What is Laser Therapy and How Does Laser Therapy Work?

As a pet owner, you want your pet to have the best quality of life possible. So when your pet is uncomfortable or in pain for whatever reason, alleviating their distress moves to the top of your agenda. In many cases, laser therapy can help.

What is Laser Therapy?

Cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation. Cold laser therapy treats the surface of the skin, while hot laser treatments affect deeper tissues. Often called low-level laser therapy, cold laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy, by any name, is still a relatively new concept that is being used more recently to treat pets with arthritis, tendon or soft tissue injuries and to promote wound healing. Laser therapy can treat acute and chronic injuries, sprains and strains, arthritis, swelling due to back disc problems, and muscular-skeletal abnormalities. It also helps to regenerate nerve tissue after surgery. Lasers are nothing more than a beam of light that travels at a certain frequency and allows the laser to generate heat and penetrate tissue. Some Class IV or cold lasers are programmable to a range of frequencies in order to treat many different types of problems in pets.

How does laser therapy work?

Laser treatment for pets 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 pace. Laser treatment is totally pain free and very comforting. As the laser is administered, a technician will hold the laser wand directly over the affected area for somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes. Since the process is painless, your pet will be comfortable and any anxiety he or she initially experiences will quickly dissipate. Your pet may feel a gentle and soothing warmth, tingling. They may also feel no sensation at all. For many, laser therapy is very relaxing. Occasionally, some pets actually fall asleep during their therapy sessions. As areas of pain or inflammation become more comfortable, any anxiety and tension they may be experiencing tends to quickly dissipate.

After laser therapy, pet owners might see their pet go up and down stairs more often or play more frequently with their toys. As an added bonus, when animals have better mobility, medications can often be reduced. Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, your pet’s condition will influence how often and how long laser therapy is necessary. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 3 to 8 minutes. Laser treatments 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 companion. The good news about laser therapy for animals is there’s no need to shave or clip the area to be treated and they won’t need to be sedated during the process. That means that treatment can be applied multiple times a day or a number of times per week. Laser therapy won’t cause any unwanted side effects. The laser used for this type of treatment will not burn your pet’s skin.

Laser therapy improves the quality of a pet’s life as well as the life of its owner, because if your furry companion is happy, you are happy.

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