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Therapeutic Lasers: The Latest in Veterinary Equipment

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Therapeutic Lasers_ The Latest in Veterinary Equipment

Just as we get sick from time to time and require treatment from a medical professional, so too do animals. The types of instruments and equipment used by veterinarians are not dissimilar to those used by regular doctors and clinicians. The protocols surrounding infection control and safe medical practice are very similar as well.

One type of equipment that has repeatedly demonstrated health benefits for humans and animals alike is a therapeutic laser. Veterinarians in particular make use of lasers as they provide the opportunity to accelerate the natural healing process, helping animals recover from chronic and acute conditions.

What is a Therapeutic Laser?

Not many people realize that the word laser is actually an acronym. The term stands for ‘light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser is a concentrated beam of energy that, in a medical setting, can be used to provide targeted treatment and relief from pain.

The light energy produced by a laser stimulates healing through a process known as photobiomodulation. A laser can be used to reduce inflammation, decrease the stimulation of pain-causing nerves, increase blood flow, and promote cellular growth.

What are Lasers Used to Treat?

Physiotherapists have been known to use laser therapy when attending to human patients. The treatment has since rapidly gained attention in the veterinary sector, for a range of reasons.

Laser therapy can be used to treat many common conditions suffered by animals large and small. These include:

  • Chronic arthritis
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Open wounds
  • Surgical incisions.

There are often limitations on the type of treatment a veterinarian can provide to an animal, particularly if it is a domestic pet. This may be due to medication that the animal is already on, the age of the animal, or their species (exotic animals can be particularly difficult to treat).

Laser therapy is an excellent solution to this problem. When performed correctly by a trained professional, there is little risk to the animal. In fact, many animals appear to enjoy the treatment.

How is Laser Therapy Administered?

The process of providing laser therapy varies depending on the size of the patient and the condition they are suffering from. Therapeutic lasers can be classified according to their wavelength and energy output. The higher the classification, the more intense the strength of the beam.

Veterinarians tend to use handheld devices. The portability of such veterinary equipment is very useful when treating animals away from a clinical environment, be it in the home or at a rural location.

Portable therapeutic lasers also come with a range of settings, meaning that veterinarians have the opportunity to treat a variety of conditions using one device.

Laser therapy tends to be pain-free. In fact, an animal may even enjoy the process. The length of the treatment depends on the issue at hand; a session can be anywhere from a couple of minutes to half an hour. The severity of the animal’s condition will also dictate how many treatment sessions are required.

The process of laser therapy itself generally involves the vet running a handheld device over the area of concern. Animals tend to relax, demonstrating immediate relief from pain and a reduction in anxiety.

Purchasing Veterinary Equipment: Costs and Considerations

Therapeutic lasers make a great addition to any veterinary facility. They are particularly popular amongst equine clinicians, as they offer a fast and safe way of repairing damaged and inflamed tissue.

When purchasing veterinary equipment, whether it be a therapeutic laser or any other type of capital or consumable product, there, are a range of considerations that must be taken into account.

  • Cost: Understand that quality equipment will come with a price tag. This cannot be avoided, short of investing in devices that are likely to produce inaccurate test results and break down. Think of investing in equipment as investing in the level of care you are able to provide to patients. 
  • Usage: A device like a therapeutic laser is likely to be used on a regular basis. Before purchasing equipment, make sure you are investing in a device or product that you really need. Check too whether clinicians at your practice will require training to learn how to operate new equipment and whether the supplier offers this as part of your purchase. 
  • Servicing: Even the best equipment requires routine servicing. Before purchasing equipment, check what sort of maintenance and repair program the supplier offers. Putting equipment through regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way of prolonging its lifespan, so this is an area you certainly shouldn’t be looking to cut corners on. 
  • Warranty: Veterinary equipment, including therapeutic lasers, tends to be quite expensive. Protect your investment by making sure that your supplier offers a warranty, including the option to purchase extended protection.

 

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