Veterinary Laser Therapy
What is Veterinary Laser Therapy?
Veterinary laser therapy is an innovative treatment that has gained popularity in recent years as veterinarians recognize how it benefits pets. Used similarly to acupuncture, massage therapy, and other alternative therapies, laser treatment can be used in conjunction with medication to manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing. Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy results are achieved when a sufficient dose of light energy reaches target tissue and results in decreased inflammation, decreased pain, immune stimulation, and accelerated healing. Treatments are non-invasive, drug and surgery-free and can be administered in 1-10 minutes.
• Non-ionizing light does not cause damage to the DNA of the cells/ does not cause significant damage to the cells but instead excites them
• Nonthermal (doesn’t produce heat) process involving chromophores (part of a cell that captures light) creating a photophysical and photochemical event to varying degrees
• Basically there is a cellular response in the cells (mitochondria) when a therapeutic dose of light is applied to impaired or dysfunctional tissue leading to reduction of pain, inflammation and expedited healing
• In order for laser to be effective, it has to reach the affected tissue. In order to reach the affected tissue, a specific wavelength needs to be used.
Laser therapy helps tissue repair by causing the following:
• Pain control/aleviation
• Endorphin release
• Vasodilation, which increases blood flow to bring in oxygen and cells involved in the healing process
• Muscle relaxation
• Decreased inflammation
• Faster healing and repair
Is laser therapy safe for pets?
Laser therapy is safe if performed correctly, using the proper settings and treatment durations. Higher-powered units can cause thermal burns to tissues if used incorrectly. Also, laser beams directed at an eye can cause permanent retinal damage, so patients and all veterinary staff must wear protective goggles during treatment.
NOTE: Laser should NEVER be used in conditions when there is a concern for cancer. The cancerous cells will be stimulated like the injured cells and thus could expedite tumor growth.
Please ask us if laser therapy is right for your pet!