Did you know laser therapy can help your cat or dog in a number of ways? Treating your dog’s pain naturally . . .
Laser therapy provides a non-invasive, NON-PAINFUL, drug free way to help your pet. Laser therapy sessions are cumulative – this means that more than one session will most likely be necessary to achieve the best results. We typically recommend treatments 2-3 times per week depending on the treatment plan.
Laser therapy can be used in conjunction with acupuncture, massage therapy, magnetic pain therapy, hydrotherapy, and more. Utilizing multiple modalities increases the likelihood of successful outcomes for pets.
Laser therapy is also called “photobiomodulation (PBMT)” and “Low-level laser therapy (LLT).” Laser stands for “light amplification of stimulated emission of radiation” (LASER).
Laser therapy have been around for decades in veterinary medicine. There are over 4,000 published studies on low level laser therapy.
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy for dogs and cats is used to reduce pain and inflammation. Additionally, laser therapy:
- Releases endorphins
- Improves blood flow
- Improves nerve function
- Decreases pain
- Repairs tissue
- Relaxes muscles
It can also be used to treat:
- Wounds – like hot spots, or skin infections
- Arthritis (3)
- Hip or elbow dysplasia
- Intervertebral disc disease / back problems (1)
- Lick granuloma
- Ear infections
- Joint pain
- Sprains/ strains – tendon and ligament injuries
- Cranial cruciate ligament rupture
- Surgical wound healing (4)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (2)
- Feline interstitial cystitis
- Fracture healing
- And much much more!
How does laser therapy work?
Laser therapy utilizes precise frequencies to stimulate cell to release ATP – the natural energy of the body. Laser therapy reduces bradykinin, interleukin 1, and several other inflammatory mediators (5).
There are different classes of laser – your veterinarian can explain each class and which is preferred for pets. Laser can differ by wavelength, power, duration, and even dosage. These settings are very important as they can affect the depth of penetration of the laser therapy.
Why does my dog need to wear goggles?
In order to protect your pet’s retina, we recommend the pet wear our cool protective goggles (“doggles”). We also have protective glasses for anyone in the vicinity.
Will it hurt my pet?
No! This laser is a cold laser – your pet will not feel any sensation during the treatment.
We typically perform the therapy during the pet’s acupuncture session. The pet is typically lying on one of our mats while sleeping or enjoying a peanut butter filled kong. Laser therapy sessions take about 4-7 minutes depending on the number of sites to be treated.
Do we need to shave or clip my pet’s hair? Does my pet need to be sedated for laser therapy for dogs?
Absolutely not! We do not need your pet’s hair to be shaved/clipped or any sedation on board. Your pet will be ready to go home right after the session.
Are there any contra-indications?
Research is still on-going but we do not recommend this therapy for animals with cancer or for pregnant animals.
Buddy’s Tale: Buddy presented for an acute non-healing wound on his neck. No matter what the owner tried, the wound would absolutely not heal! With frequent laser therapy and topical ozonated saline therapy, Buddy healed very quickly! Take a look at the photos below to see for yourself how laser therapy (and other holistic therapies) can help your dog in Fort Lauderdale:
Roxy’s Tale: Roxy presented for a suspected partial cranial cruciate ligament tear (like an ACL in people). Her owner elected conservative management. With regular pet acupuncture, physical therapy for dogs, great holistic supplements, and laser therapy for dogs, she is now hiking and running around!
- Bruno et al. (2020). Perilesional photobiomodulation therapy and physical rehabilitation in post-operative recovery of dogs surgically treated for thoracolumbar disk extrusion. BMC Ves Res. 16 (1).
- Miller et al. (2020). Retrospective observational study and analysis of two different photobiomodulation therapy protocols combined with rehabilitation therapy as therapeutic interventions for canine degenerative myelopathy. Photobiomodulation photomed laser surg. 38 (4): 195 – 205.
- Looney et al. (2018). A randomized blind placebo-controlled trial investigating the effects of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) on canine elbow osteoarthritis. Can Vet J. 59 (9): 959 – 966.
- Wardlaw et al. 2019. Laser therapy for incision healing in 9 dogs. Front Vet Sci. 29: 5
- Miller L.A. (2017). Musculoskeletal disorders and osteoarthritis. Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine: Photobiomodulation. Ames, IA: John Wiley and Sons: 132 – 149.