CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Laser therapy is something you may have heard of in terms of human medicine. But did you know that lasers can also play a big role in easing pain in your dog? 

"The catchphrase is it works by 'photobiomodulation.' I think that is just a fancy way of saying photons of energy penetrate tissue and it affects it on a cellular level," said veterinarian Dr. Denette Cooke.

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That sounds like a lot of science, but it is backed by results. What kind of issues can it help with for my dog?

According to Dr. Cooke, "Generally it helps with wound healing. It also helps with inflammation and it helps with pain. So we are basically looking at it for musculoskeletal problems, joint problems, especially chronic problems."

So how does the procedure work? The laser is self-contained in a rather small, rolling machine. It warms up and you select the areas you want to treat.

First things first though: before you get underway, safety goggles are necessary. Or as they like to call them... doggles.

bentley doggles dog goggles
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This procedure is painless for your pup. The laser beam is focused over the part of the body affected. To the touch the laser is warm, but it penetrates the tissue and facilitates relief and healing.

The whole procedure can take less than 20 minutes but may be longer if you are treating more than one area at a time.

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How do we know it works?

"Research on laser is still somewhat inconclusive," explained Dr. Cooke. "Western medicine likes to do studies to know the nth degree of it. But anecdotally, it is a very powerful tool and that is why our veterinarians use that."

Even after just one treatment, it seems to have helped Bentley some. As he’s gotten older, his hips have been a source of some discomfort and pain. But after this treatment he seemed to be in just a bit less discomfort!

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To learn more about laser therapy and how it may help your dog you can contact Dr. Cooke at Cooke Veterinary in Chesapeake.