animal therapy media

Working with a conservation project in Vietnam

by Anna Webb on behalf of Photizo

animal therapy mediaBroadcaster, Author, Trainer has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT)

When Sophie Sparrow, Head Vet Nurse at London Zoo, contacted Photizo’s UK distributor, Danetre Health Products, enquiring if they could help on a conservation project involving Pangolins in Vietnam, MD, Ruth Milner was delighted and honoured to help. Sophie Sparrow commented: “I’ve always had a passion for animal rehabilitation using Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Laser and Light Therapy, and incorporate such modalities into my vet nursing practices at London Zoo. I was aware of Photizo’s pocket sized, hand-held device, which was perfect to take with me to the forests of Vietnam and work alongside Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW). I was lucky enough to win a grant through ZSL London Zoo which covered my travel to SVW, a non-profit organisation, based in the Cuc Phuong National Park, in Northern Vietnam, about 3 hours south of Hanoi.”

The work of SVW in collaboration with the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP) focuses on all aspects of conservation and care of small carnivore and pangolin species.

This includes the rescue, rehabilitation and release of those confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade, as well as the development of global conservation breeding program for the threatened carnivores and pangolins.

With an overall aim ‘for all rescues to be rehabilitated and for the captive born carnivores and pangolins to be released back to the wild, provided there is sufficient protection and adequate habitat for their survival. SVW has successfully been rehabilitating and caring for pangolins for over seven years. The health and welfare of the animals in their care is paramount. With wildlife keepers caring for the animals on a daily basis along with two vets responsible for the provision of their health care and treatment.

animal therapy mediaSophie explained: “My role at SVW involved helping the early detection of wounds or infection to start treatment. The scales of a pangolin are very tight meaning you can’t lift them to see if any puncture wounds or pressure wounds are developing in the soft tissue underneath. A lot of the wound issues start small and are undetectable until infection is present. These wounds are caused most often by rope bags wrapped tightly around the pangolins, or from confinement in small boxes once caught by poachers.

Wound healing in Pangolins is tricky and typically slow not helped by the moist warm tropical conditions of the forest alongside that many of these wounds are chronically infected. Additionally Pangolins are shy creatures by nature and wild, meaning that handling them can be extremely difficult.

“From the first treatment sessions, Photizo made a considerable positive impact on the Pangolins. The types of wounds the SVW team deals with include tail injuries and infections with resulting amputations being the most common.

There were 21 Pangolins at SVW out of these 11 individuals were receiving ongoing treatment of wounds. Many had multiple wounds”.

Photizo’s success in aiding wound healing, has been well documented by Physiotherapist, Marietjie Venter who developed Photizo in South Africa. Vet Surgeon, Berol Goede, who helped develop the veterinary market in South Africa with cases studies on small animals, horses and wildlife, including Cockatoos, Sea Lions and Cheetah explained: “In general veterinary work, the biggest use is bite wounds, chronic necrotic wounds and oozing abscesses. We use it to help clean up septic wounds.”

Since its launch in 2013 Photizo’s non-invasive, hand-held device has pioneered modern Phototherapy and it was positively received from the start of Sophie’s whirlwind 11 day trip.

As the SWV team had difficulty pronouncing ‘Photizo’, the device became affectionately called the ‘Ping-Ping’ machine due to the small beeping sound of its 31 second preprogrammed dose being activated and switching off.

Some of the professional therapeutic laser devices also include LED diodes and Photizo Vetcare harnesses specific development in LED technology following the success of NASA LED research and published recommended doses from WALT (World Association of Laser Therapy). It has been specifically developed with high output LEDs to ensure a fast delivery of an effective evidence based dose red and infrared light with pulsed frequencies (LED Phototherapy).

The convenience of this pocket sized rechargeable treatment tool appeals as does its capacity to treat a large surface area with LED diodes. Unlike a true laser, which transfers coherent, or near coherent light, LED emits noncoherent light, which has a greater cover area.

Whilst laser light can pose a risk to the eyes, with laser goggles recommended, with LED light sources used in Photizo’s design, there’s no risk to the eyes, making it much simpler and safer to use by Animal Therapists, Vets, Vet Nurses, healthcare professionals and by pet owners.

Treatment of infected wounds is fast and effective with Photizo Vetcare as it works at a cellular level. A proven effect from studies is the increase in blood and lymph vessel diameter, which promotes the removal of debris, whilst promoting the inflow of oxygen and nutrients, helping damaged cells to repair and function at optimum levels.

In addition Photizo Vetcare helps the remodelling phase of healing by stimulating fibroblast and collagen formation needed for wound closure. This helps to minimise scar tissue formation.

Vetcare’s near Infrared light has also been shown to increase immune system functioning. This means that a local treatment of a wound has a general immune enhancing effect helping to prevent any infections.

The pain relief offered by Photizo Vetcare by promoting circulation and reducing inflammation to the affected areas also contributed to the positive results seen by the SVW team.

Sophie added: “The Vetcare machine has gone down so well with the team out there, both the vets and keepers alike were so keen to see it used and see some of the benefits and also as a new technology. Wound healing in Pangolins is tricky and usually slow healing so they were all, and still are, super excited about it!

We saw some great improvements in wound healing, in such a short time frame. It is difficult to appreciate the huge change from the photos alone, but I can say 100% the smell, infection and necrotic tissue was significantly less after treatment.

The Photizo Vetcare has been donated to SVW following Sophie’s two week volunteer trip assisting the team and, as one of the founders of the Association of Zoological and Veterinary Nurses (AZEVN), Sophie has gained useful information not only for SVW going forward but also to use and present back here in the UK (with permission of SWV), so it can be used in other projects abroad.

I’m proud to have made a difference to animal conservation as a veterinary nurse. The improvement on the animals treated for wound healing with Photizo was more than I could have hoped for.

while Sophie was volunteering, the SVW Centre Team have updated their standard wound care protocol to include Photizo Vetcare application at every treatment wherever possible.

Ruth Milner MD of Danetre Health Products enthused: “We were so excited when Sophie contacted us.

The work that SVW does to help this precious endangered species is beyond commendable. I am simply thrilled that Sophie and team saw such positive results on the poor Pangolins. This highlights the powerful natural healing potential that Photizo offers. It is an additional affordable and simple-to-use modern phototherapy tool for any practitioner to use alongside standard treatment protocols to enhance healing. Photizo and is the result of years of dedicated research, innovative thinking to harness the latest in LED technology which means modern and portable phototherapy is available for everyone.”

Animal Therapy Magazine