Does dog laser therapy work?
Well, I can tell you this. After our dog laser therapy and rehabilitation
session, Darcy was walking like she had never had a knee injury. The appointment last for a little over an hour and in that time, Darcy did every exercise the therapist could think of, muscle stimulation and laser therapy.
Darcy still absolutely loves going to the holistic vet. I really do love the experience of going there as well. Our dog therapist thought that Darcy would be tired after everything we did in the visit, but she wasn’t at all. She wanted her backyard walks and her carrot exercise session when we got home. I was happy to see that Darcy has maintained her weight, well she lost 1 lb. We were prescribed to go on outside the yard walks and to increase the walks by 1 minute per day. We are both loving that! I also have an EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) unit from my back surgeries and am doing sessions with Darcy to strengthen her muscles at home. The therapist gave me what settings to use and I do this for Darcy in the evenings for about 10 minutes. It also has an IF (Interferential Stimulation) setting for inflammation and I use that for another 10 minutes. The therapist had me bring my little machine in and wants one like mine! Darcy just hangs out with the electrodes on her muscles, kind of sniffs at them when the muscles are flexing, but doesn’t try to get up. We just use aloe vera gel, or electrode gel between the electrode and her muscle and the dog hair doesn’t stick to it. I don’t have a laser to do the laser therapy unfortunately. But, I have been reading up on it and found a good article explaining laser therapy on AKC Canine Health Foundation. You can read about it here.
The therapist was very happy with Darcy’s progress and gave us two additional exercises to incorporate into our dog workout sessions. They are Paws Up where Darcy puts her paws on a Dyna Disc and holds the position with her weight on her hind legs. I use this to stand on for increasing my own balance. We’re still in the training phase of getting her to put both front paws up on it, but she’s getting better! I started with a pillow to teach her the command “paws” to let her know I want her front paws to go on something and now she will put them on the disc. The other exercise is to have her walk backwards. Dogs really use their hamstrings to move backward so this is an excellent muscle building exercise. The therapist also said that because I have been so diligent about doing her at home care that I did not need to come in to see her again, but to call her in two weeks and she would email me more exercises because she knows I’ll have Darcy do them. And, we are just going to do a follow-up visit with the vet in four weeks to get a check up on how Darcy is doing. She also said that anytime Darcy starts to limp, or her knee gets swollen to ice it for 10 minutes with a towel. Darcy again seems to enjoy this.
Now, all I need is an at home laser therapy machine and we’ll be all set! 🙂
I wish I had found this vet at the beginning of our journey, but I am so glad I found her now. I’m still very happy with choosing conservative management for Darcy’s dog knee injury and I think Darcy is too!
We had a guest over this weekend and he said that he couldn’t tell Darcy had been injured at all. He met her three years ago and said there was no difference. That’s so good to hear. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when your wading right in it.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or comments. Take care.