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Laser Therapy

For the last several years, I have written about the benefits of surgery performed with a CO2 laser, where the laser is used in place of the scapel. This article is about a different type of laser, called a class IV laser or therapy laser.

How the therapy laser works:
Therapy lasers do not cut or remove tissue like the CO2 laser. Therapy lasers use light to heal and treat a variety of problems. Laser light works by stimulating individual cells, causing them to produce more energy (ATP) and release natural pain modulators (endorphins). This causes increased circulation and reduced pain and inflammation in the tissues the laser light targets. Increased circulation speeds up the healing process. Pain is reduced by the release of endorphins by the nerve fibers. Inflammation and swelling are resolved by the opening of lymphatic vessels that carry away fluid. In addition, laser light speeds up collagen production which allows faster healing.

What they treat:
Both acute and chronic problems can be treated with laser therapy. Application following surgery and dental procedures can reduce pain, inflammation and accelerate healing. Other acute conditions such as wounds, abscesses, ear infections, strains and some types of dermatitis can be treated with the laser. Chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, lick granulomas and gingivitis are also treated with the laser.

Treatment sessions:
Although dramatic improvement can be seen with one treatment, most conditions, especially more chronic issues, require several treatments. Each treatment takes approximately 20-40 minutes. There is no pain associated with treatment, and many pets find the treatment soothing due to the warming sensation it creates.

This article described the use of a therapy laser. We still have a surgical CO2 laser that is used for a variety of surgical procedures. Advantages of this technology include less pain and swelling at surgery site: less bleeding, and the ability to ablate small skin mass — meaning they can be removed without bleeding or sutures.

Our feline declaw procedures are also performed exclusively with the laser for less pain and bleeding.

Please call our office for more information regarding either laser.

Provided by Sheila Scroggins, DVM at Westbay Animal Hospital, 6905 Cortez Rd, Bradenton. 941-792-3473


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