Laser therapy is becoming one of the most commonly used treatments for a variety of pet ailments. First used as a human medical treatment, laser therapy quickly demonstrated a wide range of health benefits, and veterinarians adapted its use for pets. Laser therapy is a form of alternative or complementary therapy, similar to acupuncture or massage therapy, that can be used in place of, or in addition to, traditional medications. We are proud to use a state-of-the-art Cutting Edge Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser, which provides the most advanced laser therapy available for veterinary patients. If your pet is suffering from chronic or acute pain, inflammation, or a skin wound, laser therapy will likely be part of her prescribed medical treatment.
Laser therapy uses photons, or light energy, to stimulate positive effects in body tissues. Laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, and the light used is produced by activated electrons. The light beam is administered with a hand-held probe that is held directly in contact with, or close to, the patient’s body surface. Treatment sessions are short, and the number and frequency of treatments depend on the condition.
Lasers are classified into four classes, based on their energy output. Class 3 lasers produce adequate energy to be used therapeutically, and their application is referred to as low level light therapy (LLLT). Class 4 lasers produce the highest energy amount, and have typically been used as surgical lasers, since the heat they generate easily cuts through tissue.
At Linwood Pet Hospital, we use a Cutting Edge Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser, a new type of class IV laser that uses a unique combination of continuous and pulsed emissions that generates more power than LLLT, but less heat than traditional class IV lasers. Two different light wavelengths are used synergistically to produce greater anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects than either can produce on its own. This means that a larger area can be treated in less time to produce greater benefits than LLLT. Treatment sessions are typically shorter, and fewer treatments are needed to produce therapeutic benefits, which are often immediate, rather than achieved after many treatment sessions.
Laser therapy uses light energy to accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. When a laser beam is applied to a pet’s skin, photons penetrate the tissue and interact with cellular molecules to cause varying biological effects. A number of cellular molecules, such as hemoglobin, amino acids, proteins, melanin, and water, function as chromophores and undergo a conformational change when exposed to laser light. Chromophore changes excite cells, which speeds up cellular reactions, including those that stimulate tissue healing.
Enhanced tissue healing causes a variety of effects that can benefit your pet, such as:
MLS laser therapy is particularly useful in alleviating acute and chronic pain, and has demonstrated an 85% to 90% efficacy rate in relieving pain and inflammation. In some cases, laser therapy’s analgesic effect eliminates the need for pain medications.
Laser therapy can be used to treat many health conditions that cause pain and inflammation in pets, such as:
If your pet is suffering from a medical condition that causes inflammation or pain, she can likely benefit from laser therapy. MLS laser therapy is part of the prescribed treatment plan for many of our patients experiencing a variety of medical conditions. If you think your pet may benefit from laser therapy, or if you would like to speak with our veterinary team about its treatment potential, contact us.