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If the word “laser” conjures images of sci-fi ray guns and the like, you’re living in the past. Veterinarians have increasingly been using therapeutic lasers to treat a variety of ailments in our furry friends — with terrific success! 

Laser therapy is performed in your veterinarian’s office, either by a veterinarian or by a trained staff member. The laser light is emitted from a probe, much like an ultrasound probe (if you’ve never personally seen an ultrasound, picture the prenatal sonograms you’ve seen on TV). The probe is moved slowly over the affected area, be it a sore joint or a surgical incision. There are no concerns about being in the room when laser therapy is administered in terms of radiation and the like, but you may be asked to wear protective glasses to avoid eye damage in the rare event of direct laser exposure to your eyes.

When the laser’s probe is moved over your pet’s skin, the specific wavelength of light emitted works directly to decrease your pet’s pain by decreasing nerve sensitivity, reducing inflammation and swelling, and accelerating healing at the cellular level. This makes the potential uses for laser therapy almost endless.

While laser therapy had its roots in treating conditions of chronic pain like arthritis and other orthopedic issues in dogs and cats, veterinarians soon recognized that the benefits of laser therapy extended to many other conditions. From immediately treating surgical incisions postoperatively to treating chronic lick granulomas and feline idiopathic cystitis, laser therapy can help speed recovery. Ask your vet if your pet’s a candidate for laser
therapy, either as a one-time treatment or as part of a long-term treatment plan. This once futuristic treatment could help your pet’s pain become a thing of the past.

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