How Effective Is Low Level Laser Therapy For Dogs At Home

Cold laser therapy provides a natural, non-invasive, and drug-free treatment for your dog.

Laser therapy, also called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), cold laser therapy, or photobiomodulation uses visible light radiation to produce a photochemical reaction in the body’s cells. LLLT does not emit heat, which is why it is called cold laser therapy.

During an LLLT session, you will align the laser transmitter over your dog’s painful/affected area. The low-level laser will penetrate its skin without causing pain or damage. The cells will absorb light energy and convert it into cellular energy, suppressing pain and reducing inflammation.

Photobiomodulation is used to stimulate tissue repair, mediate inflammation, and improve mobility by reducing pain in the affected area.

There are over 2500 de studies that show how effective is LLLT on musculoskeletal disorders in humans. For this reason, this type of therapy has also been implemented in pets. Previously, laser therapy was used only in veterinary offices and clinics, but over time, cold laser devices were also designed to be used at home by pet owners.

How effective is LLLT for dogs?

Studies show that LLLT may decrease walking time in dogs with T3-L3 myelopathy secondary to intervertebral disc herniation that have undergone surgery. The study investigated 36 dogs with acute paraparesis/paraplegia due to acute intervertebral disc herniation. Patients were divided into two groups: control group 1 (dogs that underwent surgery only) and laser treatment group 2 (surgery and LLLT). The dogs in group 2 were treated daily with laser therapy for 5 days. The results show that the dogs in group 2 had a decreased walking time compared to group 1.

Another study showed the clinical effects of low-level laser therapy on infected skin wounds in dogs. Two different doses of laser light and a control group were used in this study. 14 dogs with traumatic bites or lacerated wounds were divided into three groups: group A received a dose of LLLT of 6J/cm2, group B – 2J/cm2, and group C received a placebo LLT. Four wavelengths were used simultaneously: 660 nm, 800 nm, 905 nm, and 970 nm, respectively. The results were visible for group B that received 2J/cm2 – patients had improved wound scores.

The effects of LLLT are visible even in dogs suffering from non-inflammatory alopecia. Studies show that dogs’ suffering from this medical condition started to grow hair after LLLT was used. The study included seven different breeds of dogs suffering from non-inflammatory alopecia. Laser therapy was applied twice a week for a maximum of two months to the affected areas. The results of the study show that the fur began to grow in six out of seven dogs, so it is clear that LLLT has some effects on the hair follicle cycle.

According to studies, cold laser therapy is an effective method to reduce inflammation and pain, promote hair growth, and heal or improve infected wounds. LLLT can also be used for oral conditions, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, nerve lesions, anal and perianal fistulas, and others.

When it comes to pain, the effects of cold laser therapy for dogs at home are similar to those provided by nonsteroidal drugs.

LLLT has no side effects, and your dog will not feel anything during a session.

Always follow the recommendations of your veterinarian and the device manufacturer. For best results, use the laser device twice a day for 4 minutes on each affected side or area.

You will see results sooner or later, depending on your dog’s condition. This means you will use the laser device for different periods, depending on your pet’s medical condition. For mild conditions, it may be enough to use LLLT for two weeks, while for severe conditions or extended wounds, it is possible to use it for a month or more. In other words, the more chronic and extensive the lesions or the more intense the pain/inflammation, the more sessions your dog will need.

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