What is laser light therapy?
A Class IV therapy laser is an FDA-cleared, deep penetrating light. Unlike a carbon laser, which is used for cutting, a Class IV laser is designed to relieve conditions that involve pain and inflammation.
|The Class IV laser offers accelerated healing and relief of pain through several processes: the production of oxygen allows cells to re-grow, and the release of endorphins stimulates cells to heal at a faster rate and reduces pain. Circulation is improved, metabolism is increased, nerve cells are stimulated and collagen production is boosted.|
What conditions can be treated with laser therapy?
Laser therapy is used to treat a wide range of conditions that involve pain and inflammation. Typical cases include arthritis, back injuries, sprains, muscle spasms, nerve injuries, wounds, “hot spots,” ear infections, cystitis, gingivitis, post-operative recuperation and skin conditions of all kinds.
There are numerous advantages of laser therapy over other kinds of treatments:
– No adverse reactions
Laser therapy is often used in conjunction with NSAIDs to treat arthritis, although some pets may be able to avoid NSAIDs altogether. Because NSAIDs can have serious side effects, we must do bloodwork several times a year to monitor the liver and kidneys. Laser therapy has no side effects, is not painful and does not require sedation.
The effects of laser therapy are cumulative and some conditions, such as arthritis, may require several treatment sessions over the course of a few weeks. Other conditions may require one or two treatments only. Our veterinarians will decide on an appropriate course of treatment based on your pet’s medical condition.
We are unable to give you a treatment plan without a physical examination, however most of our clients are pleasantly surprised by the affordability of laser therapy. It especially economical compared to the long term costs of NSAIDs, prescription diets, pain medications and other supportive care.
Jack, 13-year-old Labrador Retriever, suffered from arthritis and had been on NSAIDs, pain meds and prescription diets for many years. At Jack’s first laser treatment session his owner had to assist him into the exam room. That evening, for the first time in years, Jack jumped up on the couch!
While these results may not be typical, many pets experience relief after just one treatment. Jack continued his prescribed course of laser therapy 3 times a week for 2 weeks, twice a week for 2 weeks, once a week for 2 weeks, then once every three weeks. Jack’s comfort level continued to increase and although he recently passed away, Jack’s last few months were far more comfortable than they would have been otherwise.
What does laser therapy feel like? Does it hurt?
There is little or no sensation during the treatment. Sometimes the animal may feel a gentle, soothing warmth, but there is no pain associated with laser therapy.
How long does a treatment session last?
The length of the session depends on the size of the area to be treated. While the typical treatment session is 10 minutes, for animals with chronic arthritis who have several different areas to be treated, the treatment session may last as long as an hour.
How many sessions does it take?
Some conditions may require only 1-2 treatments, while others may need six or more sessions. Periodic, ongoing care may be required to manage chronic conditions.
How long before results are felt?
Many pets feel some relief after the first session, however the results of laser therapy treatments are cumulative. Most pets will see significant improvement after 2-4 sessions.
May I stay with my pet during treatment?
Yes! We would be happy to have you stay with your pet during the treatment session. We do ask that you wear protective eye wear during the treatment session.
Can laser therapy be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?
Absolutely! Laser therapy can be used alongside NSAIDs, neutraceuticals, pain medications and prescriptions diets – in fact, the efficacy of laser therapy treatments may allow us to scale back on the use of pain meds and anti-inflammatories.
Will you treat animals who are not Northarlington veterinary patients?
We are happy to offer laser therapy treatments to pets who are not Northarlington clients, however we do require a thorough medical history and physical examination by one of our veterinarians. Depending on the presenting complaint, that may include x-rays. Please ask our medical staff for more details.