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Laser Therapy from Our Edmonton Veterinarian

When owners notice their older pets becoming less and less active, they often assume that this is an inevitable result of the aging process.  Our Edmonton veterinarian disagrees.  One option we offer at Lakeview Animal Hospital for senior pets is laser therapy.

Laser Therapy

How This Treatment Works

Veterinarians rely on this noninvasive procedure to relieve pain and other discomfort.  It employs various wavelengths to reduce pain signals as well as nerve sensitivity.   It represents an example of how technology and medicine constantly advance to improve medical and surgical veterinary services.

The technology relies on the belief that cells absorb light in a process called photobiostimulation.  This process uses light that penetrates deeply to ignite a chemical chain reaction.  As injured cells absorb light, the stimulus causes then to generate an elevated metabolism rate.  The reaction speeds recuperation and sometimes very dramatically improves well-being.

Treatments work in three ways.  They open blood vessels and stimulate nerve cells, whose role is blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain.  They also produce elevated levels of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

Veterinarians report that the process results in these benefits:

  • Relief from pain and discomfort
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • A faster healing process

This treatment can dramatically relieve a pet's discomfort without surgery or drugs.  One treatment typically lasts 10 minutes or less for small cats or dogs and around 30 minutes for larger pets.  Veterinarians who offer it as an option note that they can also use the procedure at the same time as other types of treatment.

Role in Senior Pet Care

Laser therapy has many applications in senior pet care.  These are the conditions for which veterinarians most frequently use it:

  • Arthritis, hip dysplasia, or degenerative joint disease
  • Stiffness, sprains, and strains
  • Post-surgical pain management
  • Skin issues such as hot spots and infections
  • Dental procedures
  • Fractures, bites, lesions, and abrasions
  • Ear infections 
  • Nerve injury
  • Back pain
  • Tendon or ligament injuries
  • Hematomas

However, animal hospitals usually do not recommend this technology for pets with cancer.  The concern is that it might stimulate blood flow to malignant cells.

Veterinarians apply lasers to the surface of the skin or hold them just above the surface.  They can administer this treatment without discomfort, using restraints, or shaving any fur.  Only rarely do they find it necessary to sedate older pets.

Many signs indicate that an older animal might profit from this type of treatment.  Some of the most common include: 

  • Abnormal posture when lying down or sitting
  • Making multiple circles prior to reclining
  • Acting restless
  • Whining or groaning
  • Limping
  • Acting unable to lie down or get up
  • Trouble navigating stairs or getting into a vehicle
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reluctance to jump onto familiar surfaces
  • Trembling
  • Decreased grooming
  • Unwillingness to be petted

Schedule an Appointment with Our Veterinarian in Edmonton

Laser therapy can help many older pets enjoy life more fully.  Our veterinarian in Edmonton, Dr. Ignacio Tan, can provide all the services pets need to remain healthy for life, including treatment for emergencies. Lakeview Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary facility that treats pets as valued family members.  Our goal is providing the highest-quality medical care in the area. Call us today at 587-463-9002 to make an appointment.