Why Your Dog Will Love The Vet: Laser Therapy for Your Pets
If you have a dog or a cat, you’ve probably also had a struggle or two getting your fur babies to the vet’s office. No one wants to see their pets in pain, and it’s difficult to not be able to explain to your animals that trips to the veterinarian help them feel better.
Some common conditions and acute injuries that cause your pets pain can be treated in part by laser therapy, which is a painless and relaxing procedure for your animals. Just like in humans, irradiation by a near infra-red (NIR) laser is shown to penetrate tissues and boosts ATP production in animals, relieving pain and inflammation.
Conditions in Animals Treatable by Laser Therapy
Many dogs develop arthritis in their advanced years, and several small breeds have a predisposition for intervertebral disc disease (when the cushion tissue between vertebrae burst). Laser therapy can reduce the pain and inflammation of chronic conditions like these and improve your furry friend’s mobility and quality of life.
Laser therapy can also be used to promote wound healing, such as in the case of an acute injury like scratches or post-surgical incision wounds. In addition to helping relieve pain, laser therapy promotes the natural healing of wounds through increased ATP production, which transports energy in and out of the body’s cells.
Laser therapy has also shown to improve wounds from lick granuloma, a condition where dogs will obsessively lick an area until it’s wounded and inflamed. Like a bug bite that you just can’t quit itching, these types of wounds are difficult to treat because the dog can’t leave them alone to heal. Typical bandaging or even surgical removal of the lesions can cause the dog to just keep licking the same spot. Laser therapy treatments reduce the pain and help the dog to feel relief sooner, and they’ll be less likely to focus attention on the area, helping the healing process further.
Laser therapy should not be used if your pet has a tumor or cancer, as the treatment could potentially speed up the advancement of these kinds of diseases. If you bring your pet in with a new condition, your vet will need to determine the issue isn’t one of these causes before they begin laser therapy treatment.
What to Expect From a Laser Therapy Session with Your Pet
Depending on the condition being addressed, laser therapy sessions last between three and twenty minutes. When your pet is already in pain and is anxious to be at the vet’s office, twenty minutes might sound like a lot. However, laser therapy is painless, and your pet should start to feel some relief immediately.
Most veterinarians who offer laser therapy services create a relaxing experience for your pets and use a larger exam room with a mat or blanket on the floor for animals to lay on. Humans are allowed in as well to keep pets company. As a safety measure, all humans and animals in a laser treatment session must wear protective eyewear while lasers are in operation (but dogs in goggles are adorable).
Laser therapy treatments will need to be repeated regularly, so depending on the injury or condition, you could be taking your pet in three to five times a week. As the condition improves, treatments are reduced. Most veterinarians offer laser therapy in bundles of sessions to reduce the cost, but the cost per treatment can vary from $25 to $100. Before you begin treatment sessions, your vet should discuss pricing to work out a plan that’s best for you and your furry friend.
Benefits of Laser Therapy for Animals
The biggest benefit of laser therapy is healing and relief from pain, but laser therapy also has a few added bonuses for pets and humans:
- Lasers can be effectively applied over fur, meaning your vet won’t need to shave treatment areas.
- Therapeutic lasers are painless, so pets don’t need to be sedated.
- No pills, injections, drops, ointments, or other medications pets get disgruntled about taking.
- Laser therapy treatments also release endorphins, so your pet feels good while being treated.
Some vets find that, because treatments are painless and relief begins instantly, animals associate laser sessions with feeling better and start to enjoy sessions. When was the last time your pet was excited to be at the vet’s office? At the very least, animals generally don’t mind laser therapy sessions, and once they realize the sessions don’t hurt, they’ll be more cooperative.
Aspen Laser class IV laser therapy devices are used to treat animals in veterinary clinics around the U.S. Find an Aspen Laser vet near you to start healing your pet’s pain at the source—and stop disguising pills in treats.