Dec. 22, 2018
By Keri Camp, DVM
You may have seen “Laser Therapy” advertised recently as the newest way to treat your equine athlete. But how does it work, and what can you treat?
Laser therapy is a non-invasive and drug free way to decrease pain and inflammation in your horse. At the cellular level, photonic energy from the laser stimulates cells to increase the cellular respiration rate, release nitric oxide, and increase ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) production. This photo-bio-stimulation results in decreased pain and inflammation; acceleration of tissue repair and wound healing; increased blood flow; reduction in scar tissue formation; and improved nerve function. Laser energy can also be used to stimulate acupuncture points. The net result is to accelerate healing.
Laser therapy can be used on a variety of acute and chronic injuries. Once your veterinarian diagnoses the source of your horse’s pain, therapy can be instituted immediately. Common issues treated include neck and back soreness, osteoarthritis, trauma related injuries, splints, suspensory desmitis, tendonitis, curb, and a variety of wounds and lacerations. Typical treatment regimens entail three treatments the first week of therapy, then 2-3 treatments the next week. A maintenance protocol usually includes weekly or twice weekly treatments.
Laser therapy can be performed in any quiet place, even at your horse’s home environment. Your horse will need to be clean and dry, and anyone within four feet of the laser will have to wear protective eyewear. Most horses enjoy treatments and sedation is rarely required. Treatment length varies from a couple of minutes up to half an hour, depending on the size of the area being treated. Your horse will experience both immediate pain relief and a shortened recovery time from the injury.
The “Pegasus Laser” system, like the unit owned by Equine Veterinary Associates of Olive Branch, is a Class IV laser capable of treating all of the injuries mentioned and more. Feel free to contact one of our veterinarians at 662-893-2546 for a consultation!
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