Laser therapy is a type of regenerative medicine that uses light energy to stimulate pain relief and healing in dogs and cats. Sometimes called cold laser therapy, it actually generates a warmth that helps pets relax during their therapy. Pain relief with laser therapy is often a popular option, especially for pets who are unable to take traditional pain medication due to certain illnesses or contraindications with other medications. At Pennsylvania Veterinary Care, we put a strong emphasis on pain relief in dogs and cats. With laser therapy and our other regenerative medicine options, we hope to make pain relief safer and longer-lasting for our furry friends.
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy uses a process called photobiomodulation. This long word refers to the use of light energy to stimulate certain physiological changes that facilitate faster healing and pain relief. The laser is a small hand-held device that we hold over your pet’s affected area for a certain amount of time. The light penetrates deep into the damaged tissue and causes:
- Increased cell production that helps to speed up healing
- A release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers
- Increased blood circulation, which helps to reduce inflammation
Are There Any Side Effects with Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy has no side effects. It is completely drug-free and non-invasive. All pets, from puppies and kittens to geriatric pets can safely benefit from laser therapy. It can be used as a standalone treatment, or in conjunction with traditional pain medication for well-rounded pain relief. The only time we do not recommend laser therapy is for pets who have, or are suspected to have cancer, as the laser could cause the growth of cancer cells.
What Conditions Can You Treat with Laser Therapy?
We recommend laser therapy for many painful conditions in cats and dogs, including:
- Joint injuries
- Wound healing
- Ear infections
- Post-op recovery
- Orthopedic issues
- Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD)
- Lick granulomas
- Hot spots
- And more
For acute conditions such as post-op recovery or wound healing, you may see positive results with as little as one session. For more chronic conditions such as arthritis, however, a series of sessions may be necessary. Since laser therapy is cumulative, your pet will see long-lasting results with each session.