Cold lasers have been used to treat pets’ conditions for several decades, and the veterinary profession now has advanced the technology and knowledge to administer laser therapy successfully for nearly all conditions. Cold lasers deliver specific light wavelengths into tissues, speeding recovery and reducing pain. Because lasers cause minimal side effects, veterinarians widely use this valuable tool to help pets heal from various ailments.
Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves team are your Southeast Texas laser therapy experts. Read our laser therapy guide to learn how this innovative treatment can benefit your four-legged friend.
How does laser therapy work for pets?
Therapeutic lasers produce light energy using specific wavelengths, usually red or infrared. Each specific light wavelength can penetrate a certain depth into tissues, targeting skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments, or bones. Cells absorb the light energy (i.e., photobiomodulation), which alters cell metabolism, prompting them to work harder to repair damaged tissues. Laser therapy can increase blood flow, speed various conditions’ healing, and reduce inflammation and pain, making this treatment modality a useful multipurpose adjunct to other medical and surgical treatments.
What conditions can laser therapy treat in pets?
Laser therapy is effective in the treatment of nearly any condition. Most veterinary hospitals that have a laser therapy device, use the equipment on multiple patients daily. The best uses for laser include reducing inflammation, reducing pain, speeding tissue and wound healing, reducing swelling, and promoting blood flow. Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves team uses a laser therapy wand for treating the following conditions:
- Surgical incisions, including dental extractions
- Postsurgical recovery
- Soft tissue injuries
- Skin conditions
- Skin wounds
- Muscle pain or trigger points
- Nerve damage
- Ear infections
- Lick granulomas
Is laser therapy safe for pets?
When administered by trained and qualified veterinary team members, laser therapy has an excellent safety profile. However, the laser can damage human or pet eye health, so everyone in the room during a laser treatment, including the patient, must wear protective glasses. The technique that the therapy administrator uses during the treatment also affects safety. They must continuously move the laser probe to deliver energy to all tissues and to prevent an overabundance of energy from entering a single area, which could theoretically cause a burn.
Pregnant females and pets with cancer or suspected cancer should not be treated with laser therapy. Light energy delivered to a fetus could cause harm. The light energy could also stimulate a tumor, causing its size to increase, worsening existing cancer. Otherwise, laser therapy has minimal side effect potential, unlike many other therapies and drugs. This treatment is particularly useful for pets who cannot take certain medications or are poor surgical candidates because laser therapy is administered externally, with the patient needing no sedatives or anesthesia.
What can I expect from my pet’s laser therapy session?
During a laser therapy session, your pet can remain with you in the examination room, which helps prevent them from experiencing separation anxiety. The laser equipment is portable, so our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves team can bring the unit right to our patients, wherever they are, including in our surgical and treatment rooms. Your furry friend will remain awake and can lie however they feel most comfortable, as long as the therapy administrator can reach the target body area. All pets and people in the room must wear protective glasses during the treatment, which typically takes a few minutes per treated area. A team member or veterinarian programs the laser to the prescribed settings and predetermined time, and waves the laser wand over the target body area. Laser therapy causes no pain, and most pets find the slight warming sensation relaxing.
The number and frequency of treatments your pet needs depends on their condition. We may recommend daily treatments for severe wounds or postoperative care. To help continually diminish your pet’s arthritis pain, our team may recommend weekly treatments. We customize your pet’s laser therapy protocols based on their specific problem.
Are at-home laser treatments safe and effective for pets?
Many clients ask about at-home laser treatment devices that are for sale online. These units are touted as being both safe and effective for pet owners to use themselves. The problem with these devices is that, to ensure safety, their power level is so low that their efficacy is greatly reduced. Although these devices likely won’t cause harm, they likely will provide no benefit. You will get the most bang for your buck when your pet receives laser therapy from a professionally trained administrator. In addition, your pet’s health will benefit most when a trained therapy administrator, using a medical-grade device, provides the treatment.
Laser therapy’s safety and efficacy provide ideal treatment for nearly any pet or condition. Our experienced Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves team can provide your furry pal with low-stress and convenient laser therapy treatments. Contact us to schedule a consultation and determine whether laser therapy is right for your four-legged friend, and our team can answer your questions about our laser equipment, protocols, and pricing packages.