Popular Posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Laser Therapy -- The Latest and Greatest

After years of research, conferences, and opinion-gathering, we finally took the plunge and purchased a therapeutic laser for our veterinary hospital. Normally equipment purchase decisions are not so agonizing, but therapeutic lasers are so new in veterinary medicine that there aren't a lot of published, refereed  studies to prove (or refute) their efficacy. We take considerable pride at our hospital in the fact that we practice "evidence-based" medicine, which basically means that the medications and other therapies we recommend have been proven effective (usually in university studies). Therapeutic laser is really not an evidence-based therapy. Yet.

The majority of veterinarians I have talked to over the past couple of years who use laser therapy could not say enough good things about it. I have attended laser therapy lectures at major veterinary conferences and been impressed by the tremendous upside and the lack of an actual downside. Once we decided to purchase a laser, we opted to go with the one we felt was clearly superior to all the others, and that was an MLS unit. This unit uses two different wavelengths simultaneously to control pain and inflammation. There is no heat generated (thus the sometimes-used term "cold laser"), and no discomfort to the pet.

The great news is the results we have seen in the few weeks since we started using the laser. The most obvious benefit can be seen in patients with traumatic wounds. We are witnessing a speed of wound healing which has absolutely amazed all of us. There are pictures posted on our Facebook page which show this. But we are also seeing it's benefits for cats with bladder problems, joint pain, post-surgical pain and inflammation, abscesses, and spinal problems. I will say that there have been some cases that have responded less dramatically than others, but I have found that to be true of any treatment modality I have ever used. There is no such thing as one therapy that works better than all others in every situation.

The bottom line is that I am thrilled that we have the laser and that it has out-performed our expectations. Many of our staff have asked us to let them use it on themselves which I guess is the best testimony of all.