Vet's Corner

New Laser Therapy Treatments for Dogs

I hadn’t heard until just last week that there are brand new laser therapy treatments for dogs and other pets. I knew some clinics and hospitals had instituted laser surgery, but this is different, and is used to speed up healing from both surgery, and a wide variety of injuries, including “soft tissue” injuries, and reduce pain. I am calling this “new”, but it has actually been around for many years, but is apparently not yet in widespread use.

New Laser Therapy Treatments for Dogs

Dogs can now enjoy the benefits of this new medical procedure that can alleviate pain in all parts of their body, and heals their damaged joints and tissues faster. After hearing the good effects and benefits of laser therapy for pets, Lisa Woods, a vet and owner of Brookside Veterinary Hospital in Gig Harbor, WA, introduced the medical service last fall, aiming to provide better health care for her patients. According to Woods, “We try to keep this hospital on the cutting edge, but at the same time, keep it affordable for our clients.”

She got her laser therapy equipment from the same supplier as the one who provided her with the setup for surgical laser. She believes that this is a trustworthy source and decided to give it a shot for the sake of the customers. After she and her staff offered it to many pet owners around the peninsula, every client has experienced positive results.

One of the customers, Linda Purcell, owned a 60-pound labradoodle name Chandler, who suffered from a torn knee ligament and was limping badly. Apparently the injury happened when he was running around the yard. At first, she was a bit doubtful about the therapy, but gave it a try nonetheless. After a month, Chandler was no longer limping around on 3 legs, but running and playing normally on 4 legs, without any side effects or injuries bothering him. This type of injury could possibly have never healed completely without this treatment, especially if it occurs in older pets.

There treatments apparently achieve excellent, previously unattainable results for elderly and arthritic pets, as discussed in an article on the “Veterinary Practice News” website:

For veterinarians who treat a lot of geriatric and arthritic patients, the Class IV laser is a difference-maker, practitioners say, providing new degrees of relief.

The results can boost the spirits of clients and staff as well as the pets being treated, even as those results can also open new realms of revenue generation.

Woods works with a handheld device for the laser therapy. According to her, the mid-range laser beam is comprised of two wavelengths: one affects the inflammatory process, and the other one helps take away the pain by stimulating the nerves. Animals also feel some tingling sensation on the skin of the affected area during treatment. And because it is portable and handheld, it can be used for almost any kind of pet, on any affected area, either a joint or an area suffering from tissue damage.

In fact, it has been used successfully on widely varying problem areas such as gum tissues, ear hematomas, and fractured toenails, according to Shannon Kiser, a vet tech at the hospital. And even more, it can be used after normal surgical methods to lessen the healing time by around 30 percent. However, with laser therapy still being a delicate medical operation, they still exercise careful attention and care for their patients.

Another customer, J’mel Goode brought in her 12-year-old black and white mix, which was injured while running around in the yard. According to Goode, “Her gait was off and she couldn’t climb stairs,” so she decided to try the laser therapy for her dog. After 2 sessions, improvements were visible, and after the 6th session, the dog was able to run around and climb the stairs again normally. The dog, after the treatment, now appears to have never had a problem.

A normal treatment session takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and costs $40 per session. According to Kiser, they may also treat more than one injury in one session, which is usually done if needed. Woods also said that the laser therapy provides a good alternative, painless, and holistic approach to pain relief, compared to anti-inflammatory drugs that can have side effects on your dog.

Overall, the new laser therapy treatments for dogs appears to offer the best of both worlds: professional, but holistic, non-invasive, non-drug treatments that improve your dog’s quality of life, because he or she doesn’t have to go through even more pain and misery to get better. Ask your vet about it if your dog is needing treatment for any kind of physical problem!

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. todd masters

    Nov 26, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    I’m calling BS! where is the study that has shown that light heals injury!…You should call star trek and tell them you have discovered how to heal with a strong flashlight!

  2. Brooke Arnold

    Aug 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I haven’t used laser therapy with my dog, but I have used it with my cat and it was nothing short of a miracle!
    Nelson, my cat, has HCM (a heart disease) and threw a clot to one of his legs. The leg was paralyzed for a week, and then he recovered use of his leg. However, he had some lasting nerve damage, neuropathy, or “pins and needles” in his foot. He chewed his foot to the point it was raw. We tried traditional therapy including steroid ointment, antibiotic ointments, wrapping the foot, bitter spray… nothing worked. After weeks, we had a serious discussion about amputating but I was terrified to have him undergo surgery with his serious heart condition. On a whim, my vet brought in a laser therapy machine and had me come in while the sales person demonstrated it to him. Within hours, he stopped chewing on his foot and after one week of laser therapy, Nelson’s foot was completely healed.
    I would recommend this treatment to anyone who is dealing with an injury that will not heal.

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