Laser Therapy for Your Pet

posted March 3rd, 2010 by
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A local veterinarian is bringing laser therapy from humans to animals in an effort to treat injured and arthritic pets.  Keith Bailey of Southwest Veterinary Hospital first started using the therapy, which uses light to stimulate healthy cells to grow within the compromised area and stop dying cells from dying, in November 2009. Since then, he said he has used the technique to treat dozens of animals, specifically cats and dogs, with a variety of ailments like osteoarthritis, ligament injuries and degenerative conditions.

“It’s long been known light is beneficial on tissues and cells,” Bailey said.
In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the therapy in humans, and in 2009 Bailey was asked to spearhead a study on dogs and cats.
“It’s a very exciting technology,” he said.
Bailey noted that the animals don’t feel anything from the laser.
“All they know is they’re being loved on for a few minutes. The pain from the condition being treated subsides immediately,” he said.
Bailey will typically see a patient a few times, and the treatment will last anywhere from one minute to six to eight minutes, depending on the ailment. Each session with laser therapy costs $35.
There are no adverse side effects, Bailey said, but noted that the eyes can be damaged if the laser is shown directly into the eye.

-Kristi Eaton

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