Treating Arthritis in Dogs Using Laser Therapy
Arthritis is a joint disease that causes pain and stiffness in dogs. It affects four out of five dogs. Arthritis is often associated with older dogs, but research shows that even younger dogs can be diagnosed with the disease. Medication, nutraceuticals, and sometimes surgery have been the main treatment options for arthritis.
While these methods are effective, modern treatments like laser therapy have also been used to treat this condition. Veterinary laser therapy is non-invasive and painless making it easy to administer right in the veterinarian’s office. Our veterinarians at Village Veterinary Clinic in Burke would like to explain how laser therapy works.
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy uses non-ionizing forms of light to stimulate safe, non-thermal reactions within the cells to enhance healing. The technology was developed in the 1960s, but at the time, it was mostly used in computers, fiber optics, manufacturing, and military weapons. Only recently in 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Class 4 Lasers for medical use in human and veterinary medicine. The therapy is believed to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and treat chronic conditions like arthritis.
Studies show that the treatment reduces pain and alters the inflammatory response caused by arthritis using several mechanisms. First, it reduces bradykinin production, which induces pain and inflammatory markers like interleukin one beta in the tendons and ligaments.
The treatment also reduces the neutrophils in the joint fluid, further relieving the pain and increasing joint function and mobility. Research also shows that this therapy accelerates bone healing and recovery of the atrophied muscles. It should be noted that these effects are more prominent when combined with other treatments for arthritis.
How Many Sessions Does a Dog Need?
The number of sessions varies depending on the severity of the condition, the dog’s age, and weight. Our veterinarians may recommend a session or two per week for a month or more. However, if a pet continues to exhibit on-going or intermittent stiffness or soreness, laser treatments can certainly be extended on an as-needed basis. One of the great benefits of this treatment is that the sessions do not take long. In most cases a 15-20 minute treatment per visit will be therapeutic.
Contact Us for Dog Laser Therapy in Burke, VA
Has your dog developed joint stiffness, pain, and reduced activity over the years? It may have arthritis but our veterinarians at Village Veterinary Clinic can help. Call us today at (703) 978-8655 to schedule an appointment. We can answer any questions that you may have and discuss if laser therapy can help your furry friend feel better.