Cold laser therapy can often be used as a supplemental treatment to repair tissues and relieve pain for your dog. In this post, our Santa Cruz veterinarians explain the ins and outs of the treatment, what’s involved, and what you can expect.
What Is cold laser therapy for dogs?
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.
Does cold laser therapy work on dogs?
Yes. The veterinary industry has deemed pet laser therapy safe and effective. It can effectively be used to treat diseases, injuries, and conditions such as tissue injuries (including strains and sprains) and arthritis.
We often use it to supplement other treatment options to give our pet patients an improved outcome.
As for benefits, laser therapy can:
- Enhance circulation
- Decrease nerve sensitivity
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Speed the healing process
In addition, laser therapy does not have any negative side effects and no sedation is required. We also do not need to clip or shave the area being treated.
Does laser therapy hurt dogs?
Provided the veterinarian performing the treatment is well-trained and experienced in administering laser therapy and the treatment is performed correctly, there should be no pain involved for your dog.
In fact, in our experience, when the vet waves a handheld laser wand back and forth over injured tissue, this seems to produce a pleasant sensation that most pets seem to find soothing or relaxing.
During a session, all veterinary staff and patients must wear protective goggles, as laser beams directed at an eye are capable of causing permanent damage to both human and canine retinas.
How often should my dog get cold laser therapy?
The effects of cold laser therapy are cumulative. For best results, treatments should be completed at the frequency recommended by your veterinarian.
How Long Does A Cold Laser Therapy Treatment Last?
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.
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.
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 pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.