Photomodulation, also recognized as Red Light Therapy, is gaining prominence as a therapeutic approach for cats and various other animals. Red light therapy presents a natural, chemical-free, and non-invasive method to care for these adorable and furry companions.
In the past, veterinarians predominantly relied on Low-level light therapy, utilizing laser light to address various conditions. Nevertheless, recent research has unveiled that LED lights can effectively emit the same photons as lasers. LED, an integral component of Red Light Therapy, not only proves to be more cost-effective but is also suitable for at-home therapeutic treatments.
What Exactly is Red Light Therapy? – All You Need to Know!
Light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or phototherapy, is a medical treatment that harnesses specific wavelengths of light from the light spectrum. It employs light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or low-power lasers to generate these light wavelengths and directs them at various body areas to achieve specific therapeutic results.
Some light therapy procedures, such as those for seasonal affective disorder, opt for full-spectrum light to get the feeling of the natural light of the sun. In humans, light therapy can be administered either at home using personal devices or in a clinical setup under the care of a physician or another qualified healthcare professional.
Light is crucial for the optimal functioning of cellular structures in most living organisms. Mitochondria within these cells absorb light particles, utilizing them to generate increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source for cells. This heightened energy production enhances cellular performance and efficiency.
Red light therapy, in particular, proves beneficial in enhancing blood circulation, facilitating tissue healing, and reducing inflammation within the body. While pets may have more exposure to natural sunlight than in our modern lives, they can still derive significant advantages from targeted light therapy.
The Purpose of Red Light Treatment
Red Light Therapy serves the primary objective of facilitating the healing of muscles, tendons, and bones. Additionally, it enhances blood circulation, thereby expediting the healing process. This therapeutic approach also helps decrease scar tissue formation, minimizes the risk of edema, and bolsters immunity by stimulating the production of immune cells.
Red Light Therapy for your feline friend harnesses deeply penetrating light, triggering a reaction known as photobiostimulation. This entire process triggers the release of endorphins, providing relief from pain. Faster wound and injury recovery means your cat will return to their usual self more swiftly.
The purpose of employing Red Light Therapy encompasses a wide range of benefits, including heightened metabolic activity, improved nerve function, reduction in the development of fibrous tissue, and, most notably, accelerated healing, tissue repair, and enhanced cell growth.
Conditions that a Red Light Can Treat
Red Light Therapy is utilized to address many conditions, with the potential for many more yet to be discovered. Growing clinical evidence supports the effective treatment of red light therapy in alleviating many conditions, such as arthritis, a common affliction in animals and humans as they age. This therapy also benefits specific feline species dealing with joint and bone issues.
Treatment with Red Light Therapy includes:
- Sprains, Strains, and Tendon Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Post-Surgery Treatments to Accelerate Healing
- Joint Pain
- Wounds and Injuries
- Sore Muscles
These represent just a portion of the conditions for which Red Light Therapy can be beneficial.
Red Light Therapy is both animal-friendly and gentle, offering an affordable and painless solution. This treatment is provided to show animals to support their performance and overall well-being. It stands as an excellent side-effect-free alternative therapy.
Furthermore, when it comes to your feline friend, it’s important to be vigilant for signs other than just wounds. These may include reduced activity, reluctance to jump onto surfaces they typically do, slower movements, aversion to being petted, limping, a lack of interest in cuddling, and even a decline in their self-grooming habits.
While many of these conditions primarily affect older cats, it’s important to keep in mind that Red Light Therapy can be beneficial for them during these transitional phases as well.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Your cat can benefit greatly from Red Light Therapy, as it not only triggers blood cell stimulation for enhanced healing but also promotes healing collagen production, a crucial component in the healing process. In essence, Red Light energizes your cells.
Studies revealed the following benefits of Red Light Therapy for animals:
- Eight weeks post-surgery, animals exhibited progressively improved healing compared to those without Red Light Therapy, with documented faster bone healing.
- Red Light Therapy also demonstrated effectiveness in enhancing the healing of herniated discs.
- Animals undergoing herniated disc surgery showed faster mobility, walking five days earlier than those without Red Light Therapy.
- In certain cases, Red Light Therapy was a complementary treatment, particularly for severe conditions requiring extensive medical attention.
- It is important to note that Red Light Therapy is not a universal cure, and discussions with a veterinarian are advisable when considering home treatment with it.
All cats are naturally curious, making them inclined to explore their surroundings. Red Lights have become increasingly popular as a home health treatment for various conditions. Importantly, there is no evidence to suggest that Red Lights are harmful to cats or have adverse effects.
On the other hand, owners should exercise caution when considering using blue lights. Blue light therapy can disrupt a feline’s natural circadian rhythm. It is also essential to differentiate Red Light therapy from laser lights, as the latter can potentially cause permanent retina damage, while Red Light Therapy LED lights do not pose such risks.
How Does it Work?
Using Red Light Therapy on animals operates in a similar manner to its application in humans. The treatment implicates the use of specific wavelengths from Low-Level Light Therapy or Red Light Therapy, which penetrate the skin. Subsequently, photoreceptors within the skin absorb this light energy. Different wavelengths of light target distinct skin layers or tissues.
Once these wavelengths reach their intended destination, cells are infused with increased energy, resulting in enhanced functionality. This boost in energy aids in the improvement and healing of affected areas, ultimately shortening the recovery process.
Moreover, cats and dogs are the primary subjects of most research studies in this field. Extensive documented research on these animals is steadily accumulating. In these studies, animals are typically categorized into groups based on whether they undergo pre-operative or post-operative surgery.
How Long Does Red Light Treatment Last?
Typically, Red Light Therapy sessions range from 3 to 8 minutes on average. When Low-Level Light Therapy is employed as a supplementary treatment for wounds or surgeries, it can span up to 6 weeks.
In the case of cats with chronic conditions, a Veterinarian may opt for monthly treatments if they prove beneficial to the patient. Conditions like Arthritis may necessitate ongoing monthly treatments for an extended duration.
These lengthier treatment intervals may assist in managing the condition and provide some relief for cats suffering from chronic ailments like Arthritis.
Is Red Light Therapy Safe for Cats?
LED lights, including Red Light used in low-level light therapy, emit a more intense type of light that is safe for cats, with a few minor considerations. LED lights are deemed safe for feline companions due to their lower heat emission compared to regular lights. Moreover, the flicker rate of LED lights is faster than what both cats and humans can perceive.
While all light can penetrate the skin, cats are fortunate to have ample fur coverage. Nevertheless, excessively bright lights can potentially harm a cat’s eyes, just as they can harm our own. It is advisable to steer clear of LED lighting that contains UV components, such as grow lights.
Fortunately, cats typically do not fixate on lights for extended periods. Notably, the key disparity between laser and LED lights lies in their emission patterns; LEDs emit light in all directions, whereas lasers produce a focused beam. Cats possess a higher concentration of rod cells in their eyes, making them more sensitive to light than humans. Just as prolonged computer usage can affect us, imagine the impact on a cat.
Cats also adapt more effectively to low-level light and darkness than humans The lighting quality matters significantly, so it’s wise not to compromise on lighting when you have a cat. Safety should always take precedence.
Furthermore, fluorescent lights exhibit a noticeable flicker rate, potentially impacting a cat’s eyes. Many individuals employ “grow lights” to initiate their gardens early. They plant seeds and then use these grow lights, which simulate natural sunlight, allowing the plants to commence growth before being transplanted into an outdoor garden.
It’s important to note that staring at a grow light is unsafe for a cat. However, it’s unlikely that a cat will fixate on the light for extended periods. If you use any form of grow light, LED light, or UV light, ensure you provide a space where the cat can retreat from the lights. A cat den is a suitable solution, effectively blocking a significant portion of the light exposure.
What Red Light Therapy Products Exist for Cats?
Exploring red light therapy’s advantages for cats is a relatively recent area of research. Consequently, the market for light therapy products for feline use lags behind other sectors.
In contrast, light therapy for people enjoys various applications, with offerings in various medical offices and wellness centers. Home-use devices are plentiful, addressing a diverse array of conditions, from skin-related issues like acne, age spots, and cellulite to more serious ailments such as Crohn’s disease and genital herpes.
As awareness of the benefits of red light therapy for cats and other pets continues to grow, the market is expected to evolve over time. For now, here are three light therapy devices presently accessible that you can purchase for cats and other animal companions.
1. The TendLite VetLight Red Light Therapy Device
TendLite’s VetLight Red Light Therapy Device is designed to alleviate muscle and joint discomfort in cats within the comfort of their home. The VetLight can be effectively applied to address various conditions in cats, including:
- Degenerative joint disease.
- Lick granulomas.
- Post-surgical swelling.
- Acute or chronic otitis (ear infection).
- Strains and sprains.
LumaSoothe is a handheld light therapy device for home use with your cat or dog. It comprises two distinct treatment modules. The deep tissue module is well-suited for treating arthritis, joint pain, and hip dysplasia. It aims to enhance circulation in deep tissues, fostering healing by reducing inflammation.
The surface treatment module targets conditions closer to the skin, expediting the healing process of surgical scars, stimulating hair growth, and providing relief for eczema and dermatitis. This device administers a 15-minute treatment and automatically powers off once the session is completed.
3. B-Cure Laser Vet
The B-Cure Laser Vet is a handheld device designed to administer low-level laser therapy (LLLT), which reduces inflammation and supports your cat’s innate healing mechanisms. This device is suitable for addressing a range of conditions, including:
- Chronic otitis (ear infection).
- Facial nerve paralysis.
- Ruptured anal sacs and fistulas.
- Hip arthritis and dysplasia.
- Elbow osteoarthritis.
- Tendon weakness.
- Joint pain.
- Oral issues
It’s worth noting that B-Cure devices have also been subjected to clinical trials in humans, further underscoring their efficacy.
Read also: How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?
To Sum It Up
When contemplating the acquisition or home use of Red Light Therapy or Low-Level Light Therapy, it is advisable to consult with your veterinary doctor beforehand. The discussion should revolve around whether Red Light Therapy is a suitable choice for your cat.
This therapy can be helpful and beneficial for quickly addressing minor health issues, and red light therapy may serve as a valuable supplementary treatment for more severe conditions. Red Light Therapy is especially well-suited for complementary treatment as we speak, as it is non-invasive, effective, and entirely painless. Importantly, it is free from any side effects.
Although it may appear straightforward to acquire your own Red Light Therapy treatment device, it is consistently wise to engage in a conversation with your veterinarian. They can explore the available options and determine the most suitable course of action for your cat’s specific needs.