Here at Best Friends Veterinary Care, we’re excited to use treatment modalities that create the fewest side effects, but are still extremely effective. We’ve embraced traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM), acupuncture, and herbal medicine, and we also offer laser therapy. You may not have heard much about this treatment modality for cats and dogs, especially compared with acupuncture, or pharmaceutical or surgical treatment, but laser therapy pairs well with all types of treatment plans. To answer questions you may have about this cool treatment modality, we’re shedding light on laser therapy for pets.
#1: Therapeutic lasers are in a different class than surgical lasers
Lasers come in four classes, with most therapeutic lasers categorized as Class III. Class IV lasers cause thermal injury to tissues, and are used in surgery for cutting and cauterizing tissue. Class I lasers include grocery store barcode scanners, while laser pointers and some therapeutic lasers fall into Class II.
#2: Laser therapy has minimal side effects for pets
Laser therapy is an exceptionally safe treatment modality when performed correctly using the proper settings and treatment duration. Since it’s surgery-free, drug-free, and non-invasive, you do not need to worry about contraindications or interference with other treatment modalities.
#3: Laser therapy can treat a wide variety of conditions in pets
Therapeutic lasers are most commonly used to manage inflammation, pain, and wound healing, but can be applied to an impressive array of pets’ conditions. The following list is by no means complete, but some frequently encountered conditions we treat with our therapeutic laser include:
- Ear infections
- Impacted anal glands
- Surgical incisions
- Bladder inflammation
- Hot spots
- Lick granulomas
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Ligament tears
Essentially, if your pet is suffering from any sort of inflammation or injury, laser therapy likely should be part of their overall treatment plan.
#4: Laser therapy for pets is a relatively new treatment modality
Laser therapy, which has been used for decades in human sports and equine medicine, has only recently made the jump to companion animals (i.e., dogs and cats) but, fortunately, is making great inroads into feline and canine applications. Your pet may not be prone to impressive athletic feats, but laser therapy still can help treat many of their conditions, along with the typical strains, sprains, and other orthopedic injuries human and equine athletes suffer.
#5: Laser therapy in pets helps repair tissue many ways
Although you can’t see a therapeutic laser’s effects as it works on your pet, they will experience the following tissue repair benefits:
- Endorphin release to help ease pain
- Vasodilation to increase blood flow and bring in oxygen and healing cells
- Muscle relaxation
- Decreased inflammation
- Faster healing and repair
- Nerve stimulation
- Decreased scar tissue formation
With laser therapy, your pet will enjoy faster healing, and reduced pain and inflammation.
#6: Laser therapy is excellent for pets with few options
While therapeutic lasers cannot be applied over tumors, eyes, or a pregnant pet’s abdomen, they can be used almost everywhere else in a suffering pet. This therapy is particularly beneficial for pets with kidney or liver disease who cannot safely take medications, exotic pets who are difficult to medicate, and cats who have few pain-relieving pharmaceutical options.
#7: Most pets tolerate laser therapy well
During treatment, many pets relax and enjoy the therapeutic laser’s soothing warmth. Our team is highly trained to administer laser therapy correctly, to avoid thermal burns. We closely monitor your furry pal’s comfort level and treatment area to ensure we are performing the procedure correctly, with the proper settings and duration to prevent any mishaps.
#8: Laser therapy can be part of your pet’s multimodal treatment plan
Laser therapy may be a great therapeutic option for your pet, but is more successful combined with other treatment modalities. If your furry pal is already receiving acupuncture, medication, or other treatment options, laser therapy can round out a multimodal treatment plan to speed healing, and reduce pain and inflammation.
#9: Laser therapy in pets works best as a package plan
Similar to acupuncture, laser therapy works best with multiple sessions that build on each other. Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, benefit most from a set schedule of laser therapy appointments to continue the healing effects. Each treatment provides a greater anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect as the photobiomodulation process works to repair tissues.
#10: Best Friends Veterinary Care team is ready for your pet’s laser therapy appointment
Whether you have a senior pet, or an athletic champion, laser therapy may help alleviate your pet’s discomfort and promote healing. Interested in learning more about this versatile treatment modality? Give us a call to discuss how laser therapy may benefit your pet, or to schedule their first session.