“You are going to LASER my dog?”
Yes, lasers are being used by veterinarians in the treatment of your four-legged companion. We are accustomed to hearing of lasers being used in applications as diverse as telecommunications to manufacturing computer circuit boards. Now, they are even treating pain and inflammation in world class athletes, race horses and yes, household pets. Lasers have been used for advanced medical applications for over 35 years. Ever since their invention, lasers have been a cool device in search of an application. Medicine is one of many areas where lasers have made a considerable impact: vision correction, general surgery, lithotripsy, hair removal, cataract removal, wrinkle reduction, and tattoo removal are just a few of the common uses for lasers today.
A relatively new application is the use of lasers for the relief of pain, the reduction of swelling, and the healing of wounds. This is a unique use of laser light, due to the noninvasive nature of the treatment. Many laser applications use the intense energy which a laser can deliver
, to ablate or cut biological tissue. Therapeutic lasers, in contrast, work without any damage to tissue; the treatments are painless and quite enjoyable. Simply pass the laser over the body part and the pain goes away and the healing starts. Almost sounds too good to be true. Laser therapy is now being used by top doctors around the world. Professional sports teams are regularly utilized.
Today’s veterinarian has access to this advanced laser technology, which can make a big difference in the care of older canines. Aging dogs are prone to arthritis, stiffness, and other painful conditions just like we are as we age. Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs can have some very serious side effects on dogs, and long-term use of these medications is not ideal. Laser therapy is a safe, drug-free alternative to treat many common conditions, including arthritis. Older dogs can display pain in different ways and often compensate for the pain by favoring one side while walking. Pet owners will often note reluctance, by their pet to climb stairs, or hesitancy to jump in the car. These symptoms need to be addressed as soon as possible, as this behavior can lead to increasing problems. When started early, laser therapy treatments will start the healing process, reducing possible long-term problems, which may require the use of pain medications or even a major surgery like a joint replacement. Treating conditions early is the key. zing this technology on elite athletes in order to keep them healthy and in the game. Excerpt by Dr. Brian Pryor – Your Dog’s Golden Years book www.SeniorDogbooks.com