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Cold laser therapy for pets is an advanced, non-invasive painless treatment technique that has helped to heal patients suffering from many different ailments. As one of the many holistic energy medicine options we provide in our animal hospital, the “cold” or “soft” laser therapy which uses focused, infrared light-emitting diodes to penetrate a pet’s skin and go deep into his or her tissues for therapeutic effect. It is a comfortable, painless technique that actually stimulates cellular healing of damaged tissues without surgery. It also reduces pain levels without painkilling drugs that can produce side effects. Therapeutic lasers are a great option for many pets, particularly older pets, very young pets and other pets that might suffer extensive complications from more invasive procedures requiring anesthetics. We have successfully used these laser techniques to treat arthritis, ear infections, damaged Anterior Cruciate Ligaments ACLs, lameness in pets, ruptured intervertebral discs, dental problems, post-surgical incisions, skin conditions and more.
Our Royal Oak veterinarian, Dr. John Simon has used laser therapy to treat many pets and has often been successful at helping certain patients avoid pet surgery with it. In the case of anterior cruciate ligament injuries, for example, he has applied cold laser therapy after the pet has undergone prolotherapy to further thicken ligaments, repair damaged cartilage and stabilize their knee joint. Therapeutic laser application has also lengthened and vastly improved the lives of many dogs who were suffering such severe arthritis or spinal problems that their owners were considering euthanasia. It has also helped many pets that used to suffer severe and frequent ear infections, and helped to accelerate healing of surgical incisions, resulting in less scar tissue and faster recovery times.
Therapeutic lasers work at the cellular level to heal damaged tissues. Photoreceptors inside the injured cells targeted by the laser are stimulated by the infrared light. This encourages them to produce ATP other chemicals responsible for cellular regeneration and metabolism. As the cells spring into action, this also encourages collagen production. Collagen, of course, is the significant protein building block for connective tissues, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin. Laser application also increases circulation to those damaged tissues, which also speeds up the healing process.
There are several ways to apply therapeutic laser treatments, and the type and frequency of treatment largely depends upon the pet and his or her condition. The most common application is from a wand, passed painlessly over the pet’s skin, joints or surgical incisions. For large areas, such as a pet’s back, a light-emitting pad can be used. We can even use one diode points on a pet’s acupuncture points, uniting that effective ancient healing practice with the latest technology.