Unfortunately, arthritis can happen to both humans and our best canine friends. It’s heartbreaking that dogs can have arthritis, but good news:
Thankfully, a new treatment can help.
Laser therapy for dogs with arthritis.
Because it is a pain-free, non-invasive treatment, it’s become a popular way to help dogs with arthritis. We created this guide to give you more information on how it works.
You are about to learn:
- How to know if your dog might have arthritis
- The benefits of laser treatment for arthritis
- How laser therapy for dogs works
- If your dog will need to be shaved or sedated
- How long a dog laser session takes
- How many times it takes for laser therapy to work
- Other things to look out for in an older dog
Let’s share how this innovative treatment may be able to help bring relief to your precious pup (who might have aged a bit but is still a pup to you!)
How to Know: Does My Dog Have Arthritis?
Humans can share how they feel (and, from time to time…even overshare.)
Dogs are the opposite.
They can lick your face and howl at the moon but, as much we wish, cannot specifically state their emotions. Just like licks mean love, other actions can reveal the symptoms of arthritis.
It’s best to consult with your veterinarian to confirm if your dog has arthritis. In the meantime, there are signs to look for.
Actions that can show if your dog has arthritis are:
- Limping or tending to use one leg over another
- Reluctance to do activities they once did, such as quickly bounding up and down the stairs
- A hunched back due to arthritis in the spine
- Seeming more lethargic on a daily basis
- Being grouchier, especially if handled near a certain area. (It may have arthritis, and touching can increase pain.)
Look out for these symptoms as telltale signs of arthritis; if concerned, take them to the vet to confirm because signs could mean alternative issues, as well.
The Benefits of Arthritis Laser Treatment for Dogs
Once a vet has confirmed a diagnosis, it’s time to look at treatments. The laser therapy has this overall goal:
To stimulate cell regeneration and increase your dog’s blood circulation, in order to accelerate healing and provide relief from arthritis.
Some of the main benefits of laser therapy are:
- It is pain-free.
- Your dog does NOT have to be sedated.
- The treatment takes a fairly short amount of time.
Learn more details and upsides to laser treatment in the steps below.
How Does Dog Laser Therapy Work?
As shared by the Canine Health Foundation, “Lasers are nothing more than a beam of light that travels at a certain frequency that allows the laser to generate heat and penetrate tissue (and cells).”
This process of using carefully created lasers helps relieve the pain of arthritis by releasing endorphins. Also, when the laser stimulates injured cells, this helps them heal at a faster rate.
When you go into an appointment with your dog, here is what the process looks like:
In this simple treatment, a laser wand is used on the affected arthritic area. As the light is emitted across your pup, they may even enjoy the experience. The laser gives a warm, comforting sensation and can potentially give some instant relief.
In fact, some dogs even fall asleep during this treatment!
It’s somewhat like a spa treatment, really.
Will My Dog Need to Be Shaved or Sedated?
Good news: Because lasers are simply a beam of light, typically dogs do not need to be shaved or sedated during this procedure.
How Long Does a Dog Laser Session Take?
Time varies from location to location and based on the animal.
According to this veterinary establishment, featured on ABC News, “the therapy can take as little as eight to 10 minutes on a small dog or cat, or about a half hour for bigger dogs with more arthritic areas.”
How Many Times Does it Take for Laser Therapy to Work?
Typically, there is a noticeable improvement after just one visit.
To build on that healing, more visits are typically recommended.
Depending on your dog and the type of laser treatment, it is likely to require a higher frequency of visits (such as a few times per week) and then decrease over time. The amount of therapy sessions is based on the response of your pet and its unique needs.
If the arthritis is farther along, your dog will probably benefit from more sessions.
Seek Additional Ways to Care for Your Older Dog?
If you have an aging dog with arthritis, it’s good to be aware of other issues to look out for and treat, too.Talk to your vet about how to care for senior dogs and other helpful tips.