Providing a pet with the best quality of life should be the goal of all dog owners. This becomes challenging when your dog starts to experience pain or discomfort, which negatively affects its quality of life.
The good news is that laser therapy for dog has solved many of these issues. By promoting the healing process and dampening inflammation, laser therapy can be extremely effective at stopping the suffering of your dog.
Note that laser therapy for dog possesses several names, including:
- Cold Laser Therapy
- Low-level laser therapy
- Photobiomodulation therapy
In this article, we will cover the five major aspects to know about laser therapy for dog. By the end of this piece, you will have all the necessary knowledge to start your dog on cold laser therapy.
How does cold laser therapy for dogs work?
When a dog gets injured or experiences pain, the healing process kicks in. Unfortunately, the rate of this process is extremely slow, making the dog suffer for weeks or months.
This is where cold laser therapy for dogs comes in. By stimulating the natural healing process of their own bodies, cold laser therapy significantly shortens the duration of recovery. Examples include recovery from a planned surgery, physical injury, or a general health problem.
So, how does this cold laser therapy actually work?
For recovery to happen, the cells multiply to replace the damaged tissues and remove toxins/waste products. This process is extremely energy-intensive, requiring adenosine triphosphate (ATP). With limited amounts of ATP, the healing process occurs slowly.
Cold laser therapy stimulates the mitochondria in your dog’s cells to produce large amounts of ATP. All of this energy will be used by fibroblasts and other relevant cells to complete the recovery.
Moreover, cold laser therapy activates lymphatic drainage, which is indispensable for getting rid of toxins and waste products. Removing these harmful substances from the site of injury can also dampen inflammation. The sum of these actions leads to pain relief and improved quality of life.
Another interesting mechanism that may explain the positive effects of cold laser therapy is its action on nerve endings. By blocking the nerve endings from sending signals to the brain, the sensation of pain will become less likely to occur.
The final way of relieving pain is by up-regulating the release of endorphins, which are hormones that improve pain. In fact, many powerful painkillers used in hospital settings work by stimulating the release of endorphins.
What does laser therapy treat for dogs?
While cold laser therapy helps with many conditions affecting your dog, you need to understand the indications of this technique before using it.
The most common indications to use cold laser therapy for dog are:
- Inflammatory pain triggered by arthritis
- Injuries affecting the ligaments or tendons
- Intervertebral arthritis
- Shoulder dysplasia
- Elbow arthritis
- Herniated disks
- Carpus arthritis (wrist)
- Neurological conditions that cause pain
- Bone fractures
- Muscle strains or joint sprains
- Post-surgical recovery
- And many more...
How much is Cold Laser therapy for dogs?
In general, a cold laser therapy session costs between $25 and $50. Depending on your veterinarian, the price will slightly vary.
The most important aspect that determines the cost of cold laser therapy is how your veterinarian charges per session. Some choose to take a fixed rate per session, whereas others prefer to charge based on the number of treated areas.
Regardless, most veterinarians offer discounts when you purchase several treatment sessions as a bundle. Therefore, make sure to do this if your dog requires multiple cold laser therapy sessions to completely heal.
Can I do cold laser therapy for dog at home?
The answer to this question is not straightforward.
The most popular cold laser therapy device used to deliver cold laser therapy at home is the Domer Handheld Laser . This is a low-level laser that works effective similarly to the laser found in the veterinarian's office (Class 4 laser). The Domer Handheld Laser is different from the traditional laser in one aspect – it has fewer risks. In fact, there are currently no reports of burning cases after using the Domer Handheld Laser. Additionally, the Domer Handheld Laser is easy to operate, portable, you can use it treat your dog at home easily.
So, can you use this device to perform cold laser therapy sessions at home?
Since the Domer Handheld Laser belongs to a category known as class 3B low-level laser, it is backed up by over 8,000 published clinical studies and research papers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the class 3B laser for public use back in 2002. The effectiveness of cold laser therapy is indisputable.
Note that the class 4 laser which found at the veterinarian's office cannot be legally used at home. This is due to the powerful beams that can be dangerous for everyone around if you don’t operate in the correct way.
In a 2016 study, scientists used cold laser therapy on five dogs with canine eczema. Each dog received topical corticosteroids on one lesion and cold laser therapy on another. This will be useful as a control lesion.
The results at the beginning of the study were similar. However, after 2 months of therapy, the low-level laser was 50% more effective than hydrocortisone (a type of topical corticosteroid). This study demonstrates the possible uses of cold laser therapy for dermatological purposes as well.
How to use cold laser therapy for your dog?
When purchasing a Domer cold laser therapy device for home use, you will get a guideline that explains every step of use, what’s more, Domer Laser will supply you 100$ dollars laser treatment protocols for dogs and people to help you get the better result.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Pay attention to the few contraindication, before you start the laser therapy for dog.
- Use the laser touch the skin, or keep 1-3 centimeter to irradiate the pain or wound area.
- Laser Treatment has the time cumulative effect, the longer you treat, the result will be better.
- Don’t use the laser irradiate the eyes of dog or people directly.
- Wear the goggles, when you do the laser treatment, Domer Laser will supply you one pair of goggles free.
- Follow the laser treatment protocols which Domer Laser will supply you.
Cold laser therapy for dogs is one of the most effective ways to treat pain and discomfort without turning to pharmacological drugs. The easy-to-use nature of this device and its high safety contributed to its increasing popularity.
We hope that this article helped you understand the role of cold laser therapy in addressing the symptoms of pain and inflammation in dogs.
If you have any questions, concerns, or personal experiences with cold laser therapy, please do not hesitate to leave a comment down below. You can order the Domer Handheld Laser here directly.
Altern Ther Health Med. Review of Literature on Low-Level Laser Therapy Benefits for Nonpharmacological Pain Control in Chronic Pain and Osteoarthritis. Published online 2018 Sep 24
MOJ Orthop Rheumatol. The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain. Published online 2015 Jun 9
Photochem Photobiol Sci. Effect of Low-Level Laser Therapy on the Inflammatory Response in an Experimental Model of Ventilator - Induced Lung Injury. Published online 2020 Oct 14
Roberta Perego, D.Proverbio, A.Zuccaro, and E.Spada. Low-Level Laser Therapy: Case-Control Study in Dogs with Sterile Pyogranulomatous Pododermatitis. Published online 2016 Aug 22 at Vet Wolrd