.g. pancreatitis, gastric ulcers)


This list is just a small example of the uses for Acupuncture/LLLT. High Tide Veterinary Services is always happy to discuss whether Acupuncture/LLLT is a good option for your pet, please contact us for more information!

Photo Credit Jane Isquith

My Horse Needs a Dentist Too?

Dentistry is an area that it often over looked, however it is extremely important for the health and comfort of the horse. As horses age their teeth continue to erupt. As they eat the teeth are worn down. This creates sharp edges along the pre-molars and molars, which can then injure the sensitive mucosa and tongue. These sharp points can be very painful for the horse. Common signs are dropping feed while eating, packing feed in the mouth, weight loss, behavior trouble while riding, etc. Some horses may show no signs at all while very sharp points cause them pain.

Horses can also suffer from other problems in the mouth. Painful diastemata, where food gets stuck in-between two teeth, can lead to dental disease. It is important to address the diastemata before it gets severe. Treatment ranges from simply removing the feed to corrective dentistry.

Fractures can also occur to the teeth. In some cases the tooth may be saved, however in severe cases extraction must occur. After extraction the opposing tooth must be corrected every 6-12 months.

Sharp points, diastemata, fractures, and other dental pathology are all important reasons to have a qualified veterinarian provide dental services for your horse. To diagnose and address these issues requires a proper oral exam with a speculum, light, and sedation. Without a proper oral exam diseases are frequently missed, especially in the far back of the mouth. Dental care should start at a young age so that problems can be fixed before they progress. Older horses often require more frequent dental care to address their aging dentition. Every horse should have a sedated oral exam by a qualified veterinarian at least yearly.

Dr. Lee has a special interest in dentistry. In veterinary school she completed a research project looking at peripheral caries in horses, which was recently published in the journal Equine Veterinary Education. She has spent extra time learning from experts in the field to better care for your horses, and looks forward to helping your horse with his/her dental needs.


B Photo



Equine Dentistry Coming to San Diego

High Tide Veterinary Services is excited to announce the addition of equine dentistry services starting in January 2019. Horses owners in the San Diego area can benefit from a qualified veterinarian available to provide dental care for their horses. High Tide Veterinary Services works with your normal veterinarian to provide excellent care. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!


Friea pic