For years, laser therapy has been used to treat humans. Only in recent years have veterinarians started using it to treat various conditions in pets. Like massage therapy, acupuncture, and other therapies, pet laser therapy can be used in conjunction with medication to manage inflammation, pain, and wound healing. Let’s look at how our veterinarians at MountainView Veterinary Hospital in Rockaway (and soon in Denville) use this therapy to manage pain in pets.
What is Pet Laser Therapy?
Pet laser therapy uses light waves of a specific wavelength to activate the alteration of tissue and cellular physiology. The light that is absorbed stimulates cell regeneration and promotes growth, repair, proliferation, and migration. The type of tissues that respond to laser therapy depends on the wavelength. Most laser therapies use red or near-infrared light with wavelengths of 600-1,070 nanometers. It is also known as cold laser therapy. This treatment is used to treat musculoskeletal issues like arthritis as well as the following:
- Acute and chronic injuries
- Joint pain and osteoarthritis
- Post-surgical nerve tissue damage
- Spinal disc swelling
- Sprained and strained muscles and ligaments
- Back pain
- Ear infections
Pet Laser Therapy for Pain Management
This cutting-edge treatment is suitable for relieving pain in pets with arthritis. Class IV cold laser therapy is especially effective at treating pets struggling with osteoarthritis pain whether or not they have had orthopedic surgery.
The therapy relieves pain by reducing the inflammation by activating the lymphatic drainage system to drain the swollen areas. The laser also stimulates nerve cells to block the pain signals from being transmitted to the brain, thereby reducing nerve sensitivity. With less swelling, inflammation, and the interruption of pain signals to the brain, the animal finds pain relief.
How Cold Laser Therapy is Administered
The vet first assesses your pet’s pain management needs to determine if it is a candidate for laser therapy. This is because this therapy is not ideal for pets with cancer as it can worsen the condition or spread the malignancy.
Next, the veterinarian customizes a treatment plan which may take 8-10 sessions depending on your pet’s condition. The duration also varies based on the pet’s weight, size, and treatment requirements. For example, a vet may recommend 8-10 minute sessions for smaller dogs and 30-minute sessions for larger dogs with chronic pain. During the session, the pet lies on a table or a blanket on the floor to ensure the laser beams penetrate the right area. The veterinarian may also dim the lights and play soothing music to calm the pet down.
Get Laser Therapy for Your Pet at Our Animal Hospital
Surgery, injuries, and other conditions such as arthritis can cause pain in pets for a long time. If you are considering laser therapy to help your pet, contact our veterinarians at MountainView Veterinary Hospital in Rockaway (and soon in Denville) today at (973) 983-0500.