Our family pets, or furry family members, are very important to us and we all like to see that they live life to the fullest. We at 1st Pet Veterinary Centers can help by providing your pet with a variety of care options to suit their particular needs. Sometimes as a pet owner, you partner with us to help them get through various medical issues or procedures. This may be something relatively simple like a routine neuter or spay procedure as a puppy, or may be more complicated, like helping your pet have the best quality of life possible as disease and complications of aging set in. This is why we offer Cold Laser Therapy as one of the tools to best assist your pet’s individual needs.
Cold laser therapy is a safe, non-invasive alternative to medications or even surgery. And best of all, dogs and cats seem to actually enjoy each therapy session, and their owners enjoy how happy their pet feels after the treatment. Cold laser therapy is performed by using a class IV laser that focuses an intense beam of laser light into the tissues. This causes a mild warming sensation that is often relaxing to our patients and soothes their area of discomfort. Cold lasers do not cut or burn tissues like lasers used in surgery, but rather cause a ‘photobiostimulation’ thru the warming light in the tissues where the laser is applied. This aids in stimulating circulation, cellular repair, and reduces pain and inflammation in the affected area. In cases where we use cold laser to treat wounds, this not only limits the pain, but it accelerates the healing of the wound. Therefore, we use cold laser therapy post-surgically on every surgery patient here at 1st Pet Veterinary Centers*.
While cold laser therapy is highly beneficial for treating surgical wounds or traumatic wounds, it is also beneficial for a variety of other conditions. The following lists just some of the conditions that also benefit from cold laser therapy treatments:
- Strains, sprains, fractures
- Tooth extractions pain relief
- Periodontal disease
- Lick granulomas
- Ear infections
- Hip dysplasia
- Feline acne
The number of treatments required is unique to each patient and condition. Most elective surgical procedures will only require a single treatment immediately after surgery. More advanced surgical procedures may require repeated cold laser treatments every few days until healed. Acute conditions such as ear infections (acute otitis) and abscesses can require just a single treatment, or multiple treatments, depending on the severity. Chronic conditions that are common to our older pets such as osteoarthritis or back pain respond best to treatments 2-3 times per week initially, gradually increasing the number of days in-between treatments (reducing number per week) as the pet improves. Once your pet is feeling better, if he/she has a condition that causes chronic pain (like arthritis), then maintenance treatments are scheduled 1- 2 times monthly (depending on the individual needs of the pet) to keep them feeling their best. Many owners find this type of treatment more effective and with fewer side effects than traditional treatments for arthritis, such as using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For owners who would like to avoid using these medications, cold laser therapy is a great substitute. The treatments may not always exclude the need for all medications, but usually will lessen the dose or frequency needed. And most importantly, the pet feels better than if medications were used alone.
There are of course some animals and conditions that should not receive cold laser therapy such as in animals with cancer, or taking a medication that would make the pet photosensitive. So if you are interested adding cold laser therapy as part of your pet’s care plan, please schedule an appointment with one of our Doctors to see if it is right for your pets health concern/condition. If it is, we will perform the first treatment the same day.
Cold laser therapy has been studied now for many years and has resulted in many success stories. It is a scientifically proven therapy and is frequently used in equine medicine and even by many human professional athletes. So the next time one of your furry family members is in need of some extra care, consider cold laser therapy!
*Cold laser therapy is currently available at our Chandler and Mesa locations.