Petting dogs isn’t merely about having them as friends at home. It’s also about taking care of their health, especially when they’re suffering from pain. Proper medication and treatment should be given so that they can get healthy soon. Among all treatments, you should thank cold laser therapy for offering such non-invasive and pain free treatment.
What is Laser Therapy for Dogs?
Laser therapy, also known as Cold Laser, is one of medical treatments to overcome various dogs’ medical conditions. The lasers used in the therapy are light beams that are travelling at certain frequencies that diffuse tissues and then evoke chemical reactions in the cells being targeted. The reactions are known as photobiostimulation that result in increased circulation, cell metabolism changes, relieved pain and inflammation.
The change of cell metabolism is attributable to the increasing levels of Adenosine-triphosphate whose role is as the fuel of cells. The increasing circulation can happen because of the photochemical reactions triggered by laser light that results in the increase of blood flow. The increasing blood flow then provides several benefits to dog such as improving cellular growth, the repaired process at cellular level, and the production of important enzymes and compounds such as RNA, DNA, protein, and immunoglobulins that are used to restore and grow functioning.
In addition, the light of the laser still offers another benefit such as releasing endorphins that play a role as anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Inflammatory control is important because it helps tissues regenerate. Besides, the light in cold laser therapy is used to stimulate cells at the skin surface and to increase cell regrowth and circulation.
The kinds of disorders that can be treated using this laser therapy are many, such as muscular injuries, muscular wounds, arthritis, and promote healing, to mention some. The cold laser therapy cannot be done in just any veterinary practices because the equipment needed for the therapy is special. In case the therapy is needed, your vet may direct you to the closest vet practice that is well equipped to conduct this treatment.
What are the Common Conditions that Need Treating with Cold Laser Therapy?
As mentioned above, cold laser therapy is able to treat many disorders or conditions of dogs. The aforementioned disorders above are not the only dog health issues that can be treated with this therapy. There is still plenty of another multitude of ailments. They are:
- Infections at anal gland
- Injuries at tendon, joints, and ligaments
- Degenerative disc disease
- Back pain
- Hip dysplasia or arthritis
- Ear infections
- Open wounds and hot spots
- Bone fractures
- Muscle strains or sprains
- Post-trauma and post-surgical wounds
- Skin abrasions or lesions
- Nerve injury
- Musculoskeletal diseases
- Haematoma (blood swelling in body tissue)
And here are some signs to tell that your dogs are experiencing any ailment or discomfort or pain:
- Lack of appetite
- Biting or licking area
- Abnormal lying or sitting posture
- Circling a couple of times before lying down
- Groaning, whining, or other vocalizations
- Don’t wag tail
- Limping, unable to lie down and or to get up
- Get difficulty in getting down stairs or into car
- Lack of grooming
Due to its ability to cure various dog health issues, cold laser therapy has been a well-known alternative to acupuncture as the therapy is able to provide the same stimulation without having the need of inserting a needle. Furthermore, cold laser therapy is also beneficial for pain relief and for recovery from surgery or injury.
Cold laser therapy is a great way to give your canine companion a relief to their pain. Laser therapy is able to reduce pain by working at Ovasodilation or the blood vessels opening to reduce inflammation and by activating the system of lymphatic drainage whose results is the reduction of swollen areas. The reduced swollen area will lead to the reduction of pain.
Cold laser therapy is also able to stimulate nerve cells that obstruct pain signals from being transferred to the brain that can make dogs suffer from nerve sensitivity. As the inflammation is decreased, swelling will also be decreasing and therefore dogs will experience fewer pains. Laser therapy is also good at stimulating naturally produced endorphins production that further antagonizes the dogs’ pain.
Meanwhile, this therapy also offers a helpful tool to the recovery of postoperative. In particular cases, this kind of therapy alone can be adequate to stimulate the process of healing and to alleviate the dogs’ pain. As laser therapy is able to directly work at the affected or injured area, it can fasten the healing process, strengthen tissue and muscle, improve dogs’ mobility, and improve overall life quality of dogs immediately.
How Does Laser Therapy for Dogs Work?
Does this therapy sound like what your canine companion needs right now? Hold on a second! Before meeting your vet to get your dogs treated with this cold laser therapy, you better know how this cold laser therapy works, so that you can make any necessary preparation prior the first appointment with your vet.
The laser of the therapy is directly applied to a dog’s skin surface. However, if direct contact is so painful your dog cannot afford it, the laser can be just held above the surface of the skin. Although it’s possible, sedation in cold laser therapy is rarely required as this therapy can be conducted without any restraint or discomfort. Another advantage of this therapy is that there is no need of shaving dog’s fur in the treatment targeted area prior the treatment. The laser can do tissue penetration for both deep and shallow tissues.
Cold laser therapy usually requires you to take care of a couple of administrations in the first week of the treatment. The administrations are then followed by weekly or even monthly treatments until your vet is sure your dog’s condition has sufficiently improved. The therapy can be most useful when it is combined with other kinds of treatment method, which depends on the dogs’ condition.
What is actually the laser that we have been talking about so far? It is the laser whose beam consists of wavelengths and photons that are penetrated into tissue. The photons once penetrated will be absorbed by the cells that are under disease or injury or simply not well functioning. The photons also work by increasing ATP productivity which the cells’ source of energy.
All cells’ elements that are increased by the photons will better and fasten nutrients absorption, new cells reproduction, and waster elimination. The healthy and new cells that are reproduced and cellular function that is made more efficient can provide aids as the following:
- Speed recovery and healing
- Alleviate acute pain or chronic
- Increase the flow of blood to the treatment area
- Reduce fluid that is trapped in tissue or edema
- Reduce bacteria in the treatment area
- Activate immune cells
The pain that has been alleviated and the inflammation that has been reduced will help the dogs better their limited mobility and regain their power to do the activities in the beginning of recovery process. The laser will also affect cartilage and join fluid that can help the dogs that suffer from arthritis. This can happen because the range of join motion can be increased by the laser. The increased motion will also help the dogs to do comfortable and moderate exercise.
Meanwhile, the photons from the cold laser benefit the dogs in different ways. The photons will take care of neural activity and neuronal regeneration. Dogs that have been suffering from injury on their nerve will soon show better condition in their range of motion and neurological function with the help of this therapy.
What is The Procedure of Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs?
After knowing how cold laser therapy can be beneficial for your dogs, here is the following procedure of this therapy you need to know:
To begin with, your vet will conduct an overall physical exam to your dog. This may include x-rays to have clearer and more complete picture of what kind of disorders your dogs have been suffering from. The plan of the laser therapy will be made and developed accordingly. The number of treatments needed for your dogs will also be decided in this planning.
During the laser treatment, your vet will put on eye covering to protect his eyes. To protect your dog’s eyes, an eye protection will also be provided for your dog. Protecting your dog’s eyes can actually be easily done with a towel.
As cold laser therapy can reach both shallow and deep tissues, you are not required to shave the dog’s fur at the targeted area of the therapy. Clipping and being sedated are also not necessary in this treatment. Your vet will use “wand” on the targeted area to deliver the laser to the injured or problematic tissues.
The cold laser therapy may last for about 10 – 20 minutes. However, the length of time needed for the treatment really depends on the disorders being treated. The number of treatment usually reaches at several times per week but then decreases to once in two weeks or once a week as the healing process start to show progress.
How much is This Therapy?
The amount of money you need to spend to get your dog treated with cold laser therapy really depends on the length of exposure needed and how terrible your dog’s disorders are. Some dogs may need to take several sessions in the first week whose frequency will be decreasing as the treatment shows some progress.
The treatment itself can occur for a couple of weeks. To give you a reference, cold laser therapy can cost you from $25 up to $50 for each session. The alternative cost of surgical intervention or medication is usually greater than the laser therapy cost. If you have pet health insurance for your dogs, you can save up to 70% of the total cost.
Cold Laser Therapy Efficacy
Cold laser therapy has been proven to be effective for treating dogs’ inflammation, pain, and wounds. The treatment offers drug-free and surgery-free way to heal various conditions of dogs including the stimulation for the body to be able to heal itself.
In some dogs, the result of laser therapy can be immediately and clearly noticed after the first therapy is conducted. However, most dogs need a couple of treatments before the owners can notice the result. It all depends on the severity of the dogs’ problems. Regardless of the number of treatment needed for your dogs, this treatment has been proven to provide long lasting effects on your dogs with small chance of the condition to reoccur.
Cold Laser Therapy Considerations
Most of laser therapy for dogs (class 3) are free from side effects and are low risk. Yet, if you opt for more powerful medical laser which is the one in class 4, your dog may get a higher risk of burning. Before deciding any medical laser class, make sure you consult and discuss the options with the professional provider of cold laser therapy before you start any of this treatment procedure.
Although there is risk in this medical laser, this laser tends to be way less invasive compared to the treatment or methods in years back or the traditional ones. The risk of this laser therapy is also known to be minimum compared to the other kinds of intervention.
The important key in considering this laser therapy for your dogs is to always consult every problem, option, and possibility with your vet. By doing so, you and your vet can decide the best way in conducting this treatment to help your canine companion regain its good health.
The cost of this cold laser therapy for dogs may seem costly. However, if you have got pet health insurance, you don’t need to think twice in taking this treatment. Not only is it safe for your dogs, it is also effective. Make sure you have prior consultation with your vet.