Often referred to as cold laser, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), or laser therapy, photobiomodulation therapy has been used widely in human and equine sports medicine for decades, and is now making the shift to companion animals. Laser therapy is a nonthermal process that triggers photochemical events at the cellular level, stimulating or inhibiting cell function. This therapeutic use of light is particularly helpful in immunomodulation, pain and inflammation alleviation, and tissue healing and regeneration promotion. Routinely used to complement surgical procedures and speed healing, laser therapy can also be used as the main treatment modality in non-surgical injuries.
#1: Laser therapy provides an anti-inflammatory effect in your pet
Laser therapy reduces inflammation, bruising, and edema through vasodilation.
#2: Laser therapy has an analgesic effect on your pet
Laser therapy increases tissue endorphin release, decreasing your pet’s pain perception.
#3: Laser therapy promotes faster wound healing in your pet
Laser light stimulates collagen production, which is an essential protein for repairing tissue injuries.
#4: Laser therapy improves nerve function in your pet
Laser therapy accelerates nerve cell regeneration, which can be a lengthy process without help, as nerves are slow-growing tissues. The therapy also increases the amplitude of nerve signals to promote recovery.
#5: Laser therapy reduces fibrous tissue formation in your pet
Laser therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following an injury or surgery.
#6: Laser therapy increases your pet’s cellular metabolic activity
The energy from laser light photons is captured in cells, activating enzyme systems, creating greater oxygen levels, and increasing the energy delivered into cellular metabolic processes.
#7: Laser therapy improves your pet’s vascular activity
Laser light significantly increases capillary formation, speeding the healing process, and closing wounds more rapidly.
#8: Laser therapy accelerates cell growth and tissue repair in your pet
Photons from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue, and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth, by increasing the energy available to cells.
#9: Laser therapy regulates your pet’s immune system
Photons from therapy lasers stimulate immune-regulating cells, such as immunoglobulins, neutrophils, and lymphocytes.
#10: Laser therapy stimulates acupuncture points in your pet
Laser therapy stimulates acupuncture points without needles, to provide musculoskeletal pain relief.
What medical conditions benefit from laser therapy?
If your pet is suffering from one of the following conditions, laser therapy will likely be beneficial:
- Acute conditions — Abscesses, burns, bacterial infections, fungal infections, mastitis, snake bites, and spider bites can pop up suddenly, but heal equally fast with laser therapy. Depending on the illness or injury, your pet may benefit from a single laser treatment, or may need a series of treatments during the first week or two of the healing process.
- Chronic conditions — Arthritis, chronic pain, degenerative joint disease, intervertebral disc disease, feline asthma, and urinary tract disorders can benefit from regular laser therapy, beginning at a high frequency, then weaning down to a maintenance regimen. For chronic, painful conditions such as arthritis, we often start pets out with laser treatments each week for the first several weeks, then decrease the frequency as we see improvement. Once your pet is comfortable, we perform “tune-up” laser treatments to ensure continued comfort. These tune-up sessions may be biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your pet’s condition and therapy response.
- Skin conditions — Dermatologic disorders can be frustrating and difficult to treat, especially deep skin infections. By using laser therapy to promote healing deep under the skin, your pet will experience a much-improved treatment response. Ear infections, hot spots, and pyoderma resolve rapidly when laser therapy is applied in conjunction with traditional medicine.
- Dental conditions — Laser therapy can reduce pain and swelling following tooth extractions or other oral surgery procedures, returning your pet to comfort, and allowing her to eat much sooner. It can also alleviate the inflammation found in stomatitis, gingivitis, and feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions.
- Surgical conditions — Ideal for promoting rapid recovery after surgery, laser therapy speeds incisional healing, and provides post-operative pain relief. Laser therapy is also beneficial for stimulating skin-graft growth and healing.
- Musculoskeletal conditions — Fractures, soft-tissue damage, sprains, strains, hip dysplasia, and bone or muscle disorders respond well to laser therapy. Excellent for reducing inflammation and pain, laser therapy also accelerates cellular reproduction and growth in these areas that may be difficult to repair.
While we seem to be able to use our Companion Laser for every illness and injury your pet may experience, we avoid using laser therapy in some instances, including cancerous tumors, pregnant pets, or around the eyes, to prevent adverse effects.
Contact us to learn if your furry pal could benefit from the healing power of light.