A dog with goggles on receiving laser therapy treatment

Dog Laser Therapy

What Is Laser Therapy For Dogs And How Does It Work?

At Vida Veterinary Care, we pride ourselves in always searching for new ways to care for your dog, especially where the pain is concerned. Veterinary laser therapy provides a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free, and drug-free treatment that is used to treat a variety of conditions and can be performed in conjunction with existing treatments. Laser treatment for dogs employs deep-penetrating light to promote a chain of chemical reactions known as photobiostimulation. This process helps relieve pain through the release of endorphins, and it stimulates injured cells to heal at an accelerated pace.

Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, your dog’s condition will influence how often and long laser therapy is necessary. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 3 to 8 minutes. Laser treatments for dogs are cumulative, so each additional treatment facilitates a greater improvement in your dog’s condition. The length and frequency of treatments vary by condition, so allow your veterinarian to help devise a sufficient laser treatment schedule for your canine companion.

Cold Laser Therapy For Dogs

Laser therapy may also be referred to as Cold Laser, Low-Level Laser, or Class IV Laser Therapy. Each of these terms refers to the same therapy, using the same equipment to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation.

What Types Of Conditions Can Dog Laser Therapy Be Used To Treat?

Dog laser therapy can be used to treat a multitude of ailments, including:

  • Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries
  • Post-surgical and soft tissue trauma
  • Back pain
  • Ear infections
  • Gingivitis
  • Hot spots and open wounds
  • Arthritis/hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Anal gland infections

Many of the dogs we treat are older animals with musculoskeletal ailments. Some signs that your senior companion is experiencing pain or discomfort are:

  • Abnormal sitting or lying posture
  • Circling multiple times before lying down
  • Restlessness
  • Whining, groaning, or other vocalizations
  • Limping, unable to get up or lie down
  • Difficulty getting into the car or downstairs
  • Lack of grooming
  • Won’t wagtail
  • Licking or biting area
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trembling

Laser Therapy For Pain Relief

Laser treatments are an excellent way to provide pain relief to your canine companion. Laser therapy reduces pain by reducing inflammation through “vasodilation” (the opening of blood vessels) and also by activating the lymphatic drainage system, thus draining swollen areas. The result is a reduction in swelling, which reduces pain. The lasers also stimulate nerve cells that block pain signals from being transmitted to the brain, thereby decreasing nerve sensitivity. Because there is less inflammation, less swelling, and an interruption of pain signals to the brain, the dog will experience less pain. Laser treatments also stimulate the production of high levels of naturally-produced endorphins, which further counteract your dog’s pain.

Laser Therapy To Recover From Injury Or Surgery

Dog laser therapy is a very helpful tool during postoperative recovery. In minor cases, laser therapy alone may be enough to alleviate pain and stimulate the healing process. Because it works directly on injured or affected areas, laser treatments can help speed up healing, strengthen muscle and tissue, improve mobility, and enhance your dog’s overall quality of life almost immediately.

What Can I Expect At My Dog’s Laser Therapy Appointment?

A technician will hold the laser wand directly over the affected area for somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes. There is no pain associated with the treatment, and most dogs will relax during this time. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your dog to be comfortable, and any anxiety he or she initially experiences will quickly dissipate. Occasionally, some dogs actually fall asleep during their therapy sessions.

Is Laser Treatment For Dogs Painful Or Uncomfortable?

Laser treatment for dogs is totally pain-free and very comforting. As the laser is administered, your dog may feel a gentle and soothing warmth, tingling, or no sensation at all. For many canines, dog laser therapy is very relaxing. As areas of pain or inflammation become more comfortable, any anxiety and tension your dog may be experiencing tend to quickly dissipate.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Laser Therapy For Dogs?

Laser treatment for dogs has no known side effects and is considered both safe and effective across the veterinary industry.

Schedule A Dog Laser Therapy Appointment Today

Scheduling an appointment for veterinary laser therapy is as easy as picking up the telephone, sending us an inquiry through our contact page, or visiting our veterinary hospital in person. Our knowledgeable, compassionate veterinary team can help answer any questions you have.

Call our Denver office at 303-757-5638 or our Centennial office at 303-843-7222, or fill out our online scheduling form, to schedule an appointment for your pet.

Consider it the “non-cutting” edge of veterinary science! Laser therapy is an innovative technology used to treat acute and chronic injuries. This non-invasive treatment stimulates cell regeneration by increasing blood flow to the targeted area, which accelerates the healing process. It has been successfully used to accelerate the healing process after surgery, alleviate joint pain, and treat degenerative diseases.

How it works

Low-level or “cold” laser therapy focuses red and infrared light on tissue at and below the surface of the skin. The light energizes the cells, producing a structural protein called collagen used to repair tissue. Lasers continue the healing process by supporting vascular dilation and synthesis, increasing blood circulation to the affected region. The stimulation also releases the body’s own pain-relieving hormones.

The process generally takes between 5-10 minutes, with most patients seeing positive effects after 3-5 uses. The treatment continues to relieve pain and fight inflammation for up to 24 hours following the session.

Conditions improved with laser therapy:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Post-surgical incisions and soft-tissue trauma
  • Arthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Neuromuscular disease

Laser therapy is normally combined with other types of veterinary medicine including pharmaceutical regimens and alternative treatments. The broad biochemical benefits and lack of adverse side effects have made laser therapy the preferred post-operative rehab method in veterinary medicine.

If you would like to know more about laser therapy and if it could benefit your pet, contact us at (303) 757-5638.