Laser therapy is a pain-free, surgery-free, and drug-free treatment modality that is hugely beneficial for pets suffering from pain, inflammation, and injuries. Plus, laser therapy is non-invasive, and your pet does not need to be shaved for treatment. This safe, yet powerful, therapy option, has so many perks that pets can reap the benefits with minimal side effects.
Is your pet an ideal candidate for laser therapy? Our MountainView Veterinary Hospital team illuminates the healing power of therapeutic lasers.
How does a therapeutic laser work in pets?
Therapeutic lasers work on a cellular level through a process called photobiomodulation. As specific light frequencies penetrate bodily tissues, they stimulate physiological changes in the cells and speed up normal cellular processes, enabling the body to heal faster.
Simply put, the energy from lightwaves enters the cells and kick-starts the cells’ own energy production, emitting certain chemicals that spur biochemical changes in the body that include:
- Dilating blood vessels
- Improving circulation
- Regulating the immune system
- Reducing scar tissue formation
- Improving nerve function and regeneration
- Relaxing muscles
- Releasing endorphins
These biological changes occur at the cellular level and reduce inflammation, ease pain, and speed healing.
What conditions in pets benefit from laser therapy?
Laser therapy can be useful for virtually any condition that causes inflammation and pain. Some of the most common pet health issues that laser therapy can help heal include:
- Ligament and tendon injuries
- Bone fractures
- Surgical incisions
- Skin allergies
- Ear infections
- Anal gland impactions and abscesses
- Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
- Lick granulomas
Laser therapy can also be used in specific instances, such as:
- Senior pets with organ dysfunction who cannot safely take medications or undergo surgery
- Pets with chronic conditions who cannot tolerate medications
- Conditions, such as feline pain, that have few treatment options
What can I expect during my pet’s laser therapy session?
Laser therapy sessions are meant to be relaxed, calm appointments. During your pet’s session, we will position them so they are as comfortable as possible, but we can still access the treatment areas. Typically, pets will lie down or sit with their owners at their head and stay calm and still.
Depending on the reason for laser therapy, a single session can last from 5 to 20 minutes. Acute or superficial issues, like a torn toenail, will require shorter sessions, whereas chronic problems, such as osteoarthritis (OA), that affect deeper tissues, take more time.
During laser therapy, everyone in the room must wear protective goggles, including your pet. The therapy’s lightwave frequencies are designed to heal, but they can still damage the eyes’ retinas, so protective goggles and not looking directly at the laser are critical.
When can I expect to see results from my pet’s laser therapy session?
Laser therapy’s effects can generally be seen a day or two after initial treatment for acute, superficial issues, such as hot spots, surgical incisions, and minor wounds. Chronic conditions require more treatments, potentially four to six, before an appreciable improvement is seen. Keep in mind that chronic problems, like OA, have been generating inflammation and pain for months or years, so you need to wait patiently for results.
How will I know if my pet is a good candidate for laser therapy?
Laser therapy is not only a powerful complementary treatment when paired with medications and other alternative therapies, but also can be highly effective alone. However, despite the wide range of inflammatory conditions that laser therapy can benefit, therapeutic lasers should not be used for these problems or in the following areas:
- Active bleeding
- Reproductive organs
- Endocrine glands
- Bone growth plates
If your pet is affected by a medical condition, they may benefit from laser therapy’s healing light. Our MountainView Veterinary Hospital team is always prepared to provide inflammation and pain relief via laser therapy to the pets in the Rockaway and Denville areas. Call us to schedule an appointment.