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Dog Laser Therapy - The Benefits of Laser Therapy for Your Dog

How is laser therapy used to treat dogs?

Laser therapy has a bunch of different uses. In fact, we use it in almost every case I can think of. We can use laser therapy for post op incisions to help with swelling, pain, and inflammation, which helps post op recovery and speeds healing. There's so much that it does. We even use it for ear infections. If you come in and your pet's ears are super red, painful, and swollen, our ear cleanings actually include a laser therapy session. From the beginning of the appointment, you can see that when the laser is done to the time that the dog leaves, the ears visibly get less red. It penetrates into the tissues and just really helps with that inflammation, bringing it down and speeding up healing. We also use it a lot in arthritis cases. We have a lot of geriatric pets that come in for cold laser on their hips, knees, or lower backs. We can also use it on fractures, anal gland infections, and skin infections. When it comes to cold laser, the world is your oyster because it can help almost every condition in the book. There's a reason why we have it here. I'm a firm believer in it because we see the results every single day.

Dr. Meghan Denney
Four Paws at Fulshear Animal Clinic

What can I expect from my dog's laser therapy appointment?

The appointments are either held during the exams, like when you're here for an actual appointment, or as a technician visit. It depends on the area that we're lasering. Laser can take anywhere from one minute up to eight minutes per area, but you can expect most patients to be very calm when this is happening. Although it's called a cold laser, it actually feels warm when you're doing it, and most pets are very relaxed when this happens. When can we expect to see results? For some pets, you can have results in as little as one appointment, 20 minutes. I was talking about skin infections and ear infections. You can see the skin becoming less red in 10 to 15 minutes after the laser's been performed.

As far as arthritis conditions go, sometimes it takes a couple of sessions, but we have many clients that see results and therefore keep coming back. Some dogs have a little bit of trouble getting up, and they're maybe a little slower to get up, especially in the mornings. Once they're up and moving, they get warmed up, and they're good. But if you start to notice that, hey, my dog's not really wanting to jump in the car anymore, or Fluffy has really taken a long time to get out of bed, and it kind of looks like maybe they're dragging their back feet just a little bit, or maybe those back legs are looking a little bit skinny. Those are the times to reach out for cold laser therapy. Generally, one to two times a week for the first few weeks is enough, and then it's up to the pet and how they're doing.

We might keep it once a week, we might keep it every other week, or I have some pets that only come in once a month to maintain the results. It depends on the pet, which is important. If you're interested in cold laser therapy, ask about it, and we'll decide what's going to be best for your pet.

What are the risks of laser therapy?

There aren't really any risks. There is only one time that using cold laser is contraindicated or where we will not use it. That is when we know that there is an area of cancer. That's why when we have an older patient come in limping, x-rays are always recommended because they help us ensure that the bone is nice and healthy and that there aren't any underlying cancer processes. That's the only time you don't want to use it: if there is evidence of cancer. While cold laser therapy can definitely speed healing, it can actually speed cell division, which is why it speeds up healing, and what is cancer? It's cells dividing when they shouldn't be. So we definitely don't want to be stimulating that.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (281) 801-1444, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,

Dog Laser Therapy - FAQs

Dr. Meghan Denney
Four Paws At Fulshear

How does laser therapy promote healing?

Laser therapy uses light waves that penetrate into the deeper layers of the tissue. It stimulates blood flow, reduces inflammatory mediators, and therefore reduces pain. Increasing blood flow helps get things going, which reduces inflammation. Laser therapy can be used for treating arthritis, skin infections, and ear infections. It's a versatile tool, and we use it on pretty much everything here. I particularly find it beneficial post-op surgeries as it gives the tissue a kickstart to heal a little faster. It's also useful in cases where complications arise, such as an infection developing at the site of an incision. In such instances, we use cold laser to stimulate the healing and help the skin heal back in.

What symptoms might my dog show that could indicate laser therapy as a good treatment option?

Laser therapy is excellent for arthritis. If your dog is slow to get up or their back legs shake when they're standing, or if they're having difficulty with bowel movements, these could be indications. Other signs include not being able to get up on the bed, inability to extend their legs fully, or their feet appearing curled. If your dog used to have muscular thighs and now there's visible atrophy or indentation, that's a sign that something's wrong, perhaps with the hips and knees. Cold laser therapy is definitely beneficial if maintained. It has helped many of our patients, especially older pets. We perform laser therapy on both dogs and cats, many of whom come in weekly. This is not a one-time treatment but needs to be maintained. The benefits can be life-changing for animals. It's used for conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, soft tissue injuries, back pain, neck pain, and any type of pain your pet may be experiencing. However, it should not be used on the eyes as it can cause retinal damage. That's why we wear goggles and our dogs wear doggles to protect their eyes.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (281) 801-1444, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

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