Laser therapy “cold laser” is an non-invasive, drug free form of pain relief. The laser uses light energy to reduce inflammation and swelling to promote healing. Treatments last as little as 4 minutes or as long as 20 minutes. When starting laser it is best to do 2-3 sessions a week until results are noticed, then laser sessions can be reduced to as frequent as the pet needs to maintain comfort. Laser therapy can help treat
conditions such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, ear infections, post-surgical incision sites, wounds, lick granulomas, intervertebral disk disease, back pain, hot spots, cellulitis and more. Some signs that your pet may be experiencing pain or discomfort are: abnormal posture, vocalizing, restlessness, limping, slow to get up or lay down, licking/biting areas, lack of appetite, trembling, and hiding.
Laser therapy won’t cause any unwanted side effects, although there are some situations in which laser therapy should not be used because it may be harmful to the pet. Therapy should not be used over any suspicious cancerous growths, over the thyroid, on pregnant patients, and there should not be direct irradiation of the eyes, as the laser can cause permanent eye damage. To avoid possible eye damage, your laser technician, pet owners, and the patient are provided with protective eyewear. Pictures are always welcome when patients try on their “doggles” for the first time (not to exclude cats, rabbits and other animals that can benefit from the laser). Petcetera offers bundle treatments of ten that provide a discount to make the treatments more affordable. Laser therapy for some conditions can be paired with acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy, as well as with medications and supplements.
Cold laser will first need to be prescribed by your veterinarian. When your pet comes to the clinic for laser treatment they will be welcomed into an exam room that has a padded mat on the floor for large patients or a soft blanket on the exam table for smaller patients. Once the animal is comfortable, all parties involved will be offered protective eyewear. Next, the laser technician will save the patient’s weight, physical features, and the condition being treated into the cold laser machine. The cold laser will calculate the amount of time and energy required to treat the site. Finally, the laser technician will use a hand held device to wave softly on, or over, the affected area(s). There is no pain associated with treatment but it can be difficult for some patients to stay in one place for a few minutes. Patients can be standing, lying or sitting for treatments. The goal is to make your pet as comfortable as possible. Occasionally some dogs will fall asleep during their session! For the more antsy pet, it can be very helpful for owners to bring treats from home to keep the animal busy throughout their treatment. Frozen baby food or Kong toys with peanut butter are good examples of time consuming, yummy treats.
Therapy treatments can help speed up healing, strengthen muscle and tissue, improve mobility, and enhance your pets overall quality of life. If you believe cold laser could help your adored pet, please call and schedule an appointment.
Article written by: Lindsey Q