Laser Therapy has been helping pets at North Hill Animal Hospital for the past 2 years. Laser Therapy is a good adjunctive or complimentary treatment for any pet with swollen or damaged tissues. We have seen dogs and cats who have had problems as diverse as arthritis, skin infections and intervertebral disc disease have relief when the laser has been part of their treatment regime. We have had a couple of pets not respond to the Laser Therapy but the number of patients who get relief far outweighs those who do not.
The therapeutic laser uses a combination of 3 wavelengths of near infra-red light to penetrate through hair, skin and muscle to the level of the injured tissues. The laser is limited to an effective depth of 5 cm or 2 inches which does not make it useful for treating deep structures. The last light, after penetrating the tissues, accomplishes three things. The photons (packets of light) emitted from the laser, stimulate the mitochondria inside the individual cells. These mitochondria are the ‘furnaces’ of each cell and they produce energy to allow the cell to live and thrive. By stimulating the mitochondria, the cells become more active and healthy. The cells in blood and lymph vessels respond to draw fluid away from swollen areas (the lymph vessels expand and the blood vessels become less leaky) reducing discomfort due to swelling. Finally, the photons of the laser directly affect the nerves leading from the injured site reducing their ability to conduct pain signals to the brain. All these actions help to reduce swelling, improve the health of tissues and reduce pain.
Benefits from the laser can be seen after the first treatment, but often, multiple treatments are needed in order to get the full effect. Laser treatments are additive, meaning, as more treatments are done, the overall health of the tissues being treated improves, further reducing pain and swelling. Chronic conditions like arthritis or allergic skin disease will not be cured using Laser Therapy. Laser Therapy will make the discomfort from those conditions less, allowing for less medication to be used to keeps these pets comfortable.
Laser Therapy is not a ‘magical cure’ but it is an important adjunct or complimentary treatment for anything inflamed.
Pepper is an 11 month old Domestic Short Hair. Pepper had a nasty wound on her right ankle. She peeled skin off her leg. The skin could not be replaced leaving Pepper with a would the size of a nickle. The laser helped to relieve pain, swelling and stimulated regrowth of skin. The wound has healed completely.
Bodie is a 4 year old Chinese Crested with chronic skin issues due to allergies. We are using the laser to help relieve swelling in his skin and ears.
Coco is a 9 year old Boxer mix. Coco has allergies which have left an area with no hair on his back. The laser is helping to relieve swelling in his skin to allow the hair to regrow.
Becky is a 10 year old Yellow Labrador Retriever. Becky has arthritis swelling in her carpis (wrists). The laser is heloing reduce the swelling to keep her comfortable without the use of pain medications.
Spartacus is a 10 year old Doberman Pinscher. Spartacus has a lump removed from his lower leg. The skin healed poorly and the laser is helping to stimulate the healing tissue and keep swelling down.