Safety First: Otherwise, Run Away

The “I’m Not bothered” attitude about the pet wearing eye protection in a laser session is simply not acceptable.

This is a Safety Issue: You don’t get to ignore the rules.

There are NO situations where it is acceptable for a laser machine to be in use, yet for the animal (or for that matter, any of the humans around that machine) not to be wearing certified protective eye shields.

Eye safety is not negotiable.

I see far too many social media posts of animals not wearing protective goggles or at least a protective shield.

 If the animal doesn’t accept/fit the laser googles-which is very rare, then you should be using the range of eye protection alternatives that your laser supplier informed you about.

All humans in the optical hazard zone must wear eye protection as well. Again, there are too many social media laser posts showing humans either not wearing eye protection or the glasses sitting halfway down their face.

The glasses must be a snug fit and remain so throughout the session.

Given that the optical hazard zone can be up to 15 metres for some machines, the potential for something to go wrong and cause significant optical injury to your co-workers is such that the number of people in the treatment zone is strictly limited to the number of safety glasses you can provide.

Laser emissions in the 810/980nm range are NOT visible to the human eye so be aware of that risk. That is why the red guide emission light is usually at 650nm, which is visible. Light entering the eye from a collimated beam in the retinal hazard zone area is concentrated by a factor of 100,000 times when it strikes the retina so even a low-power beam is a concern. If the eye is not focused at a distance or if the laser light has been reflected off diffuse surfaces, this hazard is greatly diminished, but can still be very dangerous especially as we don’t blink fast enough to stop the damage from Laser. 

The eye will focus a 400-1400 wavelength beam to a very small spot. 

A 1mw beam gives a retinal irradiance on the spot of 1200w/cm2.

Looking at the Sun only gives 10/w/cm2.

Laser machines can be demonstrated in the Off-Mode or Safety Mode: which is how Laser companies can display at conferences etc. This means a knowledgeable salesperson can allow you to handle the machine and try out various steps on the many preset programs without harm before you buy. If a Laser Rep doesn’t know how to allow you to do this, be concerned.   A Laser salesperson can demonstrate a machine running in full operation mode in your clinic so as to perform a treatment session on one of your patients.

A knowledgeable salesperson will never start nor run any treatment session until everyone in the room, including the pet, is wearing wavelength-specific glasses or eye shields. If the salesperson does not insist on this safety approach, be so very concerned to the point of cancelling your demo.

Rest assured none of the above appalling dangerous behaviour is ever something that we would allow to occur in a Vets1laser demonstration.

However, If any of the above had happened with your laser demo from another company that has left you unsure about Laser therapy etc., then please do, as some of our newest most wonderful clients have done, and contact Dr. Aine Seavers or Dr. Mark Weingarth. Our Vets1laser Veterinarians will be more than happy to safely and expertly walk you through all the steps of understanding and implementing laser therapy for your particular practice set-up.


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