Laser Therapy for Dogs

By: DogTrekker Staff
dog at the vet
Maestro enjoying his LASER therapy session. (CC) Rhona Mae Arca

Dr. Erin Troy, Muller Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek

Did you know that your dog can benefit from LASER therapy? LASER is Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation…but what does all that mean?  Low-level LASER therapy is the use of light to stimulate biological processes in the tissue to which it is applied. These processes can include wound healing, reduction of swelling, increased formation of blood vessels, increased production of ATP, and some antimicrobial activity.

This is a painless, drug free way to help an animal heal from trauma, surgery or a chronic condition. There are many opportunities to help your dog with LASER therapy. Some of these include wound healing, muscle injury, tendon and ligament tears, chronic pain management, IVDD, neurological injury, lick granuloma, stomatitis, rhinitis, trauma and bruising.

Most patients do not need to be sedated or restrained for LASER treatments and many lie comfortably for each session. Some conditions take just a few treatments and others can take longer. The treatment time varies with the size of the area or areas that are being treated. The effects are cumulative and as such the more often they are done the sooner effects may be seen.

If administered correctly there are no side effects with this therapy and it provides treatment at the location where the injury or pain is located. A veterinarian should directly supervise all patients undergoing LASER therapy. Not all LASERs are alike and it is important to know why the LASER is to be used, where the LASER is to be used and how the LASER is to be used. Class 4 LASERs can pose more risk than the class 3 LASERs so be sure to ask about risks to your pet. LASER is an ideal treatment for dogs that are intolerant of traditional medications but it can also be a big part of a multimodal pain management program for all dogs.