Laser Therapy Reduces Pain and Speeds Healing
Vinton Veterinary Hospital: is excited to offer our clients Companion Laser Therapy. Laser therapy provides a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of conditions and can be performed in conjunction with existing treatment protocols. Relief and/or improvement is often noticed within hours depending on the condition and your pet’s response. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, your companion can benefit from this innovative approach to treating pain.
Applications for laser therapy include:
- Treatment of arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or hip dysplasia
- General pain management (sprains, strains, and stiffness)
- Post-surgery pain (spays, neuters, declaws, and other surgeries)
- Skin problems (hot spots, lick granulomas, infections)
- Dental procedures
- Fractures and wounds (bites, abrasions, and lesions)
- Ear infections
How does it work?
Laser therapy stimulates the body to heal from within. Non-thermal photons of light are administered to the body for about 3 to 8 minutes and absorbed by the injured cells. The cells are then stimulated and respond with a higher rate of metabolism. This results in relief from pain, increased circulation, reduced inflammation, and an acceleration of the healing process.
What can my pet expect during a laser therapy treatment session?
Simply put, it provides relief. As the laser is administered, your pet will relax and enjoy the treatment. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experiences will dissipate. Occasionally, angry cats will start to purr and canine companions will actually fall asleep during their therapy session. Frequently, after therapy, we hear: “He’s acting like a puppy again” or “She can actually jump onto the chair again.” Pain relief is provided in just a few minutes of therapy and that alone improves the quality of life for your companion.
What are the signs that my pet can benefit from Companion Laser Therapy?
Many of our laser therapy patients are older animals with musculoskeletal ailments. Some signs that your senior companion is experiencing pain or discomfort are:
- Abnormal sitting or lying posture
- Circling multiple times before lying down
- Whining, groaning or other vocalizations
- Limping, unable to get up or lie down
- Difficulty getting into car or down stairs
- Lack of grooming
- Won’t wag tail
- Licking or biting area
- Lack of appetite
Laser Therapy for pets in pain
Veterinary medicine is always changing. At Vinton Veterinary Hospital, we attend continulook to bring new treatments to our patients that will enhance their quality of life qu lAs more options become available, distinguishing the differences and efficacy between types of treatment can be confusing. We hope the information we provide on our blog will provide a better understanding of the philosophies, techniques, and treatments associated with some of these less “conventional,” but increasingly more common areas of veterinary medicine
Companion Therapy Laser involves passing a laser beam across your pet's skin, directly above the area where your pet has some discomfort or inflammation. Your pet experiences a feeling of warmth penetrating to the exact spot where the tissue needs help. The beam of laser light is passed over the area for usually 3 to 8 minutes (The length of time varies with the size of the pet and the size of the treatment area). During this time we will do our best to ensure that your pet is extremely comfortable and relaxed. At the discretion of the doctor, you will be permitted to stay with your pet through the session.
This invisible light beam is transmitting laser energy into the cells during this time. This has several effects on different tissue types, and depending on the laser settings. In the case for healing the effect causes the cells to reproduce or regenerate at a faster rate leading to a more rapid healing process. The beam also significantly reduces the pain associated with injury and inflammation by stimulating natural endorphins within the tissue. The laser also causes dilation of the blood and lymphatic vessels within the tissue, increasing blood flow to the area reducing the swelling and promoting healing. The laser also stimulates many acupuncture points as well.
How often your pet will need to be treated depends on your pet’s medical condition. Pets with arthritis will often follow a 3-2-1 protocol—3 times the first week, 2 times the second week and 1 time the following week. Since the effects are cumulative, the frequency which your pet will return will be determined by their progress. Often the interval can be stretched out between each visit. Pets with sudden acute injuries like back pain may come in daily for 3 days in a row, then as needed. A doctor will be happy to evaluate your pet and help make recommendations for a therapy protocol tailored specifically for their needs. We believe you will find laser treatment an easily affordable option for your pet.
Known biological effects of laser therapy (The science part):
Clinical studies and trials of laser therapy indicate the following beneficial effects of laser light therapy on tissues and cells:
- Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth. Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply onto tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. The laser light increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take on nutrients faster and get rid of waste products. As a result of exposure to laser light, the cells of tendons, ligaments and muscles are repaired faster.
- Faster wound healing. Laser light stimulates the collagen in damaged tissue. Collagen is the essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. As a result, laser light is effective on open wounds and burns
- Reduced scar tissue formation. Laser light reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns or surgery.
- Anti-inflammation. Laser therapy has an anti-edema effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system (drains swollen areas). As a result, there is a reduction in swelling.
- Anti-pain (analgesic). Laser therapy has a high beneficial effect on nerve cells which block pain transmitted by the cells to the brain and which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to less inflammation, there is less edema and less pain.
- Improved vascular activity. Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue that speeds up the healing process, closes wounds, quickly and reduces scar tissue.
- Increased metabolic activity. Laser therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells.
- Immunoregulation. Laser light has a direct effect on immunity status by stimulation of immunoglobines and lymphocytes.
- Trigger points and acupuncture points. Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing musculoskeletal pain relief.
If you believe that laser therapy is right for you and your pet, please call us at 540-627-5118 to schedule an appointment.