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January 2012 – New at Care First Animal Hospital: Laser Therapy

Molly Emory, a 7 year old Sheltie, first came to Care First Animal Hospital in October for a sore on her left front paw that was causing her to be painful on walks. We tried traditional therapy at first, administering a corticosteroid to help with inflammation and then dispensing a topical spray and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory to help with healing and pain relief. A week later the lesion, now diagnosed as a lick granuloma, was still not healing and Molly was still not able to go for walks. Dr. Gordon suggested laser therapy for Molly, and she became one of our first patients at the Oberlin facility to use Laser Therapy.

We saw Molly for 9 sessions over a 4 week period and each time she came in the lesion was smaller. At her last session Dr. Gordon was satisfied with her healing! Lick granulomas sometimes can require long-term medications, an e collar to be worn all the time, and even surgery if it does not heal. With a month of Laser Therapy, Molly’s lick granuloma has healed to the point where she can once again go on walks with her family.

Are you interested in a drug-free, surgery-free alternative to pain relief for your pet? At Care First Animal Hospital we are excited to introduce Laser Therapy as a noninvasive treatment to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and increase speed of healing.

What is Laser Therapy?

Laser Therapy uses a beam of laser light to deeply penetrate tissue and induce a biological response in cells called “photo-bio-modulation”. In essence, Laser Therapy causes the body to increase localized self-healing through an increase in cellular ATP (Adenosine-triphosphate). This non-invasive process leads to reduced pain, reduced inflammation, and increased healing speed, with no surgery required!

Does it hurt?

No, it does not! At most your pet may feel gentle and soothing warmth at the area the laser is used. As most treatments only take a few minutes, many pets, even if normally nervous or reactive at the vet’s office, quickly relax and even seem to enjoy the warmth and massage that the laser provides.

Would my pet benefit from Laser Therapy?

Laser Therapy can help pets with a variety of disorders. Since it reduces inflammation, laser therapy is excellent for acute or chronic otitis (ear inflammation), gingivitis and periodontal disease, sinusitis/rhinitis, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), arthritis, degenerative joint disease/degenerative disc disease, and hip dysplasia. Laser Therapy is also useful in wound healing and we can treat hot spots, minor wounds, lick granulomas (like Molly’s), and other dermatologic disorders. We also use Laser Therapy after routine surgery to speed recovery. Unsure if Laser Therapy is right for your pet? Talk to your veterinarian to find out more!

There are some cases where Laser Therapy is NOT indicated, including cancer patients and those with eye problems.

From Companion Laser Therapy: locations where Laser Therapy may benefit your pet.

Is it expensive?

No, Laser Therapy is very affordable. You can request a package or individual sessions, based on your pet’s needs. When compared to surgery or long-term pain medications and steroids which can ultimately lead to organ dysfunction, Laser Therapy is extremely reasonable.

How is Laser Therapy different from other therapies?

The best difference with Laser Therapy is that no surgery and no systemic medications are required. This is healthier for your pet and provides a faster recovery time. In this way it is similar to acupuncture; however, acupuncture works more on the whole body, while Laser Therapy is localized to the part of the body being treated. Laser Therapy and acupuncture can even be used in conjunction to promote better overall healing. We also are encouraging Laser Therapy after surgical procedures to promote speedier recovery. Finally, Laser Therapy can be used with pain medications to help further control your pet’s pain.

Another amazing case we’ve seen recently is Muffy Shepherd, a 17 month old cat with a chronic history of a red, painful lesion in her mouth. This lesion came back after steroids, surgery, and antibiotics were all tried. After four Laser Therapy sessions, Muffy’s lesion is completely resolved and, though we will monitor for recurrence, she no longer needs medication, which her parents are very excited about!

Interested in Laser Therapy but want to learn more?

Call to schedule an appointment to speak with your veterinarian and see if Laser Therapy is right for your pet.

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