Keeping mans best friend pain free

As our pets age, it's tough to watch them get sick with diseases like we do. Now an easy non-invasive laser treatment could do the trick to keeping them pain free.

This is Sydney's happy place.

Sydney's mom Jackie Kaehler says, "He enjoys coming here. He gets very, very excited and he starts singing and barking just as soon as we turn in off of the street."

For Sydney’s owner, Jackie, the rehab hospital saved her best friend the day his body nearly failed him.

"It was quite sudden. I was outside and then he was at the back door. And I'm talking to him and he couldn't move” says Jackie.

At four-years-old or roughly 28 in people years, Sydney found himself paralyzed. Vet Elizabeth Rawson says it's not uncommon.

Veterinarian at Coral Springs Animal Hospital in Coral Springs, FL Elizabeth Rawson, DVM, says, "The discs sort of deteriorate over time and then they rupture."

Surgery saved his back, but left him with a lot of pain. That's where this new cold laser treatment comes in known as photo-biotherapy.

Dr. Rawson says, "The light actually, it brings blood supply to the area. It decreases pain by a couple of different mechanisms, including the nerves themselves and endorphin release."

It's most commonly used for arthritis, which affects 20-percent of dogs.

Dr. Rawson says, "The owners will say, 'Boy, after their laser treatment, they feel so much better and they get around easier."

Without side effects, Jackie is amazed at how much Sydney has improved.

Jackie says, "After he was taking his laser therapy, it was like a new person."

Now he's back to his favorite pastime, squirrel hunting.

The non-invasive therapy can take as little as ten minutes in a small dog or cat or about a half hour for larger animals with more arthritis.

The most chronic conditions require about four treatments to see at least a 50-percent improvement in mobility and pain reduction.

The treatment can't be used on animals with cancer though because the laser stimulates blood flow to the treated area.

REPORT #1891

BACKGROUND: There are two broad categories of pain that are useful to think about because treatment options vary pretty significantly between them. Acute pain is suddenly occurring pain in response to an injury that disappears as the injury heals. Chronic pain is pain that persists after an injury has healed or that persists due to a damaging process that also persists, such as arthritis. (Source:

NEW THERAPY: Lasers are used by veterinarians to treat acute and chronic injuries, pain and inflammation, and are becoming increasingly popular. They are also being used after surgical procedures to speed up the healing process. (Source:

The cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cells and increase blood circulation. At the correct laser wavelength, pain signals are reduced and nerve sensitivity decreases. The procedure also releases endorphins, or natural painkillers, but it is not recommended for animals that have cancer because the device can stimulate blood flow to cancer cells.
The procedure is based on the idea that light is absorbed into the cells. The process, known as photo-biotherapy, stimulates protein synthesis and cell metabolism, which improves cell health and functionality.
The therapy can take as little as eight to 10 minutes on a small dog or cat, or about a half hour for bigger dogs with more arthritic areas. ( Source: ABC news)

For More Information, Contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Rawson
Coral Springs Animal Hospital
(954) 753-1800

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