What Is Laser Therapy For Dogs And How Does It Work?
At Veterinary Village , 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.
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.
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.
How Does Laser Therapy Provide Pain Relief For Dogs?
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.
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
- Acute and Chronic Ear Infections
- Gingivitis and post op dental extractions
- 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
- 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
How Long Does A Dog Laser Therapy Treatment Take?
The time needed for the treatment depends upon the condition and severity of the problem. We utilize laser therapy on incisions post operatively to aid in pain management and stimulate the healing process . These treatments are generally a one time treatment. Other one time laser therapy situations may apply to wound care of ulcerations or infections. However, with more chronic or severe pain, we will recommend a series of treatments. During the appointment technician or doctor will hold the laser wand directly over the affected area for somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes. Our veterinarians will tailor the length of the series based upon the condition and the response. For example, for chronic low back pain, we may recommend 6 treatments. Some chronic conditions such as arthritis may require ongoing treatments. If your dog has responded well to the laser, we may be able to keep the pain under control with monthly treatments. Laser treatment for dogs are cumulative, so each additional treatment facilitates a greater improvement in your dog's condition. One of our veterinarians would be happy to help devise a sufficient laser treatment schedule based on your dog's needs.
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 dogs, 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. Occasionally, some dogs actually fall asleep during their therapy sessions.
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!