Laser therapy is an innovative modality that helps relieve pain and speed up healing after surgery, illness, or injury. While it's relatively new to veterinary medicine, laser therapy is a popular pain management option for pets, especially those who are unable to take traditional pain medication due to contraindications with other prescriptions or certain illnesses that affect their ability to process pain medication. At Animal Care East, we use laser therapy for dogs and cats to help pets heal from an array of conditions.
Is your pet showing signs of pain like reluctance to move and wincing when touched? Laser therapy can help!
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy refers to the use of concentrated light energy to stimulate healing and pain relief in the body. The process is called photobiomodulation, and it is completely safe for pets of any age. The laser is a hand-held device that technicians will hold over your pet’s affected area for a certain amount of time (usually between 10-30 minutes). The laser light stimulates biological reactions at a cellular level and causes the following to occur:
- An increase in cell production in damaged tissue that helps to speed up healing
- A release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers
- Increased blood circulation, which helps to reduce inflammation
What Conditions Can Laser Therapy Treat?
Laser therapy has almost no contraindications and can, therefore, be used to treat most conditions that cause pain. The only limiting factor is that we do not recommend laser therapy for pets who have cancer or are suspected to have cancer, because the laser could stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
Conditions we treat with laser therapy include:
- Joint injuries
- Wound healing
- Ear infections
- Post-op recovery
- Orthopedic issues
- Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD)
- Lick granulomas
- Hot spots
- And more
How Often Does My Pet Need Laser Therapy?
Depending on your pet’s condition and their response to treatment, they may only need one session to feel the effects. For chronic conditions such as arthritis, however, pets usually need multiple sessions. Since laser therapy is cumulative, your pet will experience longer-lasting benefits with every session.
With this in mind, a pet who starts with a couple sessions a week can usually downsize to once a week, once every two weeks, and so on as time goes on. Our veterinarians will work with you and your pet to determine the most effective timeline for them.