What is laser therapy?
Laser therapy, aka Photobiomodulation Therapy, is an effective means of treating pain in both animals and people. Laser therapy uses non-ionizing light sources to promote a cellular response within impaired tissue to reduce pain, inflammation, and to speed healing. Read below for a more in-depth explanation of how laser therapy works.
What is the science behind Laser Therapy?
The photons released by our Class IV laser will primarily target the Cytochrome C complex, a complex found on the inner membrane of the mitochondria of the cell. Cytochrome C will lead to increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, which will aid in energy transfer amongst cells. The photons released by the laser will also stimulate the production of free nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species. Nitric oxide helps with vasodilation as well as other physiological processes. Vasodilation will help to improve circulation to the damaged tissue allowing for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients and removal of wastes. Reactive oxygen species affect the inflammatory response. All of these various signaling molecules together help to induce growth factor production, increase cell proliferation and motility, and promote extracellular matrix deposition and pro-survival pathways. In a nutshell, laser therapy helps to promote healing, reduce inflammation, and reduce pain by targeting cells and their pathways.
What is the benefit of laser therapy?
Laser therapy is an incredible tool that we can use to help make your pet more comfortable. We always laser incision sites after surgery to promote healing and reduce pain. If your pet has arthritis, setting up regular laser therapy appointments at our office is highly recommended to help alleviate the pain and inflammation. We will even use laser therapy after extensive and painful dental procedures!
What should I expect during my pet’s first laser therapy appointment?
Your veterinarian will determine whether or not laser therapy is an appropriate option for your pet. As mentioned previously, laser therapy is always performed on incision sites, particularly after spays and neuters, while your pet is still asleep. There may also be scenarios where your pet needs more frequent sessions, for instance, arthritic pets. In that case, you can choose to be present for the laser therapy session. You, your pet, and a trained assistant will complete the laser therapy in a room to avoid exposing other patients and clients. The trained assistant will provide you and your pet with sunglasses (don’t worry, we have special ones just for your pet!). The laser therapy session will begin and the trained assistant will perform laser therapy on the affected areas. One therapy session generally takes only 10 minutes to complete. Laser therapy is painless and does not cause any discomfort to your pet. After the session, you will have the option to schedule another session if your veterinarian recommends it.
Laser therapy is an incredible tool we have available to us. If you believe your pet could benefit from laser therapy please call our offices to set up a consultation with our veterinarian!
*Laser therapy information on this page comes from CompanionAnimalHealth.com.