Pet Laser Therapy (LLLT) or Photobiomodulation (PBM)
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) also known as Photobiomodulation (PBM) or Cold Laser Therapy is one of the most versatile treatment modalities available in veterinary medicine.
LLLT has been used in humans for over 30 years. Early applications were in sports medicine for treatment of injuries (orthopedic and soft tissue) and wound healing. Additionally, LLLT has been utilized on NASA’s space missions and US Navy submarines to combat the effects of delayed healing in extreme environments.
The applications for pet laser therapy as well as for humans are continually expanding with current research in the areas of chronic kidney disease, spinal cord injury, heart disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease as well as many bone and joint conditions.
Veterinary applications of laser for dogs and cats include:
- Chronic osteoarthritis and joint pain
- Bone fractures and slowly healing wounds
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease and pancreatitis
- Eye diseases
- Herniated discs with accompanying spinal cord and nerve trauma
Pet Laser Therapy for Osteoarthritis and Disc Disease
In arthritic and spinal conditions, chronic pain and immobility are a result of inflammation of joints, tendons, nerves and other adjacent tissues. The laser uses a unique wavelength and frequency of light that is absorbed into the cells. The light triggers the cells to reduce the production of chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. Without this inflammation, painful nerve impulses are reduced, blood vessels are dilated to decrease swelling, and normal body function is reestablished.
The results of the cases we have treated are excellent. In osteoarthritis and disc disease patients, we have nearly eliminated the use of anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief in dogs and cats. The reduction of drug use reduces the risk of drug related side effects such as gastrointestinal distress and liver damage. Also in many cases we have been able to achieve a level of success where laser treatments and drug use is no longer necessary. In cases of disc disease, early intervention with laser therapy minimizes trauma to the spinal cord avoiding irreparable damage.
Wound and Bone Fracture Healing
We have also found that the use of laser in dogs and cats accelerates wound healing as well as the rate of bone fracture repair. Additionally, post-surgical treatments significantly speed up the rate of recovery of pet companions.
Pet Laser in Chronic Kidney Disease
Laser therapy for the treatment of chronic kidney disease is one of the only current therapies that appears to positively affect quality of life and length of survival. As one of the first practices to be involved in this application we collaborate with other doctors in this area of research both on the human and veterinary side of medicine. Utilizing laser for cats and dogs in the treatment of kidney disease has significantly changed the discussion with clients and the course of the disease.