Therapeutic laser therapy has been used in human medicine for decades, and is
now emerging as a common form of therapy in veterinary medicine. A growing
number of pet owners are familiar with this type of therapy, but may have
questions about how it works or its effectiveness for treating their pets.
Often referred to as low level laser therapy (LLLT), or less accurately as
"cold" laser therapy, these lasers are different from surgical lasers. Whereas
high-power surgical lasers are used to cut or destroy tissue using a very
concentrated beam, low level laser therapy is used to relieve pain and
enhance cell function.
How does low level laser therapy work?
Low level lasers penetrate tissues on a cellular level, triggering a reaction
that stimulates cell regeneration and boosts the cell's energy. Increased
energy means faster tissue repair and cell growth, leading to desirable
results such as pain relief, decreased swelling, and faster healing of
wounds and injuries.
Essentially, laser therapy initiates the body's own healing process. This
means that the anti-inflammatory response can continue even after the
treatment is over - up to 24 hours after the procedure.
Pets and their owners usually find laser therapy to be an easy, simple
and effective treatment. There is no need to sedate your dog or cat before
laser therapy, as most pets find the process to be relaxing. Additionally,
the area being treated does not need to be shaved or trimmed.
What are the benefits of laser therapy?
Low level laser therapy is a non-invasive, quick and essentially painless
treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Even chronic patients can
experience improvement after just a few treatments.
Lasers can be used to treat acute conditions such as
Laser therapy may also be used to treat chronic conditions like:
- Soft tissue injury
- Surgery recovery
- Bone fractures
- Muscular-skeletal abnormalities
- Chronic pain
- Chronic ear infections and skin infections
- Tendon and ligament conditions
- Some neurological issues
The frequency and duration of treatments will depend on the condition being
treated, but most treatments take less than 15 minutes. Additionally, most
patients can decrease or stop laser treatments over time and still achieve
the same results as their body begins to heal itself.
Pet owners may notice signs that their dog or cat is feeling better after
laser therapy, such as regaining some mobility, going up the stairs more
easily, or acting more playful at home.
If your pet is suffering from an injury or chronic pain, it may be worth
incorporating low level laser therapy into their treatment plan.
Schedule an appointment with your vet
to discuss the possibility of laser therapy for your pet.