If you’ve never heard of veterinary laser therapy, it’s important not to confuse this form of treatment with the high-frequency surgical lasers that cut and cauterize. Cold laser therapy, also called low-level laser therapy or LLLT, uses frequencies of amplified light that aren’t powerful enough to damage your pet’s tissues in any way. But the beam is powerful enough to penetrate the skin and focus its energies on the tissues underneath — tissues that may have sustained a recent injury or suffer from painful chronic inflammation.
Laser therapy is a painless application of healing light. Your pet may feel a slight tingling sensation as the light enters the tissue and cells, but is very minimal if at all.
The laser beam stimulates the manufacture of a substance called ATP. ATP is the “fuel” cells need to repair and regenerate themselves; the more fuel they have, the more quickly and thoroughly they can heal injured tissues. The laser, therefore, accelerates your pet’s ability to rehabilitate a troublesome soft tissue injury. The energy from the laser also improves circulation in the tissues, allowing them to expel inflammatory substances that cause pain and swelling. This makes veterinary laser therapy a great tool for relieving chronic pain in pets that can’t or shouldn’t receive heavy painkillers. Cold laser therapy may be prescribed for pets suffering from:
- Sprain injuries
- Strained muscles
- Nerve damage
- Surface wounds from recent injuries or surgical incisions
- Fracture healing
Treatment time varies from patient to patient depending on how chronic the condition is and the depth the laser light needs to reach to be effective.