The Latest on Laser Therapy

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2015, 03:08 PM America/Los_Angeles

Cutting Edge Pain Relief for your Pet:  Laser Therapy

 If you want the best for your pet, you should look into Laser therapy–one of the most exciting new treatment options available.  It is revolutionizing how veterinarians treat a variety of conditions as it is non-invasive, drug-free and non-surgical.  Laser can be used as a sole therapy or it can enhance traditional treatments without adding risk.  It has a wide variety of uses, ranging from treating simple skin wounds to severe, chronic arthritis.  Pets are generally comfortable with the treatment as it does not require anesthesia, sedation, or restraint.  It can be used in pets of all ages to provide pain relief, reduce inflammation and speed healing—what an exciting new breakthrough!

The laser used to treat pets is called a Class IV therapeutic laser.  It works by delivering a beam of light into tissue without damaging it.  Laser light energy triggers a biological response called “photo-bio-modulation.”  The laser beam transmits through a hand piece that gently rolls over your pet’s skin or coat.  Your pet will feel a soothing, warming sensation as the hand piece massages the area.  Some conditions can even be treated without directly touching the skin.  Most treatments can be completed in minutes while you sit next to your pet.   The entire treatment is quick, non-invasive and stress free.  You will be amazed at how well your pet tolerates the process.

Dramatic improvements and faster recoveries are now the norm for patients due to the addition of laser therapy.   One recent example was a young cat with a broken leg.  His leg was placed in a cast after surgery was done to repair the fracture.  Unfortunately, he developed a skin infection on the broken leg while wearing the cast.  Laser therapy was used to treat the skin infection and speed healing of the fracture.   Without laser therapy, this type of infection would have taken several weeks to resolve.  With laser therapy and antibiotics, it resolved within days.  Faster healing resulted in less discomfort and pain for the cat, as well as less expense for his owners.   A win-win situation for this young cat and his family.

Another successful laser patient was an older dog with severe arthritis.  He had a sensitive stomach, so he could not take pain medicine without suffering from side effects.  The therapeutic laser was used to treat his painful hips and knees.  Over the course of several treatments, he was walking more comfortably and he could get up faster from a sitting position.   He is now receiving regular laser therapy sessions to keep him comfortable and allow him to go on the walks that he loves.

One of the most challenging conditions to treat in veterinary medicine is dental disease.  Cats and dogs often have painful cavities, tooth abscesses, and gum disease.  The use of laser therapy in addition to pain medications for patients after dental procedures has shown to speed healing, decrease inflammation, and provide pain relief.  Laser therapy fills a void by allowing us to treat these dental issues in a new way: non-invasively.  The laser can be used several inches from your pet’s mouth to provide pain relief.  This is a very nice alternative for a pet that may be too painful or reluctant to allow handling.

Laser therapy has so many uses for so many acute and chronic conditions that it will certainly become a more common treatment option.  Talk to your veterinarian to see if laser therapy is appropriate for your pet.  Capitola Veterinary Hospital is one of the few progressive animal hospitals that provides custom laser therapy treatment plans for cats and dogs in the Santa Cruz area.  Call (831) 476-7387 for more information

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