There is some evidence that laser treatment for dogs can help to heal wounds and injuries. A few studies have shown that laser therapy can speed up the healing process and help to reduce inflammation. However, more research and studies are required to confirm these findings.
This post will explore the available research on laser therapy for dogs and discuss what the current evidence says about its effectiveness.
What Is Laser Therapy for Dogs?
Laser therapy is a type of light therapy that uses low-level lasers or LEDs to stimulate healing. The therapy is often used to treat pain, inflammation, and wounds.
It works by delivering light energy to the tissues and cells in the body. This energy promotes a biological reaction that can help to reduce inflammation, improve healing, and relieve pain.
Laser therapy is sometimes known as cold laser therapy because it does not generate heat like other lasers. This makes it a safe and non-invasive treatment option for dogs. The exact mechanism of how laser therapy works is not fully understood. However, it is thought to work by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
This means that in addition to pet internal medicine, lasers could also be used to help alleviate pain and promote faster healing.
Benefits of Laser Therapy Among Dogs
There are several potential benefits associated with laser therapy among dogs. These include:
- Reduced inflammation
- Faster healing
- Reduced pain
- Increased circulation
- Stimulated production of collagen
What the Research Says
While more studies are necessary to confirm the effectiveness of laser therapy, preliminary studies suggest that it may be beneficial for treating various conditions in dogs.
A 2019 study evaluated nine dogs that had undergone thoraco-lumbar hemilaminectomies for intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). They used laser therapy daily for seven days on their incision. The study found that laser therapy improved incision healing and the cosmetic appearance.
For rehabilitation, the efficacy of lasers on tissues is not entirely understood. However, it has been shown to modulate cellular functions. For instance, lasers help modulate many biologic processes that enhance muscle regeneration.
A 2013 study looked at the potential positive impact of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to treat tendinopathies. The study found that LLLT effectively reduced pain and promoted healing in tendinopathies, with the most significant effects seen in Achilles tendinopathy.
How Laser Therapy Is Performed
Laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that is typically well tolerated by dogs. The treatment is usually performed outpatient and does not require sedation or anesthesia.
During the procedure, your dog will be positioned on a table or bed. A handheld device will then be used to deliver the laser light to the affected area. The length of the treatment will vary depending on the condition being treated. In general, each session lasts between 15 to 30 minutes.
Laser therapy is usually performed once or twice a week for several weeks. Some dogs may require maintenance treatments after that.
Risks and Side Effects
Laser therapy is considered to be a safe and well-tolerated treatment option for dogs. Most dogs do not experience any side effects from the procedure.
The common side effect is temporary discomfort at the site of treatment. This is typically mild and goes away quickly. Other rare side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and panting.
If your dog experiences any side effects from laser therapy, they will typically resolve on their own within a few hours. However, contact your veterinarian if the side effects persist or appear to be severe.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive light therapy that stimulates healing and relieves pain. The therapy is still relatively new, and more research is needed to determine its efficacy. However, preliminary studies suggest that it may be beneficial for treating various conditions in dogs. Laser therapy is generally well tolerated by dogs with few side effects.
If you are considering laser therapy for your dog, talk to your veterinarian to see if it’s the right treatment option for your pet. Look for a reputable animal facility (not only a pet vaccination clinic) that offers laser therapy for dogs.