Laser Therapy For Arthritic Dogs?

IMG_1338Rex, a 135 pound German Shepherd has suffered from a limp and joint pain for the past two years.  This man’s best friend, 70 in dog years, 10 in people years, needed treatment for his arthritic pain.  But rather than opting for traditional pills or surgery, the owner tried a new, seemingly magical, laser therapy from the local veterinary clinic.  After the procedure, Rex’s limp and overall activity and happiness improved almost immediately after the first laser treatment.

Cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation.  Cold laser therapy treats the surface of the skin, while hot laser treatments affect deeper tissues.  Cold laser therapy is still a relatively new concept that is being used more recently to treat dogs with arthritis, tendon, or soft tissue injuries and to promote wound healing.

The lasers are nothing more than a beam of light that travels at a certain frequency that allows the laser to generate heat and penetrate tissue.  This process, know as photo-biotherapy stimulates protein synthesis and cell metabolism, which improves cell health and functionality.  The procedure done at the correct wavelength, reduces pain signals and decreases nerve sensitivity.  Endorphins are also released which are natural pain killlers.

Dogs find laser therapy relaxing and tend to enjoy the treatment, so there is no need for sedation or anesthesia.  That means that treatment can be applied multiple times a day or a number of times per week.  A typical laser therapy session can take as little as eight to ten minutes on a small dog or cat, or about a half hour for bigger dogs with more arthritic areas.   There is no need to shave or clip the area to be treated.

If you have a dog with arthritis, you can expect to start laser treatment with two to three sessions per week, then decrease sessions to once a week, then once every two weeks.  The number of therapy sessions are based on the response of the animal.  If the arthritis is more advanced, then more sessions would be needed.

After laser therapy,  pet owner’s might see their pet go upstairs more often, play with a ball he’s not picked up in months or go back to getting on the couch for his nightly snuggle with family members.  And, when dogs have better mobility, medications can often be reduced.  The cold lasers won’t cause any unwanted side effects and will not burn your pet’s skin.  Cost generally only runs about $25 to $45 per session which is dependent on the length of the session.

The laser machine at our office

The laser machine at our office

Laser therapy improves the quality of a pet’s life as well as the life of its owner, because if your pet is happy, you are happy. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment!