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Dog Arthritis Laser Therapy by Dr. Antonicic, (Merrick A.H.)
Hi, my name is Dr. Antonicic, I’m a veterinarian at Merrick Animal Hospital. One of the newest treatments that we’re excited to offer here is laser therapy for companion animals. Laser therapy can be used for a very large number of conditions.
Dog Arthritis Laser Therapy is also used to speed healing
The most common application that we use it for is arthritis and bone issues, and secondarily, to increase healing. It can also be used for cystitis in cats to help calm the bladder, infections on the skin, infections in the ears, any time that you would want to actually decrease inflammation and pain and promote healing. What it is is essentially a machine that emits a cold laser light. It’s not a cutting laser.
Dog Arthritis Laser Therapy uses a CLASS IV Cold Laser
It’s not used for surgery. It’s just used for therapy. This hand piece is where the light comes out and is generally done as a very simple procedure that doesn’t cause any discomfort for your pet at all. It’s simply put on the area that you want to treat and then moved around gently, bathing that area in laser light. Treatments can be done in multiple areas, and usually last about four minutes per site. What happens when you do the treatment is that you are bathing the area with a specific wavelength of laser light that penetrates the tissues and stimulates the tissues at the cellular level, basically energizing them with light in a way sort of similar to the way plants would actually gain energy from the sun. Except that for this, instead of using it for plant growth, the animal uses it for healing.
Dog Arthritis Laser Therapy is non-painful and non-invasive
Each treatment, again, only lasts a few minutes, is very non-painful, completely non-invasive, and generally will, like I said, speed healing and decrease inflammation. Typically when we first diagnose a case that needs this sort of treatment, for example a dog that has severe arthritis, we do what’s called a pyramidal session of treatments. The treatments begin more frequently, three times the first week, then taper down the site to two times the second week, and then one time the final week. And then, based on the needs of the case can be done weekly or biweekly or even monthly. If you’re trying to get something to heal, for example a cut or a wound, a couple of treatments may be all that’s really needed to accelerate the healing to the point where the pet no longer needs any treatment.
Dog Arthritis Laser Therapy treats chronic arthritis
For other conditions, like arthritis, certainly, because that’s a chronic condition, it may be something that needs long term care, where the pet does wind up basically getting treatments as needed every third or fourth week for the duration that you have the pet, a little bit like going to the chiropractor. One adjustment doesn’t fix you. You basically keep coming in each visit and they help make you feel better and you decide how long that’s going to last and how well you feel until you need your next treatment. It’s completely harmless.
Dog Arthritis Laser Therapy CANNOT be used to treat cancer
There is one contraindication. You don’t ever want to use it in an area that you’re worried that the dog might have cancer, so in terms of conditions that can be treated, that would be the only real prohibition in terms of using this to help your pet. We’ve just begun offering it and have had very good success with it. We’re very excited to continue to offer it, so if you have any questions or you think your pet may have a condition that could benefit from laser therapy, please call us at Merrick Animal Hospital. Thank you for your attention.