Can Laser Therapy Treat My Dog’s Joint Pain?

Sore Joints Can Ruin Your Dog’s Day

There’s nothing worse than seeing your best friend in pain. If your dog has sore joints, it can affect all aspects of his life. Going for a walk, jumping up on your lap for a cuddle, even strolling over to his dinner bowl – nothing is much fun if he is hurting.

Conventional treatment for joint pain is based around a group of drugs known as non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, or NSAID’s. These drugs reduce swelling and inflammation in the joint, and relieve pain very quickly.

Because of the very real risk of side effects with NSAID’s, many dog owners look to more natural ways of easing their dog’s pain. Acupuncture, massage and nutritional supplements such as Joint Resolution can ease painful joints and improve your dog’s enjoyment of life.

More recently, some veterinarians have been using laser therapy to treat pain in dogs. Although there haven’t been any studies into laser therapy in veterinary medicine, many vets find that it does in fact make dogs much more comfortable.

Laser therapy can be used to treat sudden, acute joint injuries such as ligament sprains or strains. It also seems to work well in more long term joint problems such as arthritis in older dogs.

Shine A Little Light On Me

Because laser therapy relies on light rather than heat, this type of therapy is also called phototherapy.

The laser sends a beam of light energy deep into the tissues of the body. This energy has several effects – it reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system, and it increases blood flow to the area being treated, all of which speed healing. It also appears that the light energy causes the body to produce endorphins – the body’s natural pain relieving chemicals.

Some vets believe that lasers can also affect nerve endings, and may stop them sending pain messages to the brain. This hasn’t been proven.

Many laser machines also have an attachment which can direct a fine beam of light energy. Vets may use this to stimulate acupuncture points, and use it as an alternative to acupuncture needles. It works well in dogs who don’t like having needles poked into their skin, or where their sore area is too deep for a needle to reach.

Nobody has yet worked out exactly how lasers work to relieve pain. There are also no specific guidelines to indicate how to use it – either the best intensity of light to use, or for how long to apply the laser to a sore area. Research in rats shows that the length of time the laser is applied to a part of the body seems to be more important than how intense the light is.

He May Feel Better, But Will It Send Him Blind?

When people think of lasers, they usually imagine the laser pointers used in business presentations or during lectures. These can be dangerous if they’re shone directly into your eyes. However, the lasers used in laser therapy emit very low intensity infrared light, and aren’t powerful enough to cause any heat in the body.

Laser therapy has been used as a treatment method since the 1960’s, and has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to be used for pain relief. In the hands of a trained professional, these lasers are very safe and are unlikely to cause your dog any harm.

Will It Work For My Dog?

Although many vets are skeptical about how effective laser therapy really is, there are enough case studies to suggest that it’s worth trying it out. It is safe and there are no side effects, so you won’t do your dog any harm by giving it a go.

Vets usually recommend an initial course of laser therapy, treating a dog every second day for a week, then reducing the treatment to once or twice weekly for another two weeks. Most dogs will need ongoing treatment but this may only be necessary once a month, or even less frequently.

Laser therapy is very new to veterinary medicine; vets must purchase specialized equipment to be able to treat their patients. You may find that there aren’t any vets in your area who can offer this treatment, or it may also not fit in the family budget. If that’s the case, check out Joint Resolution to relieve your dog’s joint pain with no unpleasant side effects. Studies have shown that treating your dog daily with Joint Resolution ‘s type II collagen reduces joint pain, and will leave him feeling much more comfortable .

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