All dog owners want their pets to have the best quality of life possible. When your pet is in pain, finding a way to relieve their suffering becomes a priority. The good news is that laser therapy may be a viable solution for pain relief for your pet. A variety of conditions benefit from laser therapy including:
-acute and chronic injuries
-sprains or strains
-muscular or skeletal abnormalities
-swelling due to back disc problems
-regenerative benefits for nerve tissue after surgery
What Is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy, sometimes known as low level laser therapy, uses specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate the natural healing ability of the body. Positive effects of laser energy include pain reduction, improved healing time, increased circulation, and decreased swelling.
Often prolonged use of pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs can have severe and lasting side effects on dogs. Laser therapy can be a safe and effective alternative for dogs in treating many common or chronic conditions, especially arthritis. The key to effective laser therapy is early treatment. When started early, laser therapy stimulates healing and regeneration, reducing the need for pain medications or invasive surgery.
Dogs may display pain in a variety of ways, from a reluctance to jump in the car or climb the stairs to favoring one side of their body or another while walking. If you notice any of these symptoms, especially in older dogs or purebred dogs prone to joint problems, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible about possible treatments with laser therapy.
What Does A Typical Laser Therapy Session Look like?
Laser therapy may sound intense, but it’s actually a very non-invasive and relaxing procedure for your dog. Dogs will typically lie down on a mat during a session, and many veterinary hospitals will allow you to sit with your dog during therapy. Sessions usually last between 3 and 25 minutes, depending on the type and severity of the condition being treated. Dogs do not need to be shaved, clipped, or sedated for laser treatments, so multiple sessions can be scheduled in a week. Most vets will schedule laser therapies every other day at the beginning of treatment for chronic treatments. Most conditions will need, on average, six treatments to see a healing response, but you may notice your dog is more comfortable after just one session. Chronic conditions may require ongoing therapy, especially conditions that have been ongoing for quite some time. If you’re seeing a positive response to the therapies, however, stick with it. Your dog will likely see great benefits in the long term, possibly eliminating the need for pain medication or invasive surgery.
Although costs fluctuate, most veterinary clinics offer discounts on bundled treatments to make it more affordable. Some clinics may include the cost of therapies in post-surgery treatments as well.
A New Method of Pain Management
Laser therapy is a relatively new method of pain management for veterinary clinics. Together, with other pain management methods like acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, and chiropractic care, laser therapy is proving to be an effective alternative to prolonged use of pain medication or surgery. After laser treatments, you might see your dog jump in the car or play with a toy he has not picked up in weeks. By relieving your dog’s pain, you help ensure they will remain an active, happy and healthy member of your family. Talk to your family veterinarian today about laser surgery options for your dog!