Our pets are a large part of our lives, so it comes as no surprise that owners want their animals to feel their best. Rehabilitative laser therapy can serve as a noninvasive option and is useful in helping to treat a variety of injuries from sprains, strains, arthritis, swelling, back disc problems, muscular and skeletal abnormalities, and can also be used on incisions following surgery to promote healing of the area.
Laser therapy has been used on humans for over 50 years, however, it is a relatively new practice in dogs, cats, and other animals. Cold therapy lasers also called low-level lasers or Class IV lasers use a light to stimulate cell regeneration and an increase in blood flow to tissues. Hot therapy lasers do the same but use a more high-powered light to reach deeper tissues and can come with a greater chance of cutting and burning the skin due to increased intensity of the laser beam if not used properly.
Laser therapy is becoming increasingly common in veterinary practices as a result of its non-invasiveness, and lack of side effects. Laser treatments last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the body part being treated and are generally performed 2 to 3 times per week depending on the severity of the patient. Before patients receive a treatment, there is no prep work or shaving of the area, and the dog can return to normal activities after the treatment. The treatment is not painful, and many patients enjoy the treatment as it allows them to feel better.
Laser therapy can be a useful option for owners to use to treat injuries or arthritis causing discomfort to their animals as well as post-surgical procedures to help support their pet’s well-being and provide pain relief.