Arthritis is a crippling disease that can take a toll on your once-active pup.  While he used to fetch you a ball, he may now have trouble making it up a full flight of stairs.  This increasingly common ailment is not only an incredibly painful plight for your dog, but it is also difficult for you to watch your formerly vital companion’s quality of life deteriorate.  You may have tried traditional medications, with little relief, and are searching for a method that will bring your dog some comfort.  Wisconsin Pet Care’s 3-part series on alternative, holistic approaches to health and wellness comes to a close with: Veterinary Laser Therapy.

Lasers sound a little intimidating, but if you set the espionage connotations aside, they really have given us a way to do many procedures without resorting to more invasive techniques.  From banishing varicose veins to improving your eyesight, humans have been utilizing the rapid recovery benefits of laser treatments for decades.  You may not have given much thought to this practice for Fido because laser treatment for animals is one of the newest forms of alternate therapy.  But for older dogs (who can’t bounce back from surgery as fast as their puppy counterparts), and those with severe joint pain (who may not be able to handle the initial challenges of traditional physical therapy), laser therapy could give them back their zest for life!

So what is laser therapy?  Well, it’s actually a “cold” laser therapy.  A “cold” laser is an industry term for Low Light Level (or LLL) laser – aka. Not strong enough to burn a hole through a safe, but plenty strong enough to perk up the damaged cells that have been causing your dog so much pain.  Photo-biotherapy uses concentrated light to stimulate cell metabolism, which improves its health and functionality.  So what do healthy cells do for your dog?  Well, healthy cells are happy cells and they will improve blood circulation, decrease nerve sensitivity, and aid in the release of nature’s painkillers (endorphins).

Does it really work?  Reports have shown that over 70% of pet patients have reduced inflammation, swelling and pain with the use of laser treatments.  You will want to ensure that your veterinarian is a licensed practitioner in Veterinary Laser Therapy.  While it is not an invasive technique, and the low level light does not pose any danger to your dog, a certified therapist will have the training needed to provide the best outcome from the procedure.

How many treatments does your dog receive before seeing any results?  The investment of time spent receiving laser therapy depends on many variables, including the severity of your dog’s joint condition, his overall health and his age.  However, most patients receive some form of immediate relief.  There is no automatic fix for arthritic joints, but the pain lessens each time.  Your dog may start off doing little things that indicate his pain has eased up, and after awhile you just might be back to playing games of fetch.  Which is what the ultimate goal is for any pet owner – to have your healthy and active canine be able to do all the things dogs like doing.

If your pet is dealing with an illness that has not been successfully treated by traditional veterinary medicine, or you want to explore some non-invasive therapies, alternative veterinary medicine may be the answer.  Not all alternative approaches work for every dog.  It is possible that you will need to explore several options before finding a method that works best for your pup.  Congruently, Wisconsin Pet Care feels that it is important to make you aware of these advances in pet medicine.  Do research, get a second opinion, and don’t be afraid to seek out new ways of healing.  The extra effort in championing for your dog’s healthcare will be met with the reward of a long and pain-free life with your favorite companion.