Many pet owners are not aware of the possibility of treating some conditions with laser therapy, but this method is becoming more and more popular throughout the United States and the rest of the world too.
In this article, you’ll find out more about what laser therapy means when it comes to treatments for dogs and cats. Read on to find out more. If you think your pet could benefit from laser therapy, call the Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County (772) 337-8570.
What does pet laser therapy do?
Pet laser therapy works by stimulating the tissues of the pet’s body. This, in turn, encourages the tissues to grow and heal in areas where your pet may have health problems or concerns. The wavelength and type of laser used will determine the tissues that are positively impacted by the laser therapy treatment.
What kinds of laser therapy are available for dogs and cats?
Class 2 and class 3 lasers are both used in laser therapy for dogs and cats. Class 3 lasers are the most common type used in therapeutic situations, but class 2 lasers may be used in situations where a weaker laser may be more effective, such as in skin-level conditions.
Laser therapy that has a lower wavelength reaches the skin or just below it, while laser therapy with a higher wavelength can move through the skin and reach the muscles, bones, and organs within the pet’s body. All of these types are available, although some may be more specialized than others.
Do dogs and cats have to be sedated for laser therapy?
Usually. Most pets will need to be sedated for every laser therapy treatment, although this will vary depending on the pet’s physical condition as well as the type and purpose of the laser therapy treatment.
Since laser therapy usually requires sedation, it may not be appropriate for pets with heart disease or other conditions that may be a risk when the pet is anesthetized.
If your pet is undergoing skin-level laser therapy, they may not need to be sedated. They will need to wear special goggles to protect their eyes from the laser, however.
Is laser therapy safe for dogs and cats?
Yes, as long as it is performed by a certified, licensed, and trained professional. Laser therapy itself is very safe, but if it is performed incorrectly it can become dangerous.
For example, a laser that is set to a higher level than it should be may burn the patient, and any stray lasers could potentially cause vision damage to pets and humans who are not protected.
When operated appropriately, laser therapy is safe and should not pose any risks for your pet. Anesthesia, which may be required for some pets, can be potentially dangerous depending on your pet’s overall health condition and any underlying problems.
What is the treatment like?
First, if a pet needs to be sedated, the sedative will be administered a short time before the laser treatment is set to occur. Next, the pet will be positioned properly for comfort as well as to allow the technician to reach the affected area that is to be treated.
The technician will then move the laser therapy wand back and forth over the affected part of your pet’s body. This will feel warm to your pet, but it should not burn or cause any discomfort. Pets who are not sedated usually show signs of relaxing during this step. The treatment should last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes in most situations.
Which pets most commonly receive laser therapy treatments?
Pets with chronic long-term pain conditions often receive laser therapy treatments. These most commonly include pets who have more severe arthritis that is not responding to pain medication or pets who cannot take pain medication for any reason.
Additionally, cats may receive laser therapy treatments more often than dogs. This is because cats frequently cannot take as many types of pain medications as dogs can. Cats who are dealing with any condition causing pain may be good candidates for laser therapy treatments depending on their other health conditions.
There’s a lot to learn about laser therapy for dogs and cats, and if you’re thinking of going this route for your pet’s treatment, it’s important to get as much information as you can before deciding. Your vet will be able to give you the most specific information about your individual pet and his potential to respond well to this type of treatment, too.
Remember to ask your vet if you have questions or need any more information about laser therapy for pets. Call us today at (772) 337-8570.