Laser Therapy for Dogs – Updated Guide & Overview

December 17, 2020 0

 

Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years. They started out as our hunting buddies, then became a security source before we finally welcomed them into our homes to be part of our families. In exchange for their unconditional love and companionship, dogs rely on us for food, shelter, and healthcare. Like us, they occasionally fall sick, and when that happens, it is up to us to find them the right medical attention, which should be as pain-free and as effective as possible.

To that effect, we will be talking about laser therapy for dogs in this guide. This guide offers an in-depth look into the topic and contains the latest information about canine laser therapy that veterinarians use in 2020 and will use in the years to come.

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By now, the question that’s floating through your mind is: does laser therapy work for dogs?

I’d venture as far as to say yes, laser therapy for dogs is highly effective in this day and age. Vets today have access to innovative medical technology that can be leveraged to treat numerous health issues that affect our furry best friends.

Laser therapy has an amazing list of benefits for canines, which is why it is worth the consideration of any pet owner that wants the best for their dogs.  If you wish to know some of these benefits and learn a lot more about how laser therapy works, stick around as I will touch on all these points and more.

Without further delay, let’s get started!

 

Chapter 1: Understanding Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs

This chapter will learn the basics of laser therapy for dogs, including what it is and how it works.  If this is your first time hearing about laser therapy, then this chapter is for you.

What is Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy can be defined as the use of lasers for therapeutic or medicinal purposes. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: the word ‘laser’ is actually an acronym. It stands for:

L – light

A – amplification for

S –  stimulated

E – emission of

R – radiation

Laser therapy is based on the principle that living tissues can absorb light energy, such as lasers’ energy emitted. That makes lasers capable of triggering various photochemical and photo-thermal processes in living tissue, which has been found to be highly therapeutic in some applications.

You may already be aware that lasers are commonly used in various medical fields for their powerful rehabilitative capabilities. However, not many know that laser therapy is widely used in veterinary medicine.

 

Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is also known as photobiomodulation.

 

Human models and lab studies have set a strong foundation for vets to understand how to harness the therapeutic benefits of laser therapy to benefit sickly animals. Nevertheless, the technology is still in its early stages of development, so there is a notable lack of evidence-based studies to support laser technology’s widespread use to treat animals.

However, laser therapy for dogs still comes highly recommended by vets. To understand why it is an effective form of therapy for a number of canine illnesses, we first have to distinguish between the types of laser therapies.

How many are there?

There are only two forms of laser therapy, so don’t worry too much. They are hot laser therapy and cold laser therapy.

As you may have already guessed, hot laser therapy involves the use of high-intensity lasers for therapeutic purposes. These types of lasers are called Class IV lasers. They’re more commonly used for surgical procedures as they can cut through flesh with remarkable precision.

Cold laser therapy is what we will be focusing on. Cold lasers are low-intensity lasers that can penetrate through tissue without damaging cells. As a result, they are a popular non-invasive form of treatment for both human and animal patients.

Cold laser therapy is what your vet will recommend when you bring in your sick dog. The high-intensity lasers mentioned above are far too dangerous to be used for non-invasive surgical procedures. They carry a high risk of burns and tissue lacerations, so they are strictly used in the medical field to perform invasive surgery.

Another difference is that cold lasers have some notable therapeutic benefits, whereas hot lasers do not. Therefore, don’t mistake the two as it could have some seriously bad effects.

What Are the Biological Effects of Cold Lasers?

By now, you’re wondering, how exactly do cold lasers deliver therapeutic benefits?

Well, the answer is a bit complicated. To simplify it, we can say that the light emitted by low-intensity lasers causes physiological alterations to tissue at a cellular level. You might call this the “healing magic” of cold laser therapy because the concept is still poorly understood, even though research is ongoing.

When this light comes into contact with living tissue, it can:

  • Reduce swelling
  • Alleviate pain
  • Solve problems like puffiness
  • Emit energy into the bloodstream that is later circulated to the rest of the body

All these effects work in tandem to deliver the therapeutic benefits that cold lasers are rapidly becoming popular for.

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Why Should You Consider laser treatment for dogs?

The main why you might want to give your dog cold laser therapy is because it is painless and non-invasive. Furthermore, cold laser therapy can heal a long list of illnesses, which makes it a panacea (cure-all) of sorts. Obviously, you want the best for your furry friend, and sometimes medication can have some really bad side effects.

That’s why you should consider cold laser therapy first before moving on to more traditional options like medicine and, in severe circumstances, surgery.

You might also want to consider laser therapy because each session typically lasts only a few minutes. Besides, cold laser therapy is not just for treating illnesses, but it can also be used for rehabilitation purposes. For instance, it can bring relief to painful joints and muscles.

How Much Does It Cost?

Fortunately, cold laser therapy sessions are not expensive. On average, they cost between $30 to $60 per session, which is affordable enough. However, it can be a bit pricey if your dog requires multiple sessions to recover. Therefore, the actual cost of cold laser therapy varies with the condition you’re treating, your preferred veterinarian, and other factors like your dog’s breed.

Luckily, cold laser therapy can be covered by insurance. Some vet clinics may offer very large discounts for non-invasive treatment, too, so you might end up paying only $10 per session.

 

Chapter 2: What Illnesses Can Cold Laser Therapy Treat?

In this chapter, we will explore exactly how cold laser therapy can benefit your dog. We will talk about the illnesses it can be used to treat, plus how to detect sickness in your dog before it’s too late.

First, let’s talk about how you can tell whether your dog is not feeling well. You can tell that your dog is healthy if it has the following signs:

  • Smooth skin and a shiny, smooth coat
  • Bright, attentive eyes
  • Pink ears (on the inside)
  • Moist nose (it shouldn’t be dry and cracked)
  • A body temperature of around 101.5 degrees
  • Pink gums (it’s okay if there are gray or black discolorations)
  • Stool that doesn’t contain parasites

Now, these are the signs that your dog is unhealthy:

  • An irritable demeanor
  • Expressions of pain and lethargic behavior
  • Constant nibbling of joints or limping
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Poor appetite
  • Drinking too much water
  • Urinating excessively
  • High levels of inactivity

Unfortunately, not many pet owners know about laser therapy, especially since it can treat so many illnesses that affect dogs.

 

Cold Laser Therapy
Arthritis is one of the conditions remedied by cold laser therapy.

 

Here are some of the conditions that can be remedied by cold laser therapy:

Slipped Disc and Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Intervertebral discs are anchoring structures between spinal vertebrae. Their main purpose is to provide cushioning between each vertebra. Since the spine is the most prominent load-bearing structure in living things, these discs are prone to injury and degenerative diseases.

Spinal cord injuries are the leading cause of slipped disc and IVDD. These conditions tend to be extremely painful and can often deteriorate if left unchecked. When not treated early, a disc slip can pinch or even rupture the spinal cord, leading to grave consequences like sensory loss, paralysis, muscle weakness, and loss of coordination.

Therapy Laser Veterinary: Lasers are famously used in veterinary medicine to remedy spinal cord injuries. Laser therapy is particularly effective for treating intervertebral disc diseases and complications.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can be described as an anomaly that forms in the connection between the pelvis and your dog’s thigh bones. Sadly, this condition is genetic, and there’s little that can be done to cure it. Fortunately, it is only a significant risk during the later stages of your dog’s life.

There is little that your vet can do about hip dysplasia, which is why the most common course of action is to use laser therapy to alleviate your dog’s pain and discomfort. Cold laser therapy can be used to de-sensitize nerve cells and reduce inflammation so that the pain disappears. For this treatment to work, your dog may require multiple cold therapy sessions.

Surgical Wounds

Laser therapy for dogs is also prominently used to speed up the healing of surgical wounds. Several studies and experiments show that it is a viable rehabilitation method as it doesn’t affect hair growth in the targeted area.

Furthermore, it gradually lowers your dog’s recovery period, potentially preventing post-surgery complications. Since it is very safe, cold laser surgery is suitable for improving the healing process of various surgical wounds, so it is definitely safe enough for your furry best friend.

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Chronic and Acute Pain

One of the most effective applications of cold laser therapy is the provision of pain relief. If your dog is suffering from pain, then laser therapy should be among the first treatments you seek.

Because it is such an effective analgesic, cold laser therapy is a much better option for pain than invasive surgery and pharmaceutical medication. Believe it or not, this is its most widespread use in veterinary medicine, dating back as far as 40 years ago!

In fact, most of the available research is focused on the analgesic properties of cold laser therapy. They show that it promotes fast cell and tissue recovery and acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Arthritis

It’s quite sad that we can’t turn back the hands of time to stop problems like arthritis from making our beloved pets’ lives a misery. Arthritic pain is extremely common in dogs. In fact, four out of five dogs develop arthritis in the later stages of their lives.

Arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation in joints, making the simple act of walking excruciating for your dog. That’s why laser therapy is a near-magical remedy that can make your dog’s life so much easier.

Not only does it address immediate pain, but cold laser therapy also reduces joint inflammation, giving your dogs the ability to move, run, and play like they used to.

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Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

Don’t you just love it when your pups are all jumpy and excitable? Most pet-owners do, but with every hop comes a significant risk of an injury that can be a source of constant pain and misery.

I’m talking about tears to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. When your dog lands awkwardly, they may tear their ACL, which is important for stability and movement. Dogs are just like us, which means they can overestimate their athletic abilities and end up pulling muscles and tearing ligaments.

When that happens, you’ll notice them limping or not moving much, even when you call them for food or toss their favorite ball for them to chase. Cold laser therapy is a double-edged sword in this instance. It addresses the immediate pain your beloved best friend may be going through but also speeds up the healing of the torn ligament.

What a wonderful non-invasive alternative to surgery, don’t you think?

To recap, cold-laser surgery can be used to address illnesses and facilitate rehabilitative processes such as

  • Pain relief
  • Muscle and tissue growth
  • Blood circulation
  • Strengthening muscles and ligaments
  • Enhanced nerve function
  • Wound healing
  • Improved quality of life

Let’s now move on to the next chapter, where we’ll discuss the side-effects, complications, and risks of cold laser therapy for dogs.

 

Chapter 3: Laser Therapy Side-Effects, Risks, and Concerns

So far, we’ve seen just how beneficial laser therapy can be for your dog, particularly when they’re suffering from pain and discomfort that’s caused by certain conditions. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the not-so-good side of laser therapy.

Laser therapy is an effective rehabilitative and therapeutic tool, but it is important to understand that it comes with a few contraindications. You should know the risks involved with this kind of therapy before subjecting your canine companion to cold laser therapy sessions.

 

Laser Therapy
Laser therapy can be a reason for thyroid issues.

 

Some of the side-effects that may arise are:

  • Bone Defects

Laser therapy can lead to bone growth defects that may negatively affect the development of younger dogs.

  • Bleeding

One effect of laser therapy is increased circulation, and while that can be beneficial, it can also be risky. If your dog suffers a bleeding injury, whether internal or external, cold laser therapy can cause excessive bleeding, which can be dangerous or even fatal if left unchecked. It is important to avoid passing the laser over any bleeding injuries your dog may have.

  • Infertility

Even though cold-laser therapy uses low-intensity light emissions, there is still some irradiation present. Therefore, it can cause infertility and low sperm count when directed at the dog’s testicles. Special attention should be paid when addressing issues around your dog’s testicular region.

  • Thyroid Issues

Another area that’s extremely susceptible to irradiation is the thyroid gland. Laser therapy can cause significant adverse effects, one of the most lethal ones being the formation of anti-thyroid bodies within the gland. As their menacing name suggests, these bodies start to destroy the thyroid’s healthy cells, which ultimately leads to severe thyroid dysfunction.

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Laser therapy doesn’t typically cause immediate pain or discomfort to your dog. In fact, it is quite painless. Save for some mild tingling and warmth; your dog will not feel a thing. Actually, the treatment can be quite soothing, especially since it gets rid of acute pain almost immediately. Most likely, your furry best friend will be feeling very relaxed by the end of the session.

That said, there are risks and contraindications that I must mention. These normally have a very low chance of occurrence, and your veterinarian will assess the likelihood of their appearance before commencing with the treatment.

In any case, some of the risks involved are:

  • The Development of Malignant Tumors

Any form of radiation, even one as mild as cold laser therapy, can result in the appearance of a malignant tumor. The risk is significantly higher for dogs that already have tissue masses present. Lasers can turn even benign tumors into cancerous masses.

  • The Potential Harming of an Unborn Fetus

Generally speaking, laser therapy is harmless. However, there is no evidence that suggests it is harmless even when applied to pregnant dogs. The thing is, during pregnancy, there are a lot more hormones present in the body. Experts predict that lasers may inspire pathological changes in your dog during pregnancy. Even worse, they can cause genetic mutations in the unborn fetus.

So, what is the best way to address these risk factors while still allowing your dog to benefit from cold laser therapy?

It’s simple: talk to your vet. A discussion between the dog owner and the vet may reveal any issues that can cause complications.

If you’re feeling doubtful and skeptical about cold laser therapy thus far, there is a way to gain assurance over the efficacy and safety of this form of therapy: by finding out whether it is prohibited or allowed by the government.

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Is Cold Laser Therapy FDA-Approved?

If you’re familiar with the food and drug administration (FDA), then you know that getting approval for alternative therapy is no walk in the park.

That’s why it is such a huge assurance to learn that cold laser therapy is FDA-approved. The government has cleared it to be used for therapeutic and rehabilitative purposes. That speaks volumes about its safety and efficacy as a form of therapy.

What’s more, it is safe for use on the whole body, not just specific body parts. That means it can be used to remedy a broad spectrum of ailments.

One topic we haven’t yet discussed is how the low-intensity interacts with foreign objects in the body. You need to know this, especially if your dog has had surgery before.

Does Laser Therapy Affect Metal Implants?

Laser therapy is safe to use over surgical implants. These include metallic, ceramic, and plastic components used to set bones or attach muscle tissue to bone tissue.

It’s safe because low-intensity lasers don’t emit any heat (hence the name cold laser therapy), so they don’t affect artificial implants in any way whatsoever. In fact, laser therapy is one of the rehabilitative post-surgical therapies offered after hip and knee replacements to expedite the healing process.

Therefore, we can safely conclude that this FDA-approved therapy is safe for use even when surgical implants are involved. That brings us to the end of this chapter.

In the next chapter, we’ll talk about how you can schedule a laser therapy appointment for your dog.

 

Chapter 4: How to Schedule a Dog Laser Therapy Appointment 

When you’re certain that your dog is not feeling well, whether it is because of a sudden injury or a long-term complication, the next step is to schedule an appointment with your vet.

The good news is that most of the common illnesses and injuries dogs get can be treated using cold laser therapy. Your dog’s recovery process is literally one appointment away.

 

Laser Therapy
Steps to schedule a laser therapy appointment for your dog.

 

So, without further delay, here is how to schedule an appointment for your dog.

Step 1: Locate a Vet Clinic that Offers Laser Therapy for Dogs

Not all clinics are equipped with laser therapy machines. You’ll have to do a little research to find out which clinics in America offer laser therapy for dogs. Some may also offer different classes of laser therapy, which might not be suitable for treating your dog’s specific condition. It is important to clarify all these small details before scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian.

Step 2: Ensure that Your Vet Is Certified to Administer Laser Therapy

You must remember that not all vets are certified to use laser equipment. Please make sure that the vet you choose has a valid certification because operating laser technology requires special training, so it’s not a service every veterinarian can offer.

Step 3: Arrange a Pre-Visit to Find Out More Details

Once you’ve found a vet’s clinic that offers laser therapy services, it is wise to schedule a pre-visit before going for the main appointment. The reason for this is that you’ll be able to gain more information about the services rendered, plus you can get an opportunity to discuss your dog’s state before the day of the appointment.

The pre-visit can be used as an opportunity to present the vet with your dog’s medical history, which is instrumental in deciding the duration and intensity of the therapy to be administered. You can submit any documentation and lab test results at this point.

Also, you can ask about the cost of the procedure as well as its duration, information that will allow you to organize your finances and free up enough time in your schedule to get the procedure done. A pre-visit also gives you an opportunity to discuss financing options, which may involve factoring in insurance and taking advantage of available discounts.

Step 4: Schedule the Appointment at Your Earliest Convenience

When you’ve gathered all the information you need, you can then schedule an appointment to get cold laser therapy for your canine best friend. Be prepared to fill out a few forms at the clinic and carry all the necessary documentation needed for the process. You may be required to book an appointment through a phone call or even online.

In the next chapters, we’ll talk about how to perform cold laser therapy for dogs at home, which is also an option that many pet owners can take advantage of.

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Chapter 5: How to Buy Laser Therapy Equipment for Home Use

Thus far, we’ve talked about laser therapy, how it works, what it treats, and the possible complications of choosing this treatment for your dogs. We’ve even learned how to schedule an appointment for cold laser therapy, which should come in handy the next time your dog is feeling a bit under the weather.

Now, let’s switch gears a little. In this chapter and the next, we’ll be discussing something that I’m sure the majority of you have been wondering about: how to perform laser therapy for dogs from the comfort of your home.

Sometimes, it’s the more convenient option, especially when your furry friend requires pain relief in a pinch or when you’re too far from a veterinarian that can help you.  

But first, let’s discuss laser therapy equipment, particularly how to buy one and where to start looking.

When buying a laser therapy machine for the first time, there are factors that you must consider. They are:

  • Classification
  • Power
  • Wavelength
  • Frequency
  • Diode size
  • Cost

Let’s break it down:

Classification

Lasers fall in different classes starting from Class I to Class IV for cold lasers and Class V and beyond for hot lasers. The higher the class, the more powerful the laser is, so you’ll likely be looking at Classes I to III when shopping for a laser for home use.

Class I and II lasers are the lowest-powered lasers available, and most of them can be acquired easily over the counter. Lasers in these two classes never exceed 5Mw of power output, which means they are extremely safe. It also means that they’re far less effective and require longer periods of operation to induce therapeutic benefits.

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Class III lasers have power outputs of under 500Mw, which is why they’re also considered safe for home use. Such lasers are equipped with more diodes, which is how they can attain higher power outputs than Class I and II lasers.

Class IV lasers have a power rating of 500Mw and above, making them quite dangerous. At this power level, lasers are capable of damaging the skin, eyes, and soft tissue. Your vet will probably advise you to avoid Class IV lasers for home use because they’re far too powerful to be in the hands of beginners.

However, if you insist on getting a Class IV laser, which is superior in terms of effectiveness, you will first need to obtain the proper training and certification. Furthermore, Class IV lasers are quite expensive, so it might not be in your best financial interests to splurge on anything above a Class III laser.

Power

The power of a laser doesn’t necessarily determine its efficacy. Rather, it decides how quickly it works. Therefore, the more powerful a laser is, the shorter the treatment duration will be.

For example, a Class I or II laser may take between 20 and 30 minutes to produce the same results that a Class III laser delivers in 5 to 10 minutes. So, how much power do you need?

A 5Mw laser is good enough for mild pains and illnesses. However, pet laser experts say that the sweet spot for efficient laser treatment is between 30Mw and 15000Mw (obviously, you can only get up to 500Mw for home use).

Wavelength

Why is wavelength important? Because it determines how deeply a laser can penetrate living tissue. The shorter the wavelength, the more shallow its range of efficacy. That said, cold lasers typically have a wavelength of between 600nm and 980nm.

If your dog’s illness or injury is superficial, a laser with a wavelength between 600nm and 635nm is plenty of firepower for you. Deeper illnesses require lasers with between 800nm and 860nm of wavelength.

To access deeper structures like bone tissue, the laser you buy must have a wavelength of at least 900nm. Scientists believe that this is the highest laser wavelength available with our current technology, so there’s no need to go searching for anything with a longer range.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and restricted by these choices, there is good news. Most lasers come with adjustable wavelengths, so you can adjust the settings depending on the particular pain or illness that you’re targeting. Simply click here to find the most suitable laser for your dog.

Frequency

The laser’s frequency refers to its rate of ‘pulsing.’ You know what a pulse is—the consecutive switching of a light beam from on to off in a continuous manner. Some lasers are described as ‘pulsed’ while others are referred to as ‘super-pulsed.’

Pulsing is important because it emits light in a hot-cold-hot-cold series, which gives the treatment area a bit of time to cool down. The advantage of this is that it makes laser therapy painless. The disadvantage is that it increases the required therapy period.

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So, what sort of frequency should you aim for?

I’d say a super-pulsed laser is the better option because it is far more efficient over short periods. In other words, it will give you faster results without affecting the comfort levels of your dog.

Diode Size

The diode’s size doesn’t matter much since it only decides the surface area of the skin covered. Most of them are about 2 inches in diameter, and for the majority of applications, that is more than enough.

Nevertheless, a larger diode may be swifter since it covers more skin in one pass. But because all lasers are used in a sweeping motion, you’re not giving up too much in terms of efficacy or even therapy speed if you settle for a laser with a smaller diode.

Cost

On average, a cold laser machine for home use goes for around $500 to $1,000. Now, I know what you’re thinking—that’s so expensive! But before you accuse me of trying to make you bankrupt, here’s the justification.

The cost of a single cold laser therapy session can be about $30 per animal, depending on the nature and severity of the illness or injury. If you have three pets, for instance, that’s nearly $100 for one session. Keep in mind that your dogs may require multiple sessions before their problem is resolved, so multiply that $100 by about four or five depending on the number of sessions they need in a month.

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Do You See What I Mean?

Buying a cold laser machine is a sound investment whichever way you look at it. You will have access to unlimited therapy sessions for your dog, plus you can do it from the convenience of your home. The initial cost might be a little steep, but ultimately, you’ll be saving money AND keeping your dogs healthy and happy.

Besides, this way, you don’t need to worry about digging into your insurance or seeking financial options because you already own the necessary equipment. And it’s yours forever!

Don’t take my word for it, though. Take your time and do some simple math. Calculate the estimated vet fees you’ll need to keep your dog happy for a year and decide whether that’s less expensive than getting a cold laser machine, which is so much more convenient than scheduling appointments.

Once you’re done, let’s move on to the final chapter: using a cold laser machine at home.

 

Chapter 6: How to Perform Laser Therapy on Your Dog at Home

Laser therapy is ultimately a simple process that can be broken down into bite-sized steps, which is what we’ll be doing in this chapter. Even though you need training and certification to operate some of the high-power lasers out there, using one is surprisingly simple.

So if you want to learn how to perform laser therapy on your dog at home, read on for the simple step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Locate the Affected Area

The first thing you need to do is to locate the source of pain or the point of injury on your dog. Once that’s done, assess the extent of damage as well as the injury type. In other words, give the area a thorough examination to better understand the duration and intensity of therapy required.

Once you’ve found the spot, clip the fur around it for easier laser penetration. If there’s an open wound, make sure you clean it with antiseptic first.

Step 2: Measure the Affected Site

Pay attention to the measurements because they need to be as accurate as possible. Laser therapy is only effective when the right area is targeted. You don’t want to have any errors here. To help you measure, here’s a quick guide:

  • Start by measuring from head to toe at the dog’s longest points.
  • Then, measure from side to side at the dog’s widest points.
  • Estimate the depth of the injury site
  • Make markings at the deepest point of the injury.

Why are you taking measurements like this? Because it helps you create a sort of grid that will guide you to accurately target the affected area. If you’re still feeling lost, click here for a more detailed measurement guide.

 

Laser Therapy
Steps to perform laser therapy on your dog at home.

 

Step 3: Handle the Laser Probe Appropriately

Holding the probe incorrectly, i.e., too far away from the injury site, is going to lead to a less than effective therapy session. It is important that you keep the probe in direct contact with the injury site throughout the duration of the treatment. In the case of an open wound, don’t touch the wound with the probe, as that may lead to further discomfort for your dog.

Step 4: Allow the Appropriate Exposure Time

You can control the laser’s intensity to suit the injury, but it is even more important to allow enough exposure time to the injury for maximum efficiency. How long you should hold it against the site depends on the nature and severity of the injury you’re treating.

If you have no clue as to what the correct dosage is supposed to be, don’t worry. You can talk to your vet or seek the help of a certified medical laser technician or even an animal health expert to understand the amount of exposure time and the intensity of the laser required for best results.

The standard dosage when it comes to cold laser therapy for dogs stands at:

  • 60% power
  • 20% wavelength
  • 20% frequency

Although you might feel like you’re exposing your dog to too much consistent irradiation, keep in mind that the laser is emitted in pulses, which means that the skin gets plenty of time to cool down. Your dog will remain comfortable as there will be no burning or painful sensation.

Important Note: Observe appropriate laser safety measures

This whole process requires you and your dog to be dressed in the appropriate protective gear. That includes protective eyewear for you and coverings on your dog’s sensitive parts (such as the testicles).

Make sure you wield the laser probe appropriately. It should be perpendicularly held in relation to the treatment site. Direct welding increases the chances of damage to delicate tissue such as the skin. Make sure to keep all vulnerable parts well covered throughout the entire process and that you focus the laser on the affected side only.

DO NOT allow the laser to come in direct contact with the skin. Even a cold laser can still cause burning and lacerations. If it is your first time performing laser therapy for dogs, make sure you do it under the supervision of a trained expert.

Otherwise, do it only according to the strict guidelines of a licensed veterinarian. You might have to obtain a form of certification if you’re completely untrained. It is not advisable to attempt laser therapy if you’re not trained by an expert.

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The Bottom Line on Laser Therapy for Dogs

Medical experts have stood by the efficacy of laser therapy for ages. They believe that this form of treatment has some true therapeutic benefits for dogs, especially in terms of pain management and the alleviation of chronic conditions like arthritis.

That said, there’s still a lot of research going on to decide whether cold laser therapy for dogs is safe enough or whether the associated risks and contraindications surpass the benefits of this non-invasive form of alternative treatment.

Nevertheless, laser therapy has taken off in earnest and is now widely sought after by pet-owners who wish to offer their beloved furry friends a comfortable form of treatment for a wide variety of ailments and injuries. If you’re after a pain-free, rapid, and efficient form of treating, then laser therapy is worth a look. Just keep in mind that you will have to talk to a vet or a laser expert before performing any of the treatments yourself.

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