We are excited to announce the addition of a therapeutic laser to our practice, also known as a "cold laser." Cold lasers have been used in human medicine for at least three decades and have been used in some veterinary rehabilitation centers for over twenty years. They first received FDA approval back in 2002 and 2005 depending on the type of laser.
The cold laser is a painless form of therapy that uses “Photobiomodulation and Photobiostimulation” to affect tissues. Basically the light in the laser activates cells within damaged or dysfunctional tissues to change cellular metabolism. By changing the cellular metabolism in these damaged tissues the therapy reduces inflammation and pain, enhances blood flow to the area, and helps heal tissues.
The cold laser has many applications including the treatment of acute pain, chronic conditions, post-surgical discomfort, and to help with wound healing. It can also be used to reduce inflammation associated with ear infections, relieve discomfort associated with neck and back pain, and other conditions as determined by the doctor. The therapy is non-invasive, painless, and has no dangerous side effects. Our laser unit can be used in all of the animal species that we see here (cat, dog, rabbit, bird, small mammal, snake, etc.) if the need is determined by one of our veterinarians.
If you want to learn more about laser therapy or want to make an appointment to have your pet evaluated to determine if they are a laser candidate please call our office today.
Examples of some of the conditions that can be treated with the Therapeutic laser include:
- Arthritis and Degenerative joint disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Muscle injuries
- Skin conditions (for example hot spots)
- Ear pain and inflammation due to acute and chronic ear infections
- Post-surgical pain relief and increased healing
- Wound healing (lacerations and abrasions)
- Gingivitis and Dental disease
- Back and Neck Pain
What to expect
No sedation is needed for the therapy, as it is usually pleasant and comforting to the animal, and the pet does not need to be shaved. Owners can be with their patient during the therapy. We will determine a specific treatment plan based on your pet and his/her condition, at your first consultation and physical examination. Every treatment plan is tailor made depending on your pet’s size, weight, hair coat, condition, chronicity etc. We will also make adjustments to the treatment plan depending on how they are responding to it.
Depending on the condition being treated, some owners have noticed improvement after the first visit. However, for chronic conditions most patients may require several treatments to see the greatest benefit. For most conditions, we would recommend a multi-visit plan. Treatments vary in time due to the number of sites being treated and the size of your pet (larger patients take longer).
Therapeutic laser treatments are cumulative in nature; therefore each additional treatment improves your pet’s condition.
An example treatment plan for arthritis could be:
- Every other day for 1 week (for a total of 3 treatments)
- Two treatments the second week.
- One treatment the third week.
- Maintenance dosing is usually a monthly treatment, but each pet is different.
Example of an acute injury, such as a laceration, involves fewer treatments, which end when the condition is resolved. For post-operative inflammation and pain control there may be 1-3 treatments that would be administered while the patient is hospitalized.