Monday April 16, 2018
The importance of human-animal bonds has been documented throughout history and across cultures, so it’s no wonder why people value their companion animals so highly. They want the best care for them, especially as they age, so they review the quality of the veterinary medicine they get for their pet very closely. Unfortunately, many companion dogs begin to suffer from arthritis, and although the condition cannot be cured, pain management for dogs can be highly rewarding for owners as well as veterinarians.
Veterinarians can promote arthritis relief for dogs by suggesting the following to owners:
- Over-the-counter pain relief options like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This or prescription pain medications should be the first step.
- Weight management and nutritional joint support.
- Physical rehabilitation to enhance mobility and improve pet activity levels as they age.
- Acupuncture, which has become increasingly popular in veterinary medicine.
Beyond these options, low-level laser therapy has become an emerging and promising treatment modality for a variety of medical conditions – including dog arthritis pain relief. It promotes improved clinical outcomes by leveraging non-drug, non-toxic techniques, which many pet owners find relieving.
Veterinary Laser Therapy – How It Works
Laser therapy refers to a form of light to stimulate energy production. Pet laser therapy is effective for pain reduction and healing due to its unique physical properties and ability to stimulate injured cells to heal at an accelerated pace. Pet laser therapy can help block pain signals from being sent to the brain, which ultimately works to decrease nerve sensitivity. It helps to resolve inflammation and does not involve the use of medications. Veterinary laser therapy is non-invasive, completely drug-free, safe and effective.
With respect to dog arthritis treatment, veterinarians can recommend that owners start pet laser therapy two to three times each week, and then decrease the number of sessions gradually. Beyond arthritis, other conditions that can be treated with pet laser therapy include:
- Injuries to the muscles, ligaments or tendons
- Post-surgical and soft tissue trauma
- Back pain
- Ear infections
- Open wounds and hot spots
- Degenerative disc disease
- Anal gland infections
What to Expect from Veterinary Laser Therapy
Veterinarians apply the laser over the painful area for just a few moments. In-office procedures can be done quickly with the powerful ACTIVet PRO clinical laser, or owners can rent a My Pet Laser for home use to avoid clinical visits with their pets. Pet laser therapy has no known side effects – it is considered safe and effective . Laser treatment for pets is completely pain-free and provides almost immediate comfort. The animal will feel either a gentle and soothing warmth, tingling or no sensation at all. Anxiety and tension tends to dissipate quickly during pet laser therapy.
Recent Innovations in LLLT in Veterinary Medicine
New for 2018 is the ACTIVet PRO LaserShower, a product designed for larger animals, like horses. It is a cordless, portable laser therapy system that is able to deliver treatment to a greater surface area – about 4x the coverage area that standard emitters can reach. The size of the ACTIVet PRO LaserShower helps light reach a larger surface area without having to move the emitter, which helps avoid excessive reactive oxygen species that could lead to phototoxicity and apoptosis. Other features include:
- Rechargeable battery with up to six hours of continuous use
- Shorter treatment times for bigger animals
- Protective travel silicone sleeve
- 455 nm blue light for bacteria and wound management.
Despite its popularity, pet laser treatment is not offered at all veterinary practices, so doing so can help you have a competitive advantage while helping your pet patients feel pain relief faster. For more information about LLLT in veterinary medicine, you can download The Veterinary Pillars Paper.