Vet Blog

Laser Therapy for Dogs

February 03, 2021

Did you know that dogs can be given laser therapy, just like some humans might receive?

It's true-laser therapy is a treatment option in veterinary care that is growing in popularity every year. Some dogs with otherwise untreatable conditions or complicated health risks involved in their treatment respond well to laser therapy, and it may be a good solution for your dog, too.

If you're interested in laser therapy for your dog, speak to your veterinarian for more information and for a referral to a laser therapy treatment specialist. To find out more basic information, read through the article below to get started.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Dogs

  • Laser therapy is an excellent treatment option for dogs with chronic arthritis and other diseases and illnesses related to inflammation. The laser treatments work to reduce inflammation over time and help your dog's joints move more comfortably.
  • Laser therapy can help dogs heal after surgery or injuries. The laser treatment keeps your dog's body healing properly while ensuring less of a risk of scarring at the same time.
  • Laser therapy is a good option for pets who have liver disease. Since these pets can't take medication to ease their pain, alternative treatments are often prescribed. Laser therapy works well for these pets.

How Laser Therapy for Dogs Works

Laser therapy for dogs utilizes lasers set to the correct wavelength for your pet's needs to penetrate the skin and target problem areas related to your dog's health. When lasers hit the skin, it causes the body to release endorphins. At the same time, it reduces inflammation and encourages cell reconstruction. Laser therapy also helps muscles relax and can reduce the risk of muscle spasms in dogs. Additionally, it encourages oxygen and blood flow throughout the body and focuses on the areas that cause your dog pain. Overall, laser therapy is a targeted light treatment that helps improve the body's ability to heal and recover from illnesses and injuries.

What to Expect During a Dog Laser Therapy Session

Before laser therapy treatments can begin, your dog will likely be given a mild sedative to help her calm down. She won't need to be anesthetized completely unless she is extremely agitated or the laser treatment needs to be performed on a part of her body that would be difficult to reach otherwise. Your pet will then be fitted with goggles to protect her eyes and will be placed on a treatment table. There will be an assistant on hand to monitor your pet for any signs that she may be coming out of the sedative or otherwise becoming upset. The technician will then use a handheld laser wand to administer the treatment. This wand will be passed over the affected part of your dog's body several times, focusing on the problem area. This will not burn but will feel warm to your dog. Most pets seem to enjoy the feeling.

How Long Each Laser Therapy Session Lasts

This portion of the session will last at least 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes. Including prep time, your dog will likely be in the office for 45 minutes to an hour for each treatment and most dogs require laser therapy treatments on a weekly basis.

Is Laser Therapy for Dogs Really Safe?

Laser therapy is safe for pets because it is administered by trained professionals. Only a highly trained and experienced technician should perform laser therapy treatment on pets (and on people, too). Feel free to ask questions and check reviews for any laser therapy specialist before you take your pet for treatments. Laser therapy always runs the risk of causing damage to your dog's eyes. Although it's rare, this possibility can occur when dogs suddenly move during their laser therapy treatment. For this reason, dogs will be fitted with dog-safe goggles to protect their eyes from the lasers involved in the treatment.

Risks of Dog Laser Therapy

If laser therapy is performed incorrectly-including settings that are too high or sessions that are too long-they can cause burning and scarring of the tissue on your dog's body. This is why it is crucial to make sure you work with a technician who knows what they are doing and has had experience in laser therapy administration before. When you use a trusted, high-quality technician, there are virtually no risks involved in laser therapy for your dog. It is a non-invasive treatment that provides relief for a variety of conditions with good success.

Call Your Vet About Dog Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is not always the right choice for dogs, but it can sometimes make a huge difference in their health and wellbeing. If your pet is a good candidate for laser therapy, you and your veterinarian can work together to determine the proper course of action for her treatment.

Be sure to call your Bay-Porte Animal Hospital vet at (281) 471-6834 if you have any more questions about laser therapy for your dog!