At one time, people and animals alike had to tolerate pain and just "buck up" to get through it. Now, we know that pain actually slows healing and we humans expect relief. Well, so can our pets! The new Class IV Therapy Laser penetrates deeply into tissues to bring amazing healing, decreased swelling, and blessed reprieve from chronic arthritis, acute trauma, surgeries, and miscellaneous wounds.

We have been using our therapy laser and seeing great results since October of 2007. Our clinic mascot dog, Chocolate, was our first volunteer. A 14 1/2 years old terrier mix, he is missing the cartilage in two places between vertebrae in his back. Before treatment, he cried out occasionally when navigating stairs and he walked slowly with an arch in his back. He did not eat well. Chocolate had been on a major pain relief medication for two years already before laser treatment. The day after only one five minute session, he seemed much improved. When he had completed the recommended 6 treatments, he seemed to be a new dog. Now, he runs up and down the stairs, plays, gets toys out of his box and shakes them. He can jump easily into his favorite chair and his appetite has increased greatly. We have our old dog back again, happy, healthy, and playful once more. He has not needed any oral pain medications since his six treatments in October. Perhaps your best four-legged friend is a candidate for this new kind of therapy.

What is the science behind this novel treatment? The therapy laser generates photons of light that penetrate deeply into inflamed joints, muscles, or wounds. Patients feel only a mild warmth. Tissue cells absorb photons and turn them into useful energy that stimulates increased metabolic activity, better oxygenation, and formation of healing enzymes. Faster metabolism and optimum chemical factors then result in quicker cellular reproduction and tissue repair. This light energy stimulates more rapid formation of new capillaries that speed healing and it activates lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling. Beneficial effects also occur outside the specifically targeted area. This laser light helps to strengthen immunity by activating immunoglobulins and lymphocytes which protect the body from disease.

Patients who will likely benefit from laser therapy are those in whom we can localize and target the damaged tissues. Hip dysplasia, back injuries that are either chronic or new, bad knees or elbows, are all candidates for laser therapy. In addition, strains and sprains, surgeries, and many types of wounds will respond to this treatment. Therapy laser applications in horses abound, especially where drugs are not allowed for performance competition.

Sometimes, a single therapy session is adequate. For more involved cases, the recommended protocol is to treat the pet three times spread within the first week, two times in the second week, and once in the third week. Then, repeat in six months as needed. We are excited to add this new dimension to our pain control regime. Stop by and visit with Chocolate and he will be happy to tell you more about it!