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Animals can go drug-free

By Staff | Oct 5, 2012

It was only a matter of time before veterinarians would be using laser treatment on animals to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and help wounds heal faster.

Rugby’s Dr. Richard Lagasse, DVM, said he first learned of therapy laser treatment for animals about four years ago. It has been around in Europe for dozens of years, but is relatively new in the United States.

“We are very excited to offer K-Laser Therapy treatments to our patients,” said Dr. Lagasse. “We can help many more patients than we could before, in a safe, effective and drug-free manner.”

Jamestown, Bismarck, and Rugby are the only three cities in North Dakota, so far, where the veterinarians use the new laser therapy. Scientific studies have proven the clinical effectiveness of this kind of therapy. Very few side effects have been noted.

The high powered K-Laser delivers a therapeutic dosage of laser energy to a larger volume of tissue, thus producing more immediate and significant results, according to Dr. Lagasse.

Animals do not need to be sedated or restrained to receive laser therapy treatment. The laser beam is concentrated on the area of injury, arthritis, bug bites, fractures, tendonitis, ear infections to name a few conditions for which the laser is used.

The treatment is cumulative. Some animals feel better after one treatment, others depending on what is causing the pain, etc. need more treatments. The laser cannot be left on one spot too long which is why it is timed. The K-Laser Therapy can increase range of motion as well as reduce pain and heal a wound. It has been shown to have an anti-microbial effect, as well.

Dr. Lagasse demonstrated the new laser therapy on the clinic’s dog, Molly, a mixed breed dog with arthritis. The dog lay quietly on the floor while the doctor aimed the laser wand at an area of pain on the dog’s hip. Special sunglasses were worn to protect the eyes of the technicians and those observing the procedure from the laser light . A technician protected Molly’s eyes by distracting her from the beam. The area where the beam was concentrated for 3-8 minutes was warm to the touch. Molly calmly let the doctor work on her. When it was over, she got up and walked out.

“So far, the laser treatment has been well-received,” said Dr. Lagasse.

He went on to explain that some animals cannot tolerate medications or their wounds don’t seem to heal fast enough. The laser therapy assists in recovering from injuries, wounds, or surgical repairs.

Technicians are trained to apply the therapy laser. The treatment can be used on a variety of small animals and there is a horse setting.

“The K-Laser is absolutely the best thing to ever happen to our office,” said Dr. Lagasse. “It is very exciting to help our patients get the results they want, and with virtually no side effects.”

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