Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is known by many other names, including veterinary laser therapy, low-level laser therapy or LLLT, soft laser therapy, red-light laser therapy, and photobiomodulation therapy or PBMT. North Hills Animal Hospital in Sherwood, AR, lists what you need to know about laser therapy for pets.

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Kinds of Lasers Used

These lasers are not medical Class 4 lasers, which are used as scalpels and to cauterize wounds. These are Class 2 or Class 3 lasers, which work in the red and infra-red areas of the light spectrum. Class 2 lasers are what is used in laser pointers, but they also have some therapeutic value. Mostly, Class 3 lasers are used in veterinary laser therapy. These are further subdivided into Class 3B and Class 3R.

How Veterinary Lasers Work

Lasers alter the cell function of the tissues in your pet’s body by stimulating electrons. This encourages cells to grow, divide, and move about. The practical upshot of all of this is that the tissues in your pet’s body start healing themselves. Lasers also relax muscles, increase circulation, and get the body to release natural painkillers called endorphins.

Warning: Cheap Retail Lasers Do Not Work

There are devices on the market that claim to be veterinary lasers, but are practically useless, since they are not strong enough to provide any therapeutic benefits. A therapeutic laser costs far more than what these devices cost. There are no FDA regulations on medical lasers for pets, so anyone can make and sell them.

Conditions Treated by Laser Therapy

Lasers are used on pets for many medical purposes, such as:

  • Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Healing injuries, especially tendon or ligament injuries
  • Older pets with malfunctioning inner organs
  • Cysts that grow in between the toes
  • Pets with liver disease or another medical condition where taking medication is not an option
  • Cats with a chronic pain condition that do not respond to medication. There are far more painkillers available for dogs than there are for cats.

Precaution: Eye Protection Needed

Although Class 2 and Class 3 lasers will not cut or burn the skin, they can cause eye damage. Whenever a pet has laser treatment, it’s imperative that protective goggles be placed on the pet and anyone else in the room.

What Laser Treatment Is Like

You and your pet don goggles. You hold your pet, or your pet relaxes on a blanket. The laser is passed over your pet. After about 20 to 30 minutes, the procedure is over and your pet should be much more comfortable than he was before.

Still Have Questions?

If you have further questions on how laser therapy might benefit your pet and live in the Sherwood, AR, area, contact North Hills Animal Hospital at (501) 835-3577 to make an appointment today.