OAKLAND -- Laser therapy for pets, which can be used to heal wounds, manage chronic pain such as arthritis and relieve constipation, is now offered at Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center in the Dimond District. After experimenting with a couple of different lasers, the veterinary practice settled on the K-Laser, which arrived at the clinic in October.
"The energy created by lasers increases circulation to heal damaged tissue -- whether by injury or arthritis -- by reducing inflammation," veterinarian Christine Johnson said.
"I've noticed that the laser has been incredibly effective in healing wounds," said Lori Barnabe, a veterinary technician for the clinic at 2501 MacArthur Blvd.
Barnabe has witnessed a cat eating food within an hour after a tooth extraction.
"If an animal is able to eat better, they feel better and return to the way they were before they didn't feel well," she said. "It is gratifying."
The laser treatment is painless. Some pets will feel pleasant warmth on the spot that the treatment is administered. Since the treatment is painless, the animal need not be sedated. Results can be seen after the first visit. However, several treatments are usually required to obtain the full benefits.
The energy created by the laser is said to increase the circulation, drawing water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area, encouraging the body to heal itself. In addition to being an effective anti-inflammatory, the laser has been credited with accelerating tissue repair and cell growth and has a positive effect on reducing pain.
Creature Comforts is among the few veterinary practices in the area using this technology outside of the surgical suite, Johnson said. A single laser treatment is $45. Packages are also available: four treatments for $180; six treatments for $256; and eight treatments for $324.
The laser is most commonly used on dogs and cats at the clinic. However, it has been used on everything from birds to killer whales. Dr. Johnson has even used it on herself and has noticed results. The wavelength of the laser is adjusted for each patient, and the treatment plan is stored in the laser's computer. The software is continually updated through a USB port.
For more information about this veterinary practice and the use of K-Laser, go to www.creaturecomfort.com.