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How To Relieve Arthritis Pain With Cold Laser Therapy For Dogs

Last updated on November 13, 2019

The reality of cold laser therapy for dogs is something I know a lot about. My Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, tore both of his ACLs (anterior cruciate ligament) within one year of each other. We tried conservative management including a custom knee brace and laser therapy for dogs at a rehabilitation center.

Despite our best efforts to prevent his ACL partial tear from advancing to a full tear with rest, a brace, and laser therapy, my dog had extracapsular repair x2. It was the best thing for Dexter, and if your dog is facing the same fate, you can read more about our decision to have ACL surgery.

During the postoperative period and in rehab, Dexter’s therapist made use of class 4 laser treatment for dogs. There are different classes of canine laser therapy we’ll discuss shortly, but what stood out most to me was the efficacy of the treatment on my dog’s recovery.

Dexter undergoing rehab at vet
This is Dexter at the rehab place years ago.

At the time, six dog laser therapy treatments at a rehab center for animals cost $250. Our pet health insurance covered a substantial portion of that, which helped allay the cost of the surgery, postop visits, and recovery. I asked the therapist if I could buy a cold laser for Dexter and do additional treatments at home. At the time, this was not an option, but canine medicine is on par with its human counterpart these days.

If you are like me and wish you could give your dog pain relief from arthritis, perhaps help him in wound healing, or help reduce inflammation from pain as joints age, you’ve come to the right place.

The folks at Dog Med Laser asked if I would test their low-level laser on Dexter in exchange for an honest review. I’ve been approached by various cold laser companies in the past, but the price of the product was way beyond my budget. I don’t have $2,900 sitting around, and if I was going to need intensive arthritis treatment for my dog, I would take Dexter back to the rehab center for regular treatments. They piqued my interest and here’s why.

dog getting laser therapy

This post contains some affiliate links for which I earn a small income if you click through and purchase something on the links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

Dog Med Laser Cold Therapy For Dogs

I had a lot of questions about laser treatments, especially if they are safe, effective, affordable, and show improvement for the long term.

The Dog Med Laser is a laser device class 2. The Food and Drug Administration classifies laser from Class 1 to Class 4. Low-level lasers use wavelengths between 600 and 1,000 nm, or wavelengths, and power levels from 5 to 500 mW. That sounds really scientific and it is, so I investigated, talked to some pros in the know, and I’ll reveal those findings in a few moments.

The Dog Med Laser is affordably priced at $499 and comes with a 90-day peace of mind guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied 100% after 90 days, you can return it for your money back. I love a company that stands behind its word.

The low-level laser you receive comes with a few things, and it is very easy to use. From unboxing to use, it took about 10 minutes, most of which were used charging the laser unit.

There are three settings on the Dog Med Laser, which are all programmed and activated with the tap of a button:

  • Program 1: Designed for use on all forms of inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, such as hip, elbow, and knee dysplasia. It can also be used for tendon swelling, patellar luxation, which my first Cocker had, and any type of carpal sprain. This setting lasts five minutes.
  • Program 2: Works best on chronic and acute nerve pain. This setting lasts eight minutes.
  • Program 3: Designed to accelerate wound closure. This setting lasts four minutes.

Fun Fact: The Dog Med Laser was developed by Antares Technologies, manufacturer of certified medical PhotoBioModulation lasers for humans, used to reduce inflammation, reduce or eliminate pain and accelerate wound healing, and they have over 15 years of experience in this field.

cold laser therapy for dogs treatment

Dog Med Laser By The Numbers

Before recommending a product to Fidose of Reality readers, I always test them with my own dog and provide image and video reviews. I am a dog mom first, so I wanted to be sure this cold laser was safe for dogs and also was strong enough to help my Cocker Spaniel’s arthritis.

  • Wavelength: 635 nM, which tells you how deep the laser will penetrate the dog’s tissue and skin surface. Since most low-level lasers use wavelengths between 600 and 1,000 nm, I am happy about this number.
  • Power level (mW): 21.5, which is the range of most home-use laser therapy devices for dogs. Some of these cold laser treatments can go as high as the thousands, but for a class 2 in-home laser for my dog, this is fine. How powerful a laser isn’t necessarily indicative of its efficacy.
  • $499 per unit with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Is This The Same Cold Laser My Dog’s Veterinarian Uses?

Yes and no.  It is similar to devices manufactured by the most respected low-level laser manufacturers which are found in veterinary practices worldwide.

Class 4 lasers found in some vet clinics and rehab centers can be dangerous if not used properly. They must be used with protective goggles and can not only burn but damage the skin if overused or used improperly. Class 4 lasers are coded by the FSA in the same category as topical heating lamps.

The Dog Med Laser does not generate heat. The effect it has on a dog’s body is called photobiomodulation, which is a super fancy word for helping the body’s cells perform specific tasks. The photons from the laser stimulate a dog’s cells so that healing and pain reduction may occur. The price tag of this laser is much easier on the pocketbook, too.

control inflammation with in home care

Do Pet Lasers For Home Use Hurt A Dog?

The Dog Med Laser power used is 21.5, which is extremely low but effective. It does not deliver heat and is completely painless. I tried it on my own skin, on different body parts repeatedly. I did not feel anything when I tested it on my own body.

Users of the Dog Med Laser need not wear protective glasses when it is used although you should not stare into the laser beams, as is common sense.

Dog Med Laser Test For Dog Arthritis Treatment

Millions of dogs are affected with some form of arthritis, especially as our beloved pups age. Dexter has arthritis in his back and occasionally has a soft tissue injury flare up in his right shoulder and neck region. He is an active dog who likes to jump for a ball, so sometimes his 11-year-old joints and muscles take a beating.

Cocker spaniel jumping up high

During the four-week period of time we tested the Dog Med Laser, Dexter aggravated his soft tissue injury in his shoulder and neck. This injury produces a limp in his right front leg, followed by a few days of a hobbled gait. If you’ve ever had a dog limping on the front leg, we wrote all about that.

Because I know Dexter has arthritis in his back and a confirmed soft tissue injury, I tried the therapeutic laser with the following results.

cold laser therapeutic for dogs

How My Dog Reacted To Cold Laser Therapy

The Dog Med Laser is nearly ready right out of the box. You get everything needed to charge the unit and get started. It comes with two brush heads, depending on if your dog has long or medium hair. If you have a short-haired dog, you still want to keep the red diodes about one inch above the surface of the skin.

After easily applying the brush head of choice, charging the unit in the provided unit, we got started. You just hit the on-switch to turn the unit on and then press the mode switch one time for program one, two times for program two, or three times for program three.

Here’s the actual video of Dexter during a typical treatment with the Dog Med Laser.

 

He was very relaxed, fell asleep a few times, or would stand for me as if it were a relaxing massage. Ask me how happy this made me as a dog mom and I’d tell you I was ecstatic!

I used the cold laser twice a day for three weeks. Every dog’s reaction will be different, and I liken the treatments to a non-medicated version of therapy without the harmful side effects, either. After about a week, Dexter no longer had the hobbled gait. We restricted his jumping outside, but he was still allowed to jump up and down off the couch.

I saw a noticeable improvement without the use of pain medications. The only supplements Dexter takes are for CoQ10 for a healthy heart, an omega fish oil, and Dasuquin for joint coating. The Dog Med Laser clearly made a difference.

Since I am now the proud owner of this cold laser treatment, I plan to use it regularly. We’ve moved on to the spine and hips as well, and Dexter just thinks he is getting brushed or massaged. Seriously, it’s that simple.

If your dog has arthritis, joint or mobility issues, I highly recommend this laser for pain relief and as a device to use every day. The noninvasive treatment uses light to stimulate cells and increase blood circulation. Cold laser therapy is NOT recommended for animals that have cancer, as cold laser can stimulate blood flow to cancer cells.

Since like people, dogs don’t take one pill and all their arthritis pain is gone, the same holds true with the cold laser treatments. This is not an alternative therapy but an integrative one that should be used in tandem with other things to control arthritis pain in dogs.

For us, controlling arthritis pain in Dexter means a whole food healthy diet free of preservatives, no chemicals, titers and not routine vaccines, a healthy weight, supplements, an active mind with physical exercise, and now the Dog Med Laser.

Get more questions answered on the frequently asked questions page here.

As a bonus, I like that I can give my dog in-home treatments with this cold laser without having to pay for rehab fees, gas to get there, and time out of my workday. I’d do anything for my dog, and that’s why I like using this in-home cold laser treatment every day. Besides, Dexter now looks forward to it and wags when he sees the laser in my hand.

If your dog cannot have ACL surgery due to pre-existing conditions or risk of anesthesia, I would highly recommend close laser treatments like this from the comfort of home. It is recommended you do this at least twice a day for maximum efficacy.

How To Order The Dog Med Laser For Dogs

Because I saw success with the product and plan to keep using it, I became an affiliate for Dog Med Laser. You can simply follow my link here to purchase your very own cold laser therapy for dogs. You must use my link to purchase and do not be fooled by fakes. This is the real deal.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried cold laser therapy for your dog and if not, would you consider it? Bark at us below in the comments. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, meaning if you click on a link above and then make a purchase, Fidose of Reality will receive a small commission with no extra cost to you. You help us keep the site up and running and in exchange, you get to shop for items you love. Wags!

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