Laser Therapy And It's Benefits To Pets

By Dr. Janet Weistock,  Associate Veterinarian

What is Cold Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment used in animals for management of various medical issues in addition to other medical treatments. 

How does it work?

Photons are absorbed by cells and converted to chemical energy. Light energy reaches the target tissue at a therapeutic dose to trigger a cellular response. This allows for vasodilation which is an increase of blood flow; therefore oxygen, to cells which allows for faster healing.

Laser treatment helps decrease tissue inflammation, decrease pain, and help in accelerating the healing process.

What conditions is it used for?

Laser can be used on incision sites after surgery to help increase the healing of the incision site.

It can also be used on wounds (whether known or unknown cause) to help aid in healing even if not a surgical wound or incision.

It is also sometimes used for local skin infections to help in addition to other medical management to aid in quicker healing time.

We have also seen laser therapy help reduce inflammation from lick granulomas common in some dogs. It can reduce the size of the abnormal skin and reduce the animal’s licking at the area over time.

Other uses are to control or help lessen nerve pain, arthritis pain, joint diseases.

How often and how long are treatments?

Sessions can be up to 20 minutes depending on settings, number of sites, and reason for using laser therapy (acute vs. chronic conditions).

For wounds, sometimes sessions are recommended 1-3 times a week, then decreased to weekly as area is healing.

For arthritis or other mobility issues 1-2 times a week initially, then depending on response, treatments can be tapered to weekly and even further out from there depending on how your pet is doing and what your veterinarian recommends.

How do I know if Laser therapy is right for my pet?

If you think your pet has a condition that can benefit from laser therapy, you can discuss with your veterinarian and if it is an option for your pet, you can both determine a treatment plan/regimen.

If your pet has any growths that have the potential of being cancerous anywhere near the intended site of laser therapy, the treatment may not be recommended, again, this should be discussed with your veterinarian.

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