In the realm of alternative veterinary medicine, veterinarians are implementing various practices that encourage the body to heal itself without or in conjunction with medication. While veterinary acupuncture and canine rehabilitation are on the rise, laser therapy is also gaining popularity. What is laser therapy, and how can it help your pet? Find out more below.
While we may be familiar with laser pointers, there is much more to these lights than one might suppose. “Laser” is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” and has four levels of light concentration.
- Class 1: This laser is the mildest. The most common example of a Class 1 laser is the light in barcode scanners at the grocery store.
- Class 2: Class 2 lasers have a higher concentration and can damage the eyes if exposed to a long-enough time. Some laser pointers and therapy lasers are at Class 2 power.
- Class 3: Class 3 lasers what veterinarians use for therapy; they come in varying power levels also.
- Class 4: These lasers damage cells and are used in surgery for uses like cauterization.
The Properties of a Laser
The potential healing benefits in a laser come from its threefold composition. As the amplification of light, it is monochromatic, coherent, and collimated.
- Monochromatic: Natural sunlight contains all colors in the form of white. A monochromatic light like a laser pinpoints the object it rests upon alone.
- Coherent: When light is coherent, its photons are traveling in the same direction and speed.
- Collimated: Collimated light is light that travels from a unit in one straight line without variation.
How Laser Therapy Can Help
The impacted area can reflect, scatter, transmit, and absorb photons from lasers. Absorption of photons is the desired effect. When the tissue absorbs the light, the light can radically change the molecules of the damaged area, releasing various helpful chemicals that can quicken healing. Unfortunately, there is yet little research in veterinary laser therapy, and so the understanding of how lasers and tissue interact is not entirely evident. However, this type of treatment is gaining ground in treating animals with chronic pain and wounds. More specifically, laser therapy can reduce pain or speed up healing for pets with osteoarthritis, muscle issues, or chronic pain. In some cases where the animal cannot take regular medication, laser therapy can be the alternative.
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At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!