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Would Laser Therapy Help My Pet? – Mid South Pet Health

Posted 11.27.12 by Bart E. Madison, DVM

We have been very excited about the addition of our laser therapy unit at the Collierville location! We have had great results using laser therapy for arthritis, back pain, wounds, surgical incisions, and even snake bites.

Dr. Madison and Heather performing laser therapy on a dog’s hip joint.

How does laser therapy work?

Laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cells and increase blood circulation. At the correct laser wavelength, pain signals are reduced and nerve sensitivity decreases. The procedure also releases endorphins, or natural painkillers. The procedure is based on the idea that light is absorbed into the cells. This process, known as photo-biotherapy, stimulates protein synthesis and cell metabolism, which improves cell health and functionality. This helps damaged cells to heal more quickly without disturbing healthy cells.

Laser therapy has been used for years in human medicine, but has just recently gained popularity in veterinary medicine. In humans, laser therapy has been shown to improve arthritis pain, back pain, and other joint conditions. Many sports team have their own therapy laser machine in order to treat injured players.

What is involved in laser therapy?

Laser therapy is a very simple procedure that only takes minutes to perform. Depending on the location to be treated, your pet may either stand or lay on its side.  The laser probe is passed over the affected area and emits a specific wavelength of light that is determined by the condition and location to be treated. Laser therapy is completely painless and only causes a soft warming sensation in the treated area. Most pets stay very relaxed or even take a nap during treatments.

What conditions can be treated with laser therapy?

Many different conditions may benefit from laser therapy. This list includes some of the most common conditions that may benefit from laser therapy:

  • Arthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)
  • Back Pain (Intervertebral Disc Disease)
  • Trauma (Skin, Muscle, Bone)
  • Wounds (Trauma)
  • Snake Bites
  • Surgery (Incisions, Growth Removals, Bone Surgery)
  • Inflammatory Conditions:
    • Acute or chronic otitis (Ear problems)
    • Anal Gland inflammation
    • Periodontitis (Gingivitis)
    • Hot Spots
    • Lick Granulomas
    • Idiopathic Cystitis – (Bladder Inflammation)
    • Sinusitis, Rhinitis (Nasal problems)

If you think your pet could benefit from laser therapy, please call and discuss it with your veterinarian.

How many treatments should my pet receive?

The number of therapy sessions depends on the condition being treated and your pet’s individual response. Most patients we have treated seem to improve after one treatment, but it may take several sessions before effects are seen. Most pets are started off on treatments three times a week for one week, then two times a week, and weaned down accordingly.  Some may need to receive a treatment once every week or two to keep them comfortable.

Check out this great article from ABC for further information on laser therapy in pets:  Veterinarians Add Laser to Arthritis Treatment

Visit any of our locations for the best in veterinary care, provided by highly skilled professionals who love what we do!

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