The basics of laser therapy for dogs

Laser therapy for dogs is also known as low-level laser and cold laser owing to its function. Laser therapy is a painless and surgery-free treatment used to treat different situations, like musculoskeletal and nervous system issues. Laser treatment relieves pain by opening blood vessels that decrease swelling and reduce pain.

How does laser therapy for dogs work?

In laser therapy, a special light penetrates deep into infected tissues and activates chemical reactions. These chemical reactions, called photobiostimulation, help relieve pain and inflammation, develop changes in cellular metabolism, and vasodilatation in the infected area. The cells absorb light in small mitochondria that produce energy in cells. These infected cells become more active and start functioning well.

What conditions can laser therapy treat in dogs?

Laser therapy for dogs is beneficial in pain severities and various other conditions.

  • Laser therapy can stimulate wound healing, usually in acute injuries, like post-surgical incision wounds. The natural process of wound healing is promoted by increased ATP production.
  • It is also effective in treating granuloma.
  • Several dogs undergo arthritis or hip dysplasia in older age. Laser therapy helps to reduce pain.
  • Laser therapy is effective in treating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
  • It also helps with chronic cystitis, bladder infection, and allergies (skin allergies).
  • It is efficient to treat disc injuries.
  • Laser therapy helps to kill bacteria that cause gingivitis in dogs.
  • It is used in neurologic conditions and nervous system injuries.
  • Anal gland infection
  • Help to treat ear infection

Is laser therapy a safe treatment?

Laser therapy is a surgery-free non-invasive procedure. During treatment, it does not cause any damage or pain to the tissues as surgery or medication. Endorphins are released by therapy, so the dog feels well while treated. Dogs feel comfortable, and anxiety dissipates just after the treatment.

How many laser therapy sessions will my dog require?

The sessions of laser treatment depend on the chronicity of the disease. In the case of acute problems, 5-7 treatments are usually done. But in chronic issues like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), around 14-15 treatments remain effective. Dogs with arthritis will start the therapy with one or two weekly sessions. Laser therapy can also be combined with other treatments like medication or surgery as a single treatment.

How long does a cold laser therapy treatment last for my dog?

The duration of laser therapy sessions depends on the size and severity of the dog’s problem. Larger breeds require more time than shorter dogs. The session lasts between 5-20 minutes typically, and dogs feel better just after the first session.

What type of laser therapy is being used to treat the dog?

Some lasers are high in power and help to reduce pain and inflammation. But then, low-level laser therapy reduces pain and heals the infected tissues. Low-level laser therapy is a frequency-specific laser treatment because it targets specific cells at the site of injury that will not cut or burn the tissue.

In laser therapy, different classes of laser are used. The 3b laser form is used in our clinics. Class 4 lasers can also use to treat dogs, but it requires more precautions than class 3b because they can cause skin burn.

Wavelength or power

Laser light has three main properties, including monochromatic (one wavelength), collimated (light divergence at a minimum rate over a distance), and coherent (travel of photons in the same direction). These characteristics allow the laser to target a specific site of the body.

The optimal range of wavelength is 650 to 1300nm. The shorter wavelength is used in the case of superficial wounds, but longer wavelengths use for muscle injuries.

Affordability and availability of laser therapy

Laser treatment is more expensive than other clinic treatments, so it is not widely available. The cost of each treatment may vary from $25-$100.

Risks in laser therapy

There are very few to no risks in laser treatment. Sometimes the laser light will harm the eyes of dogs and the person performing therapy. Some lasers are high in power and can cause retinal injury. To avoid eye infection, you must wear goggles and eyes directed away from the light beam. In some instances, skin can burn, but the low-light laser is safer than high-power laser therapy.

Laser therapy is not used to cure cancer. Avoid using laser on certain conditions, including in the eye, thyroid gland, pregnant uterus, and over cancer. Lasers are used at specific frequencies because cells absorb particular frequencies, but in the case of cancer cells, a specific range of frequencies is not available.

Laser therapy in future

Therapeutic lasers play a unique role in the field of nerve regeneration. Due to the development of various animal disorders, such as peripheral nerve issues, intervertebral disc disease, and osteoarthritis, laser therapy will benefit significantly in the future. A new era of medicine might have a way of treating chronic health problems.