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Today’s session is about Cold Laser Therapy.
I love the seniors, as they get older it becomes harder to maintain their quality of life. One of the main detractors to a quality of life is pain. Often, treating pain becomes a juggling act of reducing pain and not turning your senior into a drug induced zombie. One of the options to help with pain that is regularly overlooked and routinely under used is laser therapy.
Laser therapy is a great way to reduce pain and inflammation in both humans and dogs without the side effects associated with medication. Laser therapy uses light to penetrate tissue and and excite the cells, this causes blood to go to the effected area, reducing inflammation and pain, as well as accelerating the healing process. The laser light actually penetrates about 2 inches deep into tissue. When the light hits the cells, the cells produce more energy. When the cells produce more energy that brings more blood supply to the effected area, which in turn causes wounds to heal faster, swelling to go down and pain is reduced. It is hard to believe that light can do all this, but it does.
Many veterinarian offices offer Cold Laser Therapy for their patients. If it works, why isn’t this main stream and widely used on humans? My answer is short and simple, main stream medicine is controlled by drug companies, doctors get their post med school education from drug companies. Drug companies control or at least have an influence on government regulators like the FDA and the USDA. Drug companies won’t make any money from wide spread use of lasers for treating wounds and pain. Drug companies squash information on lasers.
My experience with Cold Laser therapy has been a good one. I have two fosters with the BDRA, Taffy a 14 year old Dachshund that has severe arthritis, compressed discs in her spine and over all IVDD, and Penelope a 10 year old pit bull that we ere told had severe arthritis and trouble seeing. I will discus both dogs in detail, starting with Taffy.
Taffy, started to become restless and short tempered. We were very afraid that Taffy’s quality of life was becoming harder to maintain. We were very worried that she was close to the end. We took her to the vets and got her on steroids and started Cold Laser Therapy. I bought a unit myself for around $700. Taffy had treatments every day for about 30 minutes a treatment for two weeks and then she had treatments every other day for a few weeks and now its a few times a week or when she looks painful. Here is Taffy playing with Moose a bloodhound puppy.
Penelope came to us, she was picked up as a stray and was being held at a vets office. Penelope has suffered some sort of major trauma, probably a car accident! She has damage to her brain stem, which causes her to tilt her head to the left. She has multiple healed wounds on her legs and she had partial paralysis to her rear legs! It’s amazing that she lived. When we received Penelope, she was partially paralyzed in the rear. We immediately put Penny on crate rest and put her on muscle relaxers, steroids and Cold Laser Therapy. We were giving Penny 45 minute treatments everyday. We used a sling to hold Penny’s rear up while she walked. In about 4 days Penny was able to walk on her own with help from the sling. We just used the sling for balance. We talked to our vet. and he was amazed that Penny was able to walk as well as she did, because on his exam, she had no deep pain sensation and now she was walking. He felt that this was a far a she would get, so we took her off crate rest. We continued the Cold Laser Therapy treatments and we are tapering off the steroids. Penelope amazed us again! Now she is walking on her own without any help. She walks around the yard and is building muscle in her legs again. Every time we think Penny has plateaued, she amazes us again!
Here Penelope is dragging herself the first day we brought her home.
While both girls have had medicine in addition to the laser therapy, I really feel that the laser has helped immensely and that both girls greatly benefitted from the therapy. The laser’s work so well, I use them on our own aches and pains.
I use a class 3, 808nm infrared laser that is 300mw in power, for deep penetrating therapy. The 808nm goes about 2 inches deep into tissue. The 808nm is described as the “sweet spot” for pain management. You really can’t feel anything while getting a treatment, maybe you may feel the warmth of the light, but thats it. I just run the laser over the area for 15 to 45 minutes, I will stop at an area for a minute or so if I feel that the area is particularly painful or swollen.
I really feel that the laser is a great tool to have in rescue, especially if you take in very sick, injured or old dogs. So the next time you are faced with an injury or pain, please remember to consider Cold Laser Therapy.
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