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Laser Therapy

Exciting New Therapy at South Loop

South Loop Animal Hospital is excited to announce a new service starting in 2017. We will be offering therapeutic laser treatments for pets. Laser therapy in pets has been used to help treat pets with chronic pain issues, inflammation, and a myriad of other issues. Here are answers to some common questions people have about laser therapy, and be sure to speak with your veterinarian the next time you are in if you think your pet might be a good candidate!

Is laser therapy new?

The beneficial effects of laser light on tissue were first recognized almost forty years ago.

Since then, there have been thousands of studies documenting the positive effects laser light has on different types of cells, tissue, and disorders. Recent advances in technology and manufacturing have made it possible to have this exciting modality available and affordable for clinicians.

What can be treated with laser therapy?

If your pet is feeling pain, has inflammation, or a wound, the laser is a sterile, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment. The laser is used to treat a variety of injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions, numerous dermatological problems, and pain. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, the laser has been shown to provide relief and speed healing.

What’s involved with treating my pet?

The laser light is delivered through a non-invasive hand piece to treat the affected area. Your pet will feel a gentle and soothing warmth. As the laser is administered, many pets will relax, much like you would during a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment protocols are unique to each patient and condition. Therefore, treatments will vary in time and complexity. For some chronic patients, multiple joints will be treated during one laser treatment session. When appropriate, laser therapy can be used as a complementary adjunct to other treatment plans.

How does it work?

The Companion therapy laser system sends photons, or packets of light energy, deep into tissue without damaging it. These photons are absorbed within the mitochondria of the cells and induce a chemical change called “photo-bio-modulation”. This light energy then inspires production of ATP in the cell. ATP is the fuel, or energy, cells need for repair and rejuvenation. Impaired or injured cells do not make this fuel at an optimal rate. Increased ATP production leads to healthier cells, healthier tissue, and healthier animals.

Are there any side effects?

There are no known side effects with this treatment.

What can I expect at home?

You might see a change in activity when your pet comes home. For some it might be increased activity and others may be more relaxed. This is due to the pain relief and reduction in inflammation.

How should I support this treatment at home?

There are no specific things you need to do at home, other than follow normal restrictions, dietary needs, and additional treatment protocols as you pet’s condition dictates and is outlined by your veterinarian.

What to expect during a Companion Laser Therapy treatment session for your companion?

Simply put, it provides relief. The fur does not need to be clipped. The laser operator and anyone in a close proximity to the laser probe will wear eye protection. The eyes of the animal will be directed away from the treatment area or covered with a towel or eyewear. The clinician will move the probe over the area of treatment to assure the laser is being delivered to the area that needs improvement.

What will my pet feel?

As the laser is administered, often pets will relax and enjoy, much like you would experiencing a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate. Occasionally, angry cats will start to purr and dogs will fall asleep during their therapy session.

Is there anything my pet should or shouldn’t do, or take, while on the treatment?

Just follow normal treatment protocols as outlined. You do not need to be overly cautious nor should you overdo any activities.

When can I expect to see an improvement? What might I see?

You may see relief in the first treatment or so as pain and inflammation are reduced. For example: better mobility for joint conditions, drying and healing of dermatological issues, faster healing for wounds and incisions, or your pet just seeming more relaxed and comfortable. For some conditions, a series of treatments may be necessary before you see results due to the severity or complexity of the condition. Each pet is different, and treatments are unique for your pet’s specific needs.