When most people think of lasers in veterinary medicine they think of this...
Not exactly what you would call therapeutic. You may be surprised to learn that laser therapy is now widely used in human and veterinary medicine to treat a wide range of conditions without many of the side effects of oral medications. May sound a little like voodoo medicine but there is a great deal of science behind this therapy.
So how does this work exactly?
We start with the electromagnetic spectrum. There is a wide array of electromagnetic waves that we commonly interact with daily – visible light, ultraviolet light, infrared light, X-rays, radar, etc. Therapeutic lasers emit visible red light and infrared light at wavelengths that trigger chemical reactions within the cells of the body. These chemical reactions can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as enhance tissue healing.
What do the treatments involve?
People and animals near the laser during therapy should wear protective eyewear to block any infrared light. The therapists will adjust the settings depending on the pet’s hair coat length, color and the condition being treated. After that, your pet simply needs to lay still while the therapists applies the laser to the area being treated. Most animals find the therapy pleasant and will relax for the 2-5 minutes it takes to treat each area. Initially, your therapists will often recommend several treatments in a relatively short period of time before beginning to taper the frequency of treatments based on the pet’s response. The frequency of treatment can vary depending on the condition being treated, how chronic or acute the problem and the individual patient response between treatments.
Are there any side effects?
Most animals do not experience side effects from laser therapy. In some cases, a pet may feel a little more sore the day following a laser treatment but this typically resolves without any intervention. Generally, we do not apply laser therapy directly to areas of active cancer or in pregnant animals. Laser therapy can be used concurrently with oral pain medications or other internal medicine disorders, such as cardiac or kidney disease.
What conditions can be treated with laser therapy?
Any condition that involves pain and inflammation can benefit from laser therapy.
- Partial cranial cruciate tears
- Post-operative incisions
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Muscle sprains (Iliopsoas, Biceps, etc.)
- Lick granulomas & pressure sores
- Severe ear infections
- Traumatic injuries and wounds
- Feline cystitis
Moore Pet Mobility is now offering in-home laser therapy treatments for dogs and cats. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to see if laser therapy may benefit your cat or dog.