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Laser Therapy Explained

Published on March 28, 2016

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What is laser therapy?         

Laser therapy is a medical treatment that has been gaining increased popularity in veterinary medicine.  Several studies have shown that there are many benefits to laser therapy, and it can be used to help with different conditions in all types of animals.  At Pender we have three different types of lasers, each with a unique application.  One is used to help speed healing on surgical incisions and dental extractions.  A second is used on our exotics patients to help with behavioral issues in birds.  Our most commonly used laser is used to speed wound healing and to help decrease the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, cervical pain, back pain, ear infections and bladder infections.

What conditions can laser therapy be used for?

Laser therapy has many potential uses, including pain management for arthritis and muscle or tendon injuries, wound healing, and reducing inflammation.  Using laser therapy can potentially reduce the number of medications your pet needs to take to remain pain free.  Laser therapy may not be the right treatment for all conditions, however, so it is important to talk to your veterinarian to determine if laser therapy is a good option for your pet’s unique situation.

How does laser therapy work?

At the cellular level the light from the laser is absorbed by your pet’s body, which leads to a multitude of changes at the molecular level.  These changes result in:

-Increased circulation

-New blood vessel growth

-Decreased wound healing time

-Pain control

-Decreased inflammation

-Decreased scar tissue formation

-Removal of toxins

-Immune system boost

-Promotion of new cell growth

What happens to my dog when they receive laser therapy?

Your veterinarian will help determine an appropriate treatment plan for laser therapy.  For acute conditions, like a hot spot, sometimes a single laser treatment is sufficient.  For more chronic conditions such as arthritis, it is often recommended to start out with 2-3 sessions a week, and then slowly decrease to the minimum frequency of sessions that control symptoms.  Sometimes it can take up to 6 treatments before improvements are seen so it is important to be patient during the first few weeks of treatment.  When your pet comes to a laser therapy session at Pender, they will be received by one of our laser certified technicians, who will bring your pet into a room with comfortable bedding so they can relax during their treatment.  Your pet (and our staff!) will wear protective eyewear during the therapy.  Most pets really enjoy their laser therapy sessions and you are also always welcome to observe your pet’s session.

If you think laser therapy might be beneficial to your pet, set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians today. They will be able to fully assess your pet’s condition and discuss the best plan of action for you both.

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