Laser Therapy For Dogs

What Is Laser Therapy For Dogs And How Does It Work?

Laser Therapy

At Advanced Animal Care, we pride ourselves with always searching for new ways to care for your dog especially where pain is concerned. Veterinary laser therapy provides a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free and drug-free treatment that is used to treat a variety of conditions, and can be performed in conjunction with existing treatments. Laser treatment for dogs employs deep-penetrating light to promote a chain of chemical reactions known as photobiostimulation. This process helps relieve pain through the release of endorphins, and it stimulates injured cells to heal at an accelerated pace.

Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, your dog's condition will influence how often and long laser therapy is necessary. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 3 to 8 minutes. Laser treatments for dogs are cumulative, so each additional treatment facilitates a greater improvement in your dog's condition. The length and frequency of treatments vary by condition, so allow your veterinarian to help devise a sufficient laser treatment schedule for your canine companion.

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Postoperative laser therapy will decrease inflammation after surgery, help them heal a little bit faster, speed up recovery time, and make them comfortable a lot faster.

Video Transcript:

Laser therapy can be used for several different things, one being to help decrease pain. We have several dogs that have back problems, such as disc disease and arthritis, and it helps to decrease the pain. It also helps to decrease inflammation. We are offering postoperative laser therapy now to decrease inflammation after surgery, help them heal a little bit faster, speed up recovery time, and make them comfortable a lot faster.

 

Laser therapy also helps with ear infections and with swelling in the ears. So, there are several different uses. We are continuing to research and find more and more ways that lasers can be used to help out dogs.

 

Laser therapy is not painful. It does get a little bit warm, but we do have certain settings that we use to make sure that we're holding it in one spot for a certain amount of time to where it's not hurting the animal, but it does just get a little bit of a warm sensation to it.

 

As far as acute pain goes, for more of the short-term kind of pain, it does help in decreasing swelling and inflammation, so it is especially helpful for those dogs that have sudden back problems.

 

With arthritis, the joint develops inflammation over time, so laser therapy is performed pretty often. We even have some patients that come in once a week or so to get laser therapy done. It helps to decrease that swelling and inflammation within those joints.

 

During laser therapy, our patients do wear Doggles, so that their eyes are being protected from the laser beams. Same thing for us, we wear goggles as well so that the laser is not directly shining into any eyes. We also focus on not holding the laser in one spot for too long so that it's not getting too hot for them and making them uncomfortable.

 

There really aren't very many risks to laser therapy. Your dog could feel a little bit warm on the site being treated. That's usually pretty temporary. But generally, there aren't really any other side effects. We've only seen benefits so far.

 

It is a good idea for us to do an exam prior to doing laser therapy. That way, we can get to know your dog and your schedule to see if laser therapy is something that can even be accommodated. It does actually take several visits for us to do laser therapy and have it be effective. Particularly if we haven't seen your dog before, an exam can help us determine if laser therapy is actually going to be beneficial and develop a plan for treatment.

 

As far as results, it really does vary. If we have a wound that we're trying to allow to heal, it can take a few weeks for it to completely resolve. But with inflammation due to arthritis or joint pain in general, we do see some improvement after about three to four cycles of laser therapy.

Cold Laser Therapy For Dogs

Laser therapy, also may be referred to as Cold Laser, Low-Level Laser or Class IV Laser Therapy. Each of these terms refers to the same therapy, using the same equipment to stimulates cell regeneration and increase blood circulation.

What Types Of Conditions Can Dog Laser Therapy Be Used To Treat?

Dog laser therapy can be used to treat a multitude of ailments, including:

  • Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries
  • Post-surgical and soft tissue trauma
  • Back pain
  • Ear infections
  • Gingivitis
  • Hot Spots and open wounds
  • Arthritis / hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Anal gland infections

Many of our veterinary therapy patients are older animals with musculoskeletal ailments. Some signs that your senior companion is experiencing pain or discomfort are:

  • Abnormal sitting or lying posture
  • Circling multiple times before lying down
  • Restlessness
  • Whining, groaning or other vocalizations
  • Limping, unable to get up or lie down
  • Difficulty getting into car or down stairs
  • Lack of grooming
  • Won't wag tail
  • Licking or biting area
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trembling

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy For Pain Relief

Laser treatments are an excellent way to provide pain relief to your canine companion. Laser therapy reduces pain by reducing inflammation through "vasodilation" (the opening of blood vessels) and also by activating the lymphatic drainage system, thus draining swollen areas. The result is a reduction in swelling which reduces pain. The lasers also stimulate nerve cells that block pain signals from being transmitted to the brain, thereby decreasing nerve sensitivity. Because there is less inflammation, less swelling and an interruption of pain signals to the brain, the dog will experience less pain. Laser treatments for dogs also stimulate the production of high levels of naturally-produced endorphins which further counteract your dog's pain.

Laser Therapy To Recover From Injury Or Surgery

Dog laser therapy is a very helpful tool during postoperative recovery. In minor cases, laser therapy alone may be enough to alleviate pain and stimulate the healing process. Because it works directly on injured or affected areas, laser treatments can help speed up healing, strengthen muscle and tissue, improve mobility and enhance your dog's overall quality of life almost immediately.

What Can I Expect At My Dog's Laser Therapy Appointment?

A technician will hold the laser wand directly over the affected area for somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes. There is no pain associated with the treatment and most dogs will relax during this time. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your dog to be comfortable and any anxiety he or she initially experiences will quickly dissipate. Occasionally, some dogs actually fall asleep during their therapy sessions.

Is Laser Treatment For Dogs Painful Or Uncomfortable?

Laser treatment for dogs is totally pain free and very comforting. As the laser is administered, your dog may feel a gentle and soothing warmth, tingling, or no sensation at all. For many canines, dog laser therapy is very relaxing. As areas of pain or inflammation become more comfortable, any anxiety and tension your dog may be experiencing tends to quickly dissipate.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Laser Therapy For Dogs?

Laser treatment for dogs has no known side effects, and is considered both safe and effective across the veterinary industry. 

How Can I Schedule A Dog Laser Therapy Appointment?

Scheduling an appointment for veterinary laser therapy is as easy as picking up the telephone, sending us an inquiry through our contact page or visiting our veterinary hospital in person. Our knowledgeable, compassionate veterinary team can help answer any questions you have. Make an appointment for your canine companion to begin experiencing the benefits of laser therapy today!Laser Therapy

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