Cold laser therapy for dogs: new treatment provides non-invasive pain relief
By Lidja Gillmeister, DVM
Cold laser therapy for dogs is a new innovation for treating canine arthritis and injuries. The laser is designed to boost circulation and stimulate cell regeneration with minimal risk and no need for surgery. Unlike treatment with a hot laser, so-called “cold” laser treatment (also known as low level laser therapy) is less intense, and therefore carries little to no risk of burn injuries. With no unwanted side effects and a record of success among veterinarians, cold lasers are the latest alternative treatment option for non-invasive pet therapy.
What is cold laser therapy?
Laser therapy involves the use of a beam of light manipulated to travel at a frequency that allows it to create heat and penetrate tissue. According to a report on the procedure from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, low-level or “cold” lasers can be used to treat canines with “acute and chronic injuries, sprains and strains, arthritis, swelling due to back disc problems, and muscular-skeletal abnormalities,” as well as the need for nerve tissue regeneration after surgery. Initially used on humans nearly forty years ago, cold laser therapy for dogs is distinctive in that it is not only painless and non-invasive, but in some cases even enjoyable. Because there is no need for shaving or restraint for the procedure, veterinarians report that dogs often find it easy to relax during laser treatment – especially when treated in a comfortable environment and with the support of their owners.
Planning laser therapy treatment for your pet
Typical laser therapy treatment takes approximately three to twenty minutes per session. Sessions might be held several times per week, with greater or lesser frequency depending on the severity of your pet’s condition and response to treatment. Prior to receiving cold laser therapy, your dog will undergo a full physical exam, as well as possible radiographs, and receive a diagnosis from an experienced veterinarian. Once the source of pain is identified, your veterinarian can work with you to determine the best course of therapy for your pet.
At La Jolla Veterinary Hospital, we are pleased to offer laser therapy services customized to suit your dog’s individual health needs. This exciting new technology is both affordable and effective – and our clients have been delighted with the results.
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