What is laser therapy?
Laser therapy stimulates natural healing. It does this by using red and near infrared waves of light to increase circulation which draws water, nutrients and oxygen to the affected area. Doing so creates the optimal environment for healing that improves pain and generates a reduction in stiffness, swelling, inflammation and muscle spasms. As a result the patient should feel substantially less discomfort and, if recovering from an operation, experience more rapid healing time.
Is it safe for use on animals?
Laser therapy has been used in treating humans since the 1970s and it has now been certified for use in veterinary care. It is non-invasive, no drugs need to be administered which means no hair clipping or nasty IV lines. Your pet shouldn’t even need to be sedated. The simplicity of this examination means a minimal recovery time, helping your pet get back to his normal, happy self in no time!
Will my pet experience any pain?
No, thanks to its non-invasive nature your pet should experience little or no sensation during their treatment. In human use there have been some reports of mild tingling or spreading warmth in the areas being treated, which your pet may also feel.
What conditions can laser therapy treat?
There has been substantial evidence to support laser therapy having a profoundly positive effect in the following conditions:
• Gum disease
• Chronic or acute ear infections
• Chronic or acute back and neck pain
• Skin wounds
• Anal gland infections
• Degenerative joint disease e.g. hip dysplasia
• Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries
• Some respiratory, urinary and GI conditions
• Post-surgery healing, recovery and pain management
There are also strong beliefs that it can be used successfully in many other conditions including bacterial or viral infections, bronchitis, allergic conditions, certain tumors and more.
How many sessions of laser therapy will my pet need? The length of each session may be anything between one and sixty minutes, depending on the amount of laser therapy required or the areas that are being targeted. You can usually see an improvement after just one session, but the majority of conditions require a course of appointments. Your veterinarian will be able to give you an estimate as to how many sessions your pet may require. This may also be subject to change depending on how your pet responds to his sessions. It may be necessary for arthritic patients to have regular top-ups in order to ensure ongoing benefits.
How much does laser therapy cost?
As with most veterinary treatments, the first consultation is usually more expensive. The actual cost of treatment will vary depending on your veterinary surgery, the length of the sessions and the number of sessions needed. As a guideline you can expect to pay anywhere between $35 and $60 per session. If your pet has been referred for laser therapy by your veterinarian, part or all of the cost of the treatment may be met by your pet insurance. Please contact your insurer for more information.