Laser Therapy

Laser therapy, also may be referred to as Cold Laser, Low-Level Laser or Class IV Laser Therapy. Each of these terms refers to the same therapy, using the same equipment to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation.

What Is Laser Therapy For Pets And How Does It Work?

At All Creatures Veterinary Hospital, we pride ourselves with always searching for new ways to care for your pets, especially where pain is concerned. Veterinary laser therapy provides a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free and drug-free treatment that is used to treat a variety of conditions, and can be performed in conjunction with existing treatments. Laser treatment for dogs employs deep-penetrating light to promote a chain of chemical reactions known as photobiostimulation. This process helps relieve pain through the release of endorphins, and it stimulates injured cells to heal at an accelerated rate.

Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, your pet’s condition will influence how often and long laser therapy is necessary. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 3 to 8 minutes. Laser treatments for pets are cumulative, so each additional treatment facilitates a greater improvement in your pet’s condition. The length and frequency of treatments vary by condition, so allow your veterinarian to help devise a sufficient laser treatment schedule for your canine companion. Veterinary medicine, chiropractors, and sports medicine (including major league sports teams) are embracing this new technology!

Commonly Asked Questions

How does it work?

The Companion therapy laser system sends photons, or packets of light energy, deep into tissue without damaging it. These photons are absorbed within the mitochondria of the cells and induce a chemical change called “photo-bio-modulation”. This light energy then inspires production of ATP in the cell. ATP is the fuel, or energy, cells need for repair and rejuvenation. Impaired or injured cells do not make this fuel at an optimal rate. Increased ATP production leads to healthier cells, healthier tissue, and healthier animals.

Is laser therapy new?

The beneficial effects of laser light on tissue were first recognized almost forty years ago. Since then, there have been thousands of studies documenting the positive effects laser light has on different types of cells, tissue, and disorders.  Recent advances in technology and manufacturing have made it possible to have this exciting modality available and affordable for clinicians.

What Types Of Conditions Can Pet Laser Therapy Be Used To Treat?

  • Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries
  • Post-surgical and soft tissue trauma
  • Back pain
  • Ear infections
  • Gingivitis
  • Hot Spots and Open Wounds
  • Arthritis/Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Anal gland infections
  • Allergies
  • Infections
  • Cuts/Bites
  • Sprains, Strains & Fractures
  • Post-Surgical Healing/Pain Relief
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Feline Acne
  • Tendonitis

That’s just a few of the many symptoms we can help treat. Many of our veterinary therapy patients are older animals with musculoskeletal ailments. Some signs that your senior companion is experiencing pain or discomfort are:

  • Abnormal sitting or lying posture
  • Circling multiple times before lying down
  • Restlessness
  • Whining, groaning or other vocalizations
  • Limping, unable to get up or lie down
  • Difficulty getting into car or down stairs
  • Lack of grooming
  • Won’t wag tail
  • Licking or biting area
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trembling

Laser Therapy for Pain Relief

Laser treatments are an excellent way to provide pain relief to your canine companion. Laser therapy reduces pain by reducing inflammation through Òvasodilation” (the opening of blood vessels) and also by activating the lymphatic drainage system, thus draining swollen areas. The result is a reduction in swelling which reduces pain. The lasers also stimulate nerve cells that block pain signals from being transmitted to the brain, thereby decreasing nerve sensitivity. Because there is less inflammation, less swelling and an interruption of pain signals to the brain, the dog will experience less pain. Laser treatments for pets also stimulate the production of high levels of naturally-produced endorphins which further counteract your pet’s pain.

Laser Therapy to Recover From Injury or Surgery

Animal laser therapy is a very helpful tool during postoperative recovery. In minor cases, laser therapy alone may be enough to alleviate pain and stimulate the healing process. Because it works directly on injured or affected areas, laser treatments can help speed up healing, strengthen muscle and tissue, improve mobility and enhance your dog’s overall quality of life almost immediately.

What Can I Expect At My Pets Laser Therapy Appointment?

A technician will hold the laser wand directly over the affected area for somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes. There is no pain associated with the treatment and most pets will relax during this time. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety he or she initially experiences will quickly dissipate. Occasionally, some pets fall asleep during their therapy sessions.

Is Laser Treatment For Pets Painful Or Uncomfortable?

Laser treatment for pets is totally pain free and very comforting. As the laser is administered, your pet may feel gentle and soothing warmth, tingling, or no sensation at all. For many animals, pet laser therapy is very relaxing. As areas of pain or inflammation become more comfortable, any anxiety and tension your pet may be experiencing tends to quickly dissipate.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Laser Therapy For Pets?

Laser treatment for pets has no known side effects, and is considered both safe and effective across the veterinary industry.

How Can I Schedule A Pet Laser Therapy Appointment?

Scheduling an appointment for veterinary laser therapy is as easy as picking up the telephone or at any visit to our veterinary hospital in person. Our knowledgeable, compassionate veterinary team can help answer any questions you have. Make an appointment for your canine companion to begin experiencing the benefits of laser therapy today!

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment protocols are unique to each patient and condition. Therefore, treatments will vary in time, complexity and cost. For some chronic patients, multiple joints will be treated during one laser treatment session. When appropriate, laser therapy can be used as a complementary adjunct to other treatment plans.

What can I expect at home?

You might see a change in activity when your pet comes home. For some it might be increased activity and others may be more relaxed. This is due to the pain relief and reduction in inflammation.

How should I support this treatment at home?

There are no specific things you need to do at home, other than follow normal restrictions, dietary needs, and additional treatment protocols as you pet’s condition dictates and is outlined by your veterinarian.

Is there anything my pet should or shouldn’t do, or take, while on the treatment?

Just follow normal treatment protocols as outlined. You do not need to be overly cautious nor should you overdo any activities. Just business as usual.

When can I expect to see an improvement? What might I see?

You may see relief in the first treatment or so as pain and inflammation are reduced. For example: better mobility for joint conditions, drying and healing of dermatological issues, faster healing for wounds and incisions, or your pet just seeming more relaxed and comfortable. For some conditions, a series of treatments may be necessary before you see results due to the severity or complexity of the condition.  Each pet is different, and treatments are unique for your pet’s specific needs.

How often should a patient be treated?

Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once every week or two as improvement is seen.

How many treatments does it take?

This depends on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions 1-2 treatments may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 5 to 8 (or more) treatments. Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.