THE speaker at February’s monthly meeting was Janet Lloyd-Jones, a registered acupuncturist, who has developed and, indeed, updated injury-treatment techniques through the use of LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) and thermal imaging. Although based in Gloucestershire, she works in a number of zoos across the UK and, having been a pioneer, is now involved in training others.

Her desire to treat horses was thwarted by the fact that practitioners are banned from using needles on animals, so when she became aware of the affects that lasers were having on human beings, she thought that maybe this was the way forward for veterinary treatments. It has been known since classical times that all cells respond to light, and that the body will do all it can to repair itself in the event of injury. LLLT offers more energy to the cells in an affected area in order to stimulate them into doing what they do naturally.

Jan’s talk, entitled From Aardvarks to Zebras, was illustrated with photos, video clips and diagrams (to explain the science), and focussed on the treatment of a wide variety of wounds and conditions suffered by family pets and animals in zoos. We heard, among several examples, about an aardvark and a gorilla being treated for sores, an African parrot and a Marconi penguin for foot damage, a bald eagle for arthritis, an elephant for toothache, a collie for grief and a cockatoo for stress! Sometimes a cure is effected but, generally, the aim is to achieve improvement and make the animal more comfortable. The use of thermal imaging is vital in locating the source of the problem, as the technology identifies areas where body temperatures are higher due to inflammation. The use of LLLT has, on occasion, led to quite dramatic improvements, as in the case of a Jack Russell which had been suffering from hind-leg paralysis. As a result, similar treatments are now being introduced in spinal injury departments caring for human beings.

Members asked a variety of questions afterwards about laser treatments for both animals and themselves. Anyone interested in finding out more can visit Jan’s website –

On a completely different note … if you are a member of the U3A and are considering a short break, there are a few places still available on the forthcoming trip to Monet’s garden in May. If this is of interest to you, please get in touch with the organiser, Jean Griffin. Her contact details can be found on the website or in the Newsletter.