Over the last decade, laser therapy has emerged as an outstanding new tool in veterinary medicine. Poquoson Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer our K-Laser to compliment, or in some cases replace, traditional therapy. Laser therapy is especially beneficial to pets that experience negative side effects with certain drugs. Please read the FAQ below to learn more about our K Laser.
What is the K-laser used to treat?
There are numerous conditions that respond well to laser therapy, including:
- Osteoarthtitis , joint pain, and hip dysplasia
- Ligament sprains, muscle strains, and fractures
- Puncture and bite wounds, post-surgical pain (incisions), lick granulomas, feline acne, and burns
- Neck and back pain and intervertebral disc disease
- Ear infections
- Pain relief following tooth extraction, stomatitis, and sinusitis
- Cystitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and anal sacculitis
Basically, laser therapy has the potential to help any condition in which decreasing inflammation and pain and speeding up healing would be beneficial.
How does it work?
Laser therapy works through a process called photobiomodulation, which basically means that the photons, or light energy packets, put out by the laser are absorbed by cellular components and enzymes involved in oxygen utilization and the production ATP, which is what the cell uses to power all of its functions.
Through this process, more oxygen is delivered to the cells, and thus, more energy (ATP) is produced for the cell. This increased energy production for the cell leads to the cell functioning at a higher level.
Increasing cellular function leads to the following beneficial effects that have been documented through research and clinical trials:
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Analgesic (pain-relief) effects
- Increased healing of tissue through angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels in damaged tissue)
- Increasing cellular reproduction and growth
- Increasing cellular metabolic rate
- Increasing fibroblast development to heal damaged tissue
- Increasing stimulation of cells of the immune system
What is the treatment like for my pet?
Laser therapy is not painful to your pet. A mild warm or tingling feeling is most common, and pets usually experience this as pleasant and comforting. A very painful or inflamed area may be sensitive to the laser initially, but this usually subsides quickly followed by pain reduction.
How long do treatments last?
Treatments will typically last 3-8 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. Multiple treatments may be needed if both hips are being treated, for example.
How often do I have to bring my pet in for treatment?
How often your pet is treated depends on whether the condition being treated is acute or chronic in nature. For example, an acute condition (acute neck pain from muscle strain, painful ear infection, bite wound) may be treated daily, but more chronic conditions tend to respond better to treatments that are spaced out (e.g., 2 to 3 treatments a week).
How long does it take to see results?
The length of time it takes to see results, like pain relief, depends again on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions, 1 or 2 treatments may be enough to see resolution of pain. More chronic conditions, like osteoarthritis, may require 5 to 8 treatments to see pain relief. In addition, they often require on-going treatments (e.g., once or a few times a month depending on the pet) to control pain long-term. The results of treatments are cumulative, so it is important to allow more than one session to assess for positive results.
Is laser therapy safe to use with other treatments?
Yes. In the case of osteoarthritis, laser therapy can be used alongside other treatments, like acupuncture, massage, physical therapy exercises, and oral anti-inflammatory medications. Our long-term goal with incorporating laser therapy into a multi-modal approach to pain relief for osteoarthritis is to decrease the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs due to their potential for adverse effects.
How much do treatments cost?
Pricing for laser therapy is based on the type of condition we are treating.
For a chronic condition like osteoarthritis, we offer a package of 6 treatments for $319, which would consist of 3 treatments in week 1, 2 treatments in week 2 and 1 treatment in week 3. How often follow up treatments are scheduled depends on the severity of the condition. For some pets, good pain relief may be achieved with 1 treatment per month, while other pets may benefit from 1 treatment per week. It depends on the individual pet's response.
For acute conditions, in which we start with 1 or 2 treatments and then assess the response, individual pricing is set at $55.45 per session.