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Laser Energy Heals Pets
To some, the word "Laser" suggests missile defense systems and warring science-fiction space ships. Others think of laser light shows at rock concerts. Still others may think of some lasers' capability to cut and weld steel, or to scan the bar code on products at the grocery store, or to print a crisp image on a piece of paper.
Not only can lasers perform all of these all tasks, they also have created remarkable medical breakthroughs, such as their use for vision correction and precision surgery. Another type of laser, commonly called a "Therapy Laser" has the proven ability to reduce pain, speed healing, and to reduce inflammation. This technology is now available to treat pets.
Veterinarians are applying this technology every day to treat their patients that are in pain, or that have an injury or a wound that they would like to heal more quickly. For pets who have had surgery, or who have had a traumatic injury, the laser is used to speed healing. For surgical patients, this is a simple, quick treatment immediately after surgery along the incision.
Veterinarians are also using therapeutic lasers to stimulate muscle and acupuncture points painlessly and without needles, hence the term “needleless acupuncture”.
Laser for Arthritis or Spinal Disease
Laser therapy is an excellent way to assist older pets who often have aches or pains and have decreased mobility. Chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease (arthritis) and some spinal conditions (herniated disc, spinal arthritis) respond well to laser treatment. Since the effects of laser are cumulative, patients with chronic conditions undergo a series of 6 treatments over 3 weeks, and then come in for individual treatments as needed. Laser treatments are drug free, which is especially important with patients who may suffer side-effects from medications. Any pet that is in pain or discomfort is a candidate for relief with a therapy laser. Cats respond especially well to laser therapy.
More information on lasers
The word laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Lasers differ one from the other in two important ways: the wavelength of light that they produce, and the power of the light that they produce. In medical applications, different wavelengths affect living tissue in different ways. For example, ophthalmologists use one wavelength of laser light to make fine incisions on the surface of the eye, and another wavelength of laser light to harmlessly transmit through the eye to treat the retina.
When the beam of laser energy causes a chemical change in the body, this is called a photochemical effect. Therapy laser light stimulates the mitochondria within the cells to help tissues heal. Scientists call this "photobiomodulation". A cascade of beneficial effects then takes place at the cellular level which accelerates blood flow, heals tissue, and reduces pain.
For many years, world-class athletes and thoroughbred race horses have benefitted from laser therapy treatments. Fortunately, this technology is now available for pets.
Infrared laser light from therapy lasers harmlessly penetrates deep into tissues where it is absorbed in the cells, and this energy is converted into chemical, not thermal, energy. In athletic environments, therapy lasers are primarily used to reduce swelling, reduce pain, and speed the healing process. These mechanisms allow veterinarians to successfully treat a wide range of conditions non-invasively and without drugs.
Laser therapy speeds healing, so veterinarians routinely treat injuries with the laser, as well as treating patients immediately after surgery so incisions heal more quickly. Studies indicate that laser-treated wounds heal in a third to a half faster than the time required in normal healing. A single laser treatment is usually all that is required for post-surgical patients to reduce swelling and to speed healing. Skin wounds, abrasions, bite injuries, dermatitis, and burns all respond well to laser therapy.
Acute conditions may require more than a single treatment, but also respond well to laser therapy. Because laser therapy laser can be administered without touching the painful area, veterinarians are able to provide immediate pain relief and edema control to very sensitive tissues.
Laser therapy also reduces inflammation by increasing vasodilation, activating the lymphatic drainage system, and reducing pro-inflammatory mediators. As a result, inflammation, redness, bruising, and swelling are all reduced when treated with laser. This is especially important for conditions where anti-inflammatory medications are risky for the patient because of the patient's age, liver health, or species. Laser therapy is a drug-free treatment modality that can often replace or enhance other treatment plans recommended by your veterinarian.
A benefit of the more modern, higher-powered therapeutic lasers, like the Companion Therapy Laser, is that adequate dosages of laser energy, or photons, can be painlessly and efficiently delivered to deeper tissues. This is a huge benefit in treating chronic conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, back disease or injury, and degenerative joint diseases. Geriatric patients often suffer from one or more of these painful problems, as well the aches and pains that come naturally with aging. There are thousands of reports of pets who were lame and inactive who return to normal, or almost normal function after laser therapy. More chronic and more severe cases may require multiple treatment sessions to fully benefit.
To learn more information about laser therapy, visit the following website: