On the Cutting Edge: How Laser Therapy for Pets Can Help
Lasers have been used to treat a variety of medical conditions in humans since the 1960’s. Today, low level laser therapy is marketed for use in everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to smoking cessation. The use of low level laser technology in veterinary medicine is just now beginning to take off. Here at Rutland Veterinary Clinic, we couldn’t be more excited to offer this treatment modality for our patients!
Decoding Laser Therapy for Pets
Therapeutic laser, also called cold laser therapy, uses a focused beam of light to deliver photons (light energy) to a specific part of the body. The photons are absorbed into the cell where they initiate a series of chemical reactions that result in healthier, more resilient cells. Laser therapy can produce the following benefits:
- Reduced pain
- Decreased swelling/inflammation
- Increased blood flow to the area
- Shorter healing time
- Decreased incidence of infection
What to Expect
Before beginning treatment, your pet will be seen by their veterinarian for a thorough assessment to determine their specific needs and the number of sessions required for treatment.
During each session, a technician will apply a hand-held laser to the target area for approximately 5-15 minutes. Most pets find the warmth of the laser soothing; your pet may even become so relaxed that they fall asleep!
You might see an improvement in your pet after the first session, but oftentimes, multiple applications are needed to see the full benefits of laser therapy. Therapeutic laser treatments are often combined with other pain relief modalities to provide maximum relief.
Pain Relief and Beyond
Although pain serves an important purpose by alerting us to problems in the body, chronic or intense pain can actually decrease quality of life and impede the healing process. Laser therapy for pets can reduce pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, surgical procedures, or muscle, ligament, and joint injuries. Reducing pain also lowers the levels of cortisol and other inflammatory hormones, allowing pets the breathing room they need to heal.
Laser therapy for pets can also help speed up the healing process for a variety of other conditions, such as chronic ear infections, dental disease, burns, neurological issues, fractures, soft tissue injuries, and skin conditions. Because there are no side effects and no need for anesthesia or other sedation, this treatment is ideal for pets of all ages and physical abilities.