Sep 24, 2015

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Up And Running: The Healing Light Of Cold Laser Therapy

If your dog or cat’s mobility has declined as a result of degenerative joint disease, you should ask your veterinary clinic about a therapeutic treatment that is rising in popularity and improving the quality of life for canine and feline patients. Cold laser therapy has been utilized for years in human medicine, and the positive results have prompted veterinarians to see the light and embrace this noninvasive healing procedure.

What Is Cold Laser Therapy?

Cold laser therapy is also known as Class IV laser therapy and low-level laser therapy. Cold laser therapy involves targeting the area on the pet’s body that requires treatment with a beam of light that emits from a hand piece. This hand piece is connected to the base unit, from which levels of intensity are programmed to suit the target area and the medical condition that is being treated.

How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?

The laser pulse frequency and the amount of time that the laser is aimed at the target area are calculated specifically for your pet by the veterinarian. As the laser’s infrared light is trained on your pet’s body, it generates a photobiomodulation, which essentially means that photons from the light penetrate the tissues and alter the cells’ chemistry to promote healing at the cellular level. The result is an increase in blood circulation, accelerated healing and decreases in pain and inflammation.

What Are the Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy?

The primary benefit of cold laser therapy is that the treatment is tolerated exceptionally well by dogs and cats. For most patients, minimal to no restraint is necessary. Most pets become very relaxed during therapy sessions. Other advantages to cold laser therapy include:

  • There are no needles because no injections or intravenous catheters are needed.
  • There are no drugs that must be administered for cold laser therapy.
  • The area to be treated does not need to be shaved.
  • There are no adverse side effects from cold laser therapy, such as skin burns that can result from heat lasers.

The option of cold laser therapy has become a boon for cats that suffer from the discomfort of arthritis since many of the pain relieving medications that are prescribed for dogs pose serious health risks for cats.

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Cold Laser Therapy?

Reducing the discomfort and improving mobility in patients with skeletomuscular conditions, such as degenerative joint disease, arthritis and hip dysplasia, are the most common uses for cold laser therapy. Cold laser therapy is also helpful in such cases as:

  • Acceleration of healing and reduction of postoperative pain following surgical and dental procedures
  • Treatment of sprains, strains and other muscle injuries
  • Relieving back and neck pain
  • Treatment of intervertebral disk disease
  • Healing of wounds, hot spots and lick granulomas

What Does Cold Laser Therapy Entail?

The treatment plan for cold laser therapy is determined by your pet’s condition and by your pet’s response to the therapy. When cold laser therapy is initiated, multiple sessions must be performed during the first days to weeks of treatment. Once your pet demonstrates improvement, then the frequency of cold laser therapy sessions is weaned down, gradually extending the durations in between sessions. Each session lasts only a few minutes, and it can be performed on an outpatient basis, eliminating the stress that many pets experience when admitted into a hospital or clinic. Many owners observe improvement in their pet’s condition after the initial therapy session, but since the results of cold laser therapy are cumulative, the regimen of repeated sessions ultimately yields the best results for the pet.

If you prefer to treat your dog or cat without drugs or stress, be sure to discuss the option of cold laser therapy with your veterinarian. The results of this treatment can improve your beloved companion’s quality of life and enhance the quality time that the two of you spend together.

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