Cold laser therapy can often be used as a treatment for dogs to help repair tissues and relieve pain. Today, our Ambler vets explain the benefits of cold laser therapy for dogs and what you can expect when you bring your dog in for their cold laser treatments.
About Cold Laser Treatments
Cold laser therapy (also referred to as low-level laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy) uses focused light to increase blood circulation and stimulate the regeneration of cells.
This non-invasive, drug-free treatment is used to treat inflammatory conditions. More recently, it has been used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments to treat soft tissue or tendon injuries and arthritis. It can also be used to encourage wound healing.
Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs
The veterinary industry has deemed cold laser therapy safe and effective for dogs. It can be used to treat diseases, injuries and conditions such as tissue injuries (including strains and sprains) as well as arthritis.
Our vets at Spring House Animal Hospital often use cold laser therapy to supplement other treatment options in order to give our pet patients an improved outcome.
Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs
Cold laser therapy is designed to provide the following benefits to pets:
- Enhance circulation
- Decrease nerve sensitivity
- Improve nerve regeneration and function
- Reduce inflammation
- Speed healing of infections
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Speed the healing process
- Reduce the formation of scar tissue
- Improve immune function
In addition, laser therapy does not have any problematic side effects and no sedation is required. We also do not need to clip or shave the area being treated.
The Cold Laser Treatment Process for Dogs
Before treatment, we will perform a full physical exam, in addition to x-rays if required, to determine whether cold laser therapy is the right treatment option for your pet.
During the cold laser treatment, your dog should not experience any pain or discomfort. In fact, in our experience when the vet moves a handheld laser wand back and forth over injured tissue, this seems to produce a pleasant sensation that many dogs find relaxing.
While performing cold laser therapy on dogs, the veterinary staff and other people present in the room must wear protective goggles, as laser beams directed at an eye are capable of causing permanent damage to both human and canine retinas.
Cold Laser Treatment Frequency & Timing
The effects of cold laser therapy are cumulative. For best results, treatments should be completed at the frequency recommended by your veterinarian.
Typically the first treatments will be closer together, perhaps multiple times in a week, then move to less frequent treatments to sustain benefits. After the initial few treatments your dog may move to a schedule of one treatment a week, or even one treatment every couple of weeks.
The length of sessions varies depending on the area being treated and how much energy is being delivered through the laser. A typical laser therapy session lasts between 5 and 20 minutes.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your dog's condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.