Keep calm and play laser tag

Ok, that is very misleading.  I don’t really want to talk about Laser tag or the laser dot you use to make your cat spin until he falls down. Come on.  Admit it.  You do it.

I want to talk about Laser therapy.

What is Laser Therapy?

Simply put, it is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal.

Hard to believe? Well, it’s true. And it works!

During laser therapy, infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level increasing metabolic activity within the cell.  This increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. Some of the benefits are reduced inflammation, pain reduction and enhanced tissue healing.  Laser therapy is also a great, surgery free alternative to pain control.  It creates a healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasm, stiffness and pain.  In our hospital, we use it post operatively for incision healing, after tooth extractions to speed tissue healing and after heartworm treatment injections to alleviate discomfort. We also use it for pain and inflammation associated with joint disease.

Laser therapy has been used in Europe since the 1970s and was cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005.

Now that we have the science part of it out of the way, we can answer some of the common questions asked by our clients.

Does it hurt?

There is little or no sensation during treatment for most patients.  Occasionally the patient may feel warmth or tingling.  Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.

Are there any side effects or risks?

During more than 20 years of use by healthcare providers worldwide, very few side effects have been reported.  Occasionally some old injuries or pain may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment.

How often should a patient receive laser therapy?

Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain.  More chronic conditions respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once very week or two as improvement is seen.

How many laser treatments does it take and how long do treatments last?

This depends on the condition.  Most treatments take 2-8 minutes.  For some acute conditions 1-2 treatments may be sufficient.  More chronic conditions may require 5-8 treatments.  Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.

How long before results are felt from laser therapy?

Your pet may feel improvement in their condition after the first treatment.  Sometimes they may not feel improvement for a number of treatments.  This does not mean the therapy is not working as treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3-4 sessions.

For more information, visit the K-Laser website https://k-laser.com/pet-owners

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Hanover Veterinary Hospital

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