If you take part in regular agility training and competitions with your dog, you are probably already more familiar with canine health than most dog owners. But when your pet is wiped out after a long day running through obstacles or develops a soft-tissue injury, you may feel powerless to help your furry friend make a faster recovery. Cold laser therapy has long been used to treat equine athletes, and it is now seeing increasing popularity among canine sports enthusiasts as well. Read on to learn more about this safe and effective form of therapy for agility dogs.
Stimulating Muscle Recovery
The cells within any animals body react when exposed to light, absorbing energy and producing various hormones and chemicals in response. Wavelengths conveying too much energy can damage or even destroy cells, but the cold lasers used in veterinary therapy deliver only a small amount to instead induce a therapeutic reaction. One of the most immediate of these is increasing circulation, which speeds up the healing process of aching muscles to get your dog up and moving again more quickly. One study found that rats treated with laser light therapy exhibited a significantly higher growth of blood vessels and connective muscle tissues than similar control subjects. Besides allowing you to keep a tighter training schedule, promoting stronger muscles also reduces the likelihood of injury during exercises.
Increasing Your Dog's Comfort
Laser therapy also appears to have some use as a pain management tool. It is thought that the cold laser may reduce nerve sensitivity and boost endorphin production, both of which will help your dog ignore the routine wear and tear of competitions and training. This therapy is also especially useful after a soft-tissue injury, when your dog may be stiff or painful but still need to go through physical therapy or simply move around.
Encouraging Faster Healing of Injuries
Not all injuries can be assisted by laser light therapy, but soft-tissue injuries benefit from the same mechanisms that allow veterinary lasers to speed up muscle recovery. By pressing cells in the area to repair themselves and carry oxygen and nutrients more efficiently, you can minimize the time your dog must remain inactive, which is often both psychologically and physiologically hard on active canine athletes. Many veterinarians are now offering laser light therapy for small animals as well as the traditional equine models. If you want to keep your dog performing safely at the highest level, give your local office a call to set up an initial appointment today.