The thought of “lasering” your cat or dog may be off putting to some. In the human realm, lasers are used for eye surgery, hair removal or lightsabers (for any of you Star Wars fans). However, in veterinary medicine laser therapy has an entirely different meaning.
Laser therapy is defined as an intense beam of light directed to tissues. While that might not sound all that impressive or even uncomfortable, laser therapy is a really unique way we can help manage pain in our beloved pets. Lasers can be hot, warm, or cold depending on the total watts delivered. Here we use a warm laser therapy (15 watt machine).
Laser therapy reduces pain (affecting nerves), reduces inflammation (at the level of blood vessels) and speeds up healing time (by encouraging release of collagen). And the best part? This is accomplished in a matter of minutes! Most laser therapy sessions take about 5 minutes and are performed without any sedation. Our pets typically feel a warm sensation and many who have chronic pain issues will relax and lay down throughout the course of the session.
Do I have you convinced yet? Well, how about discussing some of the conditions that we can use laser therapy for. Wounds, chronic ear infections, airway disease, osteoarthritis, pancreatitis, dental disease, surgical incisions (even during surgery), fractures, urinary tract infections, skin infections (hots spots too) and the list goes on. The only areas we can’t laser are the eyes and masses. Laser treatments are so effective they can actually speed up mass growth.
Laser therapy is designed to be used alongside our oral medications as a supportive therapy. For some patients, a single session can be helpful. For more chronic conditions, more regular sessions are recommended. Typically laser works best if done more frequently (every other day or twice weekly) for the first 1-2 weeks of therapy. Once a positive response is seen, the sessions can be less frequent (as often as once a month for some) and good results are still seen.
If your pet is a good candidate for a laser therapy session, we will discuss that during your visit. We can help you determine how many sessions your pet will need to maintain comfort. The sessions can be done during a routine exam or scheduled as a separate session with our technicians.
None of us want our pets to be in any pain. In the unfortunate time that they are, consider our recommendation of laser. It can work instantly to help your pet heal and regain comfort!