Laser Therapy for small animals
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy (Also known as photobiomodulation (PBM) or cold laser therapy), is a non-invasive medical treatment used in veterinary medicine for various small animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and more.
It involves the use of specific wavelengths of light to stimulate cellular processes which promote:
- Muscle regeneration
- Tissue healing
- Joint healing
- Reduction of acute and chronic pain
- Reduces inflammation and swelling.
How does laser therapy actually work?
The actual physics and biology are quite complicated but here it is in a nutshell!
- Tissues have biological molecules called chromophores which undergo changes when hit by light. Chromophores include Haemoglobin, water, melanin, and amino acids – the stuff that all proteins are made up of.
- laser light penetrates deep into tissues and interacts with the chromophores altering their cellular functions.
- The altered cellular functions cause an increase in the production Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)and Nitric Oxide (NO).
- Increased ROS activate endogenous antioxidant enzyme systems, increased ATP supplies energy for cell repair and increased NO promotes angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), modulates the inflammatory and immune response, and mediates increased blood flow to the affected site.
What are the beneficial effects of laser therapy in small animals
Laser therapy decreases production of pro inflammatory substances in body thereby reducing inflammation and swelling in affected areas.
Laser therapy helps in activating lymphatic drainage, improves circulation by increasing flow of oxygen and nutritive substances to tissues enhancing the healing process.
Laser therapy can promote nerve regeneration and improve sensory function in case of nerve injuries associated with wounds.
By reducing pain and inflammation, laser therapy can help improve mobility and overall quality of life.
Reduction of pain
Laser therapy can help alleviate pain associated with joint disorders for example osteoarthritis. It stimulates the release on endorphins which are natural pain killers in the body, inhibit pain signals in nerve fibres thereby providing relief to affected joints.
Accelerated tissue repair
Laser therapy can accelerate the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue, it stimulates production of collagen, helping repair damaged cartilage and joint structures.
Minimise Scar formation
Laser therapy helps in minimising formation of scars and improve cosmetic appearance of wounds.
How can we use Laser therapy?
Laser therapy is used in small animal veterinary medicine for a variety of conditions including but not limited to:
Joints– Trauma, Degenerative joint diseases such as elbow and hip dysplasia, Osteoarthritis
Muscle, Tendon and Ligaments– sprains and injuries
Spine– Intervertebral disc disease and other pathologies
Post-surgery pain management
Acute or chronic pain
Seromas and hematomas
Anal gland infection
Stomatitis- Inflammation of gums
How many treatments will my pet need?
Injuries & Conditions
Acute injuries and conditions generally need fewer treatment sessions, while chronic cases may require more sessions.
Acute skin wounds are treated based on size and extent of wound and generally done until complete healing of wound. Generally acute skin wounds should be treatment every 1-2 days and other chronic cases like arthritis should be treated 2-3 times a week.
A treatment cycle involves about 2-10 sessions, depending on patient’s clinical condition, duration, and severity of disease. The best way to determine how many sessions you pet needs is to have a chat with your Vet.
Is Laser Therapy safe for my pet?
Laser therapy is generally considered safe for small animals when administered by trained veterinary professional. It is non- toxic, non-invasive, and painless!
To protect eyes from laser light, both animal and the laser operator typically wear protective eyewear during treatment.
Overall laser therapy is a very valuable treatment in veterinary medicine for managing pain, promoting healing, and enhancing well-being of small animals.