Foothills Veterinary Hospital’s Cold Laser Therapy provides
Healing, Pain Management and Performance Enhancement.
Laser treatment for healing, pain management and performance enhancement (athletes) has been used for over 25 years in human chiropractic medicine and is now being heavily promoted to the veterinary profession. Practitioners and animal owners are hearing terms and definitions that vary from “red light therapy” to cold laser, (Class 3) hot laser (class 4) therapy, penetration, joules, etc., with not a lot of understanding of what those terms mean.
Cold laser therapy has been used in Europe in human medicine for years treating arthritis pain, enhancing wound healing, and reducing acute tissue inflammation.
Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy, or VCLT, has more recently entered the veterinary world as a viable therapy. The technique has been shown to help in treating arthritis pain, accelerating wound healing, and reducing acute tissue inflammation.
Foothills Veterinary Hospital (FVH) recently acquired the Erchonia Laser which is considered a Class 3 Laser. A Class 3 Laser is also called a “cold laser” vs. a Class 4 Laser or “hot laser”. The Class 4 Laser is sometimes called a “microwave on a wand”. Proponents of the Class 3 Laser (and many have used both lasers) are concerned that the higher powered units (the Class 4 “hot laser”) might have the potential to actually harm the tissues that the technology is intended to help.
Light amplification by stimulated emission rays or L.A.S.E.R, is a means of directing highly concentrated coherent light at a concise wavelength to the muscles, tissues, organs, connective tissue, formed elements of the blood, and the living matrix of the body. All are involved and are all subject to laser stimulation and healing. More information on lasers can be found at the Erchonia.com website.
As an adjunct to traditional Western healing medicine, the laser is proving to be very valuable. We have been very impressed with the enhanced wound healing that we’ve seen. We base our judgments on treatment results of patient animals that have had similar surgeries or problem conditions occurring and have had treatment without the laser vs. additional treatment with the laser. We have consistently seen healing time shortened from our previous experiences and our patients have seemed to need less pain meds and were eating and behaving normally sooner.
In terms of performance enhancement, its prospects for equestrian and canine sports and rehabilitation are remarkable. These modalities in conjunction with traditional veterinary care are an integral part of training the equine and canine athletes and extending their careers.
We have personally been using the laser on our general surgery animals to hasten recovery; we have used it on dental extraction and dental surgery cases; we’ve used the laser on horses debilitated with colitis and both dogs and horses with lameness issues. We will continue to use the laser as we find that our patients heal faster and are more comfortable and head home sooner!