Can Laser therapy help my dog?

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as photobiomodulation (PBM), is a form of treatment commonly used by human and animal physiotherapists in a variety of situations, which involves using low-intensity lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate cellular function. It is non-invasive and typically used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing of tissues. The light used in LLLT is a specific wavelength, usually in the red or near-infrared spectrum, which penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the cells, leading to various therapeutic effects.

How does it work?

When a laser device is applied to the skin, the underlying cells absorb photons from the laser or LED light, primarily by chromophores within the mitochondria. The absorbed energy enhances mitochondrial function, which leads to increased production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is effectively cellular energy, which helps to optimise the body's own healing processes. Canine physiotherapists will typicall use what are know as Class 3B lasers, which are the most powerful you can use without specialist equipment and training.
In addition, LLLP exposure can modulate reactive oxygen species, which play a role in cell signalling and repair processes. This means that not only is cellular energy increased, but cells can proliferate and migrate more effectively, aiding in tissue repair and regeneration. This leads to a reduction in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines whilst increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines.

What conditions do dog physios use laser for?

Primarily, canine physiotherapists use LLLT to alleviate pain and promote healing. Typically it will be used to treat:

1. Arthritis and Joint Pain.
Although arthritic conditions acnnot be reversed, regualr laser therapy can significantly reduce the amount of inflammation within the joint, which in turns reduces pain and discomfort. This type of therapy is most effective in conjunction with a good quality joint supplement which helps to improve overall joint health.

2. Wound Healing:
Laser therapy can accelerate the healing of wounds, including surgical incisions, injuries, and skin ulcers, by promoting tissue repair and reducing inflammation.

3. Soft Tissue Injuries:
LLLT is effective in treating strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries, speeding up the recovery process.

4. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD):
Dogs with IVDD can benefit from LLLT as reducing the inflammation associated with a disc injury can help to restore the underlying nerve function, improving mobility and reducing the need for surgery.

5. Hip Dysplasia.
Dysplasic will not only have pain within the hips, but will also have other compensatory issues menaing laser therapy is extremely useful for dog phsyios with these types of clients

6. Post-Surgical Recovery:
After surgery, LLLT aids faster healing of tissues, reduces pain and swelling, and optimises recovery times.

7. Skin Conditions:
Dogs with dermatological conditions such as dermatitis or hot spots can benefit from LLLT due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

8. Neurological Conditions: LLLT may help in managing pain and improving function in dogs with certain neurological conditions, although more research is needed in this area.

Is laser therapy safe?

LLLT is generally considered safe with minimal side effects. Common side effects, if any, may include temporary redness or a slight tingling sensation at the treatment site. Proper training and appropriate equipment usage are essential to avoid eye exposure to the laser light, which can be harmful.

In summary, low-level laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment which can be used in a variety of situations by dog physiotherapists to aid comfort and promote healing. If you would like any advice regarding your dog and if physiotherapy can help, contact Scott on 07787 568581, or send us a message

Can Laser therapy help my dog?