Lasers Help Dogs Heal
Low-level laser therapy offers dogs gentle treatment for several medical disorders.
Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.
Many natural therapies are available to help your dog. One such therapy that’s popular with holistic veterinarians and pet owners is low-level laser therapy. Although laser therapy can offer therapeutic benefits for many problems, it’s not a cure-all.
Here are some points to keep in mind when considering laser therapy for your dog:
- As is true with any natural therapy, lasers can treat a number of medical disorders. Commonly, they are used to help dogs with nervous system disorders (such as intervertebral disc disease) and musculoskeletal problems (such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, strains and sprains).
- Lasers are not usually used as a sole therapy, but as an adjunctive therapy along with other natural therapies, such as herbs, nutritional supplements, and homeopathics.
- Laser therapy is easy to administer, usually taking only two to three minutes per treatment.
- When properly used, laser therapy is considered to be free of side effects.
- Laser therapy is not painful for your dog.
- Laser therapy is cost-effective.
- Several companies provide lasers to veterinarians, and all lasers are not created equal. Ask your veterinarians if the laser used on your dog has shown effectiveness in research trials or based upon clinical experience. Ideally, the laser should be FDA approved to ensure effectiveness and safety.
- The number of treatments required varies based upon your dog’s condition. In my practice, I have found the twice-weekly treatments for a minimum of four weeks is usually effective. After this initial series of treatments, laser therapy is performed on an as-needed basis to keep the dog healthy and disease-free.
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