Laser Therapy for Dogs: What Is It and What Does It Do?

Bringing home a dog means putting extra commitment, effort, and money on them. As much as possible, you want them to experience the best quality of life they can. When they feel pain, the most important thing is to ease it and make them feel comfortable. 

In recent years, veterinary experts discovered the health benefits of veterinary laser therapy to dogs. That’s why more and more vet clinics are recommending it to their patients. So, how does it work?

What Is Laser Therapy for Dogs?

The word LASER actually means light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser therapy is a non-invasive, non-toxic, non-pollutant medical treatment, which uses a strong beam of light to burn, cut, or destroy tissues. Also known as “cold laser therapy,” both humans and animals can benefit from this procedure to treat and manage multiple diseases.

Experts studied and identified its mechanisms of action as an effective remedy for reducing pain and inflammation and healing of tissues. Unlike other surgical lasers that use higher frequencies to penetrate and reach deeper tissues, this procedure doesn’t require vet surgeons to cut into your dogs. Instead, they simply shine a low-frequency laser beam over the skin or fur’s surface to treat the tissue underneath. Click here for more info about other vet surgery services your pets may need.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Dogs

In every treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing oxygen, water, and nutrients to the damaged area. Experts enumerated some benefits of laser therapy for dogs as follows:

  • Decreases pain (acute and chronic)
  • Helps reduce inflammation
  •  Helps promote muscle regeneration
  • Improves circulation
  • Accelerates wound healing
  • Helps manage other conditions (tendon and ligament injuries, edema, lick granulomas, canine mammary tumors, osteoarthritis, otitis, dermatitis, decubital ulcers)

What to Expect on a Dog’s Laser Therapy?

Depending on your dog’s condition, vets may require them to have more sessions than the others. For example, arthritis sessions take longer that may last for about five minutes per joint, while wound healing or management is quicker at one minute to three minutes. Many arthritis patients may start from one or two sessions a week for a month then can visit the vet as needed in the following months. 

Since laser therapy is non-invasive, dog owners should not worry about side effects. In fact, there is no associated pain with the procedure, and dogs will relax during the process. In some cases, they may fall asleep during their sessions. For older dogs, consider taking them to the vet for laser therapy if they show these behaviors:

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

Choosing the Right Vet Clinic for Your Dog

Not all vet clinics offer laser treatment, but only equipped ones. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. Online is also an excellent place to find a reputable vet clinic but make sure to ask for licenses and read testimonials and reviews from their previous clients.

Since different pets and owners have different needs, consider visiting a few of your choices and observing if the facility is clean. Ask about their office hours, how they cover emergencies, as well as their other services, including veterinary dentistry, surgery, and others. Veterinarians are like other people with various personalities, so find out if their attitude and philosophy match yours.