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Cold Laser Therapy: A New Arena of Veterinary Care

February 23, 2015 Veterinary Technology 0 Comments

In the past five years, veterinary clinics across the country have adopted a new technology that is improving the quality of life for companion animals everywhere. Low-level laser, or cold laser therapy, is a revolutionary science, and veterinary technicians are at the forefront of its application. Why? These caregivers are very often the individuals using the laser with their daily patients.

Cold Laser Therapy: A New Arena of Veterinary CareWhat's a Cold Laser?

The term "cold laser" simply describes a specific wavelength and intensity of light. As the wavelength varies, the level and depth of tissue penetration vary, as well. Laser treatment increases local blood flow to the needed area, according to K-Laser, and this slight increase in blood flow works in two directions: More oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the targeted area, while waste products are carried away from it. Cold laser treatments have also been shown to increase the molecules inside a cell that promote healing and regeneration.

Benefits of This Treatment

What can all this do to help pets? Cold laser can potentially offer the following benefits:

  • Help muscle tissue heal from injury and reduce scar tissue formation;
  • Reduce pain and inflammation and increase range of motion in arthritic joints;
  • Decrease the amount of time it takes for broken bones to heal;
  • Improve mental function after a traumatic brain injury;
  • Slow the growth of bacteria in culture, which may correlate to a use in fighting infections;
  • Reduce damage to tissue after a poisonous snake bite.

Is It Safe?

Animals that are undergoing cold laser therapy performed by a trained veterinary technician typically experience no side effects. Often a warming sensation may be felt in the target area, and people actually report this to be a soothing feeling. Nonetheless, medical staff must take precautions to protect the eyes of both the pet and themselves; certain wavelengths can damage the retina if it is shined directly into the eye. This safety measure often manifests in both the technician and pet wearing glasses or goggles throughout the procedure.

Perhaps the best thing about this new technology is the ease of treatment and lack of side effects. Treatment typically takes only a few minutes and requires no sedation. Without skilled veterinary technicians to provide this unique, cutting-edge service, many beloved pets would be missing out on potential improvements to their quality of life.

Photo credit: Flickr

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