Beam me up Scotty! Lasers are no longer something just out of Sci-Fi shows…
Yes, lasers are being used by veterinarians in the treatment of your four-legged friends. Lasers are often considered to be something out of Sci-Fi shows, but now they are being used to treat pain and inflammation in world class athletes, race horses and yes, our pets. Lasers have been used for advanced medical applications for over 35 years, but are becoming much more main stream and available to the masses.
Laser therapy can be used for the relief of pain, the reduction of swelling and the healing of wounds. Class IV laser therapy uses an intense beam of laser light directed into the tissues to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation and promote healing. Laser therapy is a safe, drug-free alternative to treat many common conditions, including arthritis. We have had great success with major trauma to soft tissues and the increased speed of healing that laser therapy can provide.
Clinical studies and trials of laser therapy technology have indicated the following beneficial effects on tissues and cell:
- Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth
- Faster wound healing
- Reduced fibrous tissue formation – this helps reduce the formation of scar tissue
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Analgesia – decrease nerve sensitivity and pain
- Improved vascular activity – helps increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue which speeds healing
- Increased metabolic activity
- Improved nerve function
Here is a link to a video detailing how therapeutic laser therapy works down to the cellular level https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1Jek7bLOM4.
What conditions can be treated with laser therapy?
- Ulcerations and open wounds
- Sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments and tendons
- Ear infections
- Hot Spots
- Hip Dysplasia
- Degenerative disc or joint disease
- Surgical pain and soft tissue traumas
What can you expect during and after treatment?
No sedation is required for laser therapy and animals are often quite calm and relaxed. Improvement is often seen after the first treatment, but most patients benefit from several treatments over the course of two weeks. Treatment times can vary based on the type of treatment and the size of the treatment area, but it is most often completed in less than 15 minutes. We will offer a treatment plan that is specific to your pet’s condition. We perform laser therapy throughout our day both on hospitalized patients and by appointment. Dogs, and anyone in the room with the laser unit, will be asked to wear protective glasses as lasers can be dangerous to the naked eye. Laser treatment sessions run between $37 and $65 depending on the time involved.
If your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, consult your veterinarian about the use of laser therapy to assist in treatment. Once your pet has been examined, a treatment plan can be created. The use of therapy laser treatments can decrease or eliminate the need for additional medications and can keep your pets moving and comfortable as they reach their golden years.