I recently read an article in our local newspaper regarding laser therapy for pets and how it can accelerate healing time, plus relieve pain and inflammation. I wanted to share this option with my readers as another consideration for dog’s with certain health problems or conditions.
Laser is an acronym meaning LIGHT AMPLIFICATION BY STIMULATED EMISSION OF RADIATION. Wikipedia explains in further detail. Unlike the dangerous X-ray form of radiation, laser radiation uses the monochromatic form which uses a very narrow band of wavelengths or a single wavelength.
Veterinarians use lasers on a number of different tissues to decrease pain and boost the natural healing process in dogs. They use higher powered lasers for surgery in order to cut through tissue. The effects of using laser light can speed up the healing process dramatically while decreasing the amount of scar tissue build up and increasing the pliable strength of the wound.
Lets say that a dog has a deep laceration that requires dead tissue to be removed and fluids drained. The surgeon uses a laser on the wound immediately after the surgery – the edges of the skin healed and the dead space within the wound closed within a couple of days. Bottom line; it cuts the healing time in half.
Laser Therapy for Animal Pain
Lasers provide pain relief by stimulating the release of endorphins and restoring muscles to their relaxed state. Laser treatment is very effective for acute injuries such as a muscle strains or spasms, but often requires more than one session.
For conditions such as a herniated disc or a knee injury such as a ruptured cruciate ligament, Veterinarians still recommend conventional surgery.
For chronic conditions such as arthritis or degenerative joint disease, multiple laser treatments are necessary in order to provide relief. Using laser therapy for your pet won’t reverse joint damage. For pets suffering with severe conditions, six treatments are recommended over a two week period, then followed up with an occasional treatment.
The pets remain awake the entire time which can be anywhere from 1-30 minutes, depending on the condition and the area of treatment.
Skin inflammatory conditions such as hot spots (dermatitis) and even external ear infections can also be treated using laser therapy. Dogs (and cats) often acquire immediate relief of pain and itch after a laser treatment. Cats suffering with feline lower urinary tract disease may also acquire relief.
My Dog’s Laser Surgery
Before she passed over to the Rainbow Bridge, my old girl “Lulu” had laser surgery for chronic skin warts. Although they were non cancerous, because she developed so many often located in sensitive areas of the body, I felt that this was a non-invasive and safe option for my old girl.
However, this was many years ago and I would probably opt for an herbal remedy today vs laser surgery.