Laser Therapy

When Kiba was injured over 4 years ago (Thanks, Freja!) one of the treatment options we trialed was laser therapy for pain relief.

Laser is actually an acronym. It stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (the “by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” bit comes straight from Einstein’s brain!). Therapeutic lasers are very popular in both small and large animal rehabilitation and can be used for many conditions. These lasers are more powerful than low level lasers, like a laser pointer for example, but less than surgical lasers that cause thermal destruction of cells and tissues. Therapeutic lasers have been reported to accelerate wound and joint healing, promote muscle regeneration, decrease inflammation and pain. 

Specialised rehabilitation clinics may have Class 4 therapeutic laser machines, which have enough power to help heal but can still cause tissue damage. It is possible that if you look at the beam or even if it is reflected, it may burn the skin, or eyes. Consequently, the therapist in charge of the device must take great care in controlling the beam and everyone present needs to wear protective goggles, even your puppy…like my gorgeous boy!

kiba with goggles large

Dr Kathryn Stalder (who also edited my first Ebook) was Kiba’s specialist vet who would use a Class 4 laser when she did home visits. Kiba would receive weekly treatment and get a whole lot of love and attention, not to mention treats, as we tried to keep him still on the couch!

Example of a Vet Laser Machine 

As an adjunct to her therapy Dr Stalder recommended purchasing a Lumasoothe. This is a handheld device that you can use to treat your dog at home. I love contributing to my dog’s treatments and so I purchased one. The Lumasoothe has two different heads that you can use on the main device, one for skin conditions and one for deeper muscle and joint conditions. The one for skin is a colourful one, that we can see, and the deeper one uses infrared (IR) light that we can’t see. I would use the IR one 2-3 times a week over his sore hip muscle at the peak of his pain. You can find out more about this device and its benefits here.

lumasoothe

Lumasoothe – A home based laser therapy option

With both laser therapies, Dr Stalder’s super-special Class 4 and the hand held Lumasoothe I found that Kiba improved; I could see he was limping less on his walks and tolerated them much better than before.

Laser is a great treatment option because it’s both non-medicinal and non-invasive. Although not all treatments will have the same effect for every dog, I do think it’s a treatment option that parents of injured dogs should at least examine.

Here’s to helping your dog live well,

Kylie 

If you would like to read some studies of laser therapy on dogs you can read the following:

Preliminary clinical experience of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis associated pain

Efficacy of low level laser therapy on wound healing in dogs.

Preliminary evaluation of the effects of photobiomodulation therapy and physical rehabilitation on early postoperative recovery of dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy for treatment of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease.

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