A couple of months ago my bulldog with hip dysplasia underwent laser treatment. Before the treatment he was on an arthritis medication, Deramaxx, for the pain and now he's no longer on any painkillers. That's good for two reasons. One, the Deramaxx is not cheap; it's about $200 wholesale for a 9 month supply. Two, the Deramaxx can cause liver damage. Expensive bloodwork is required every six months to check the liver.
The laser treatment comprised of seven initial sessions. The vet usually does six, but my bulldog was still sensitive after the last one, so we did another session. I purchased the sessions in blocks of six for about $250. The sessions should be performed about every other day. Fortunately, I was able to work from home the two weeks he was getting the treatment so I could easily take him to the vet.
During the session, a high-powered laser is simply moved across the treated areas. The vet and I wore some type of protective glasses in case the beam reflected off the floor or something. The laser penetrates about 4 inches into the flesh and, I guess, destroys the bad tissue. The flesh becomes warm which disturbed my bulldog at first. During the first session he had to be muzzled for a while until he relaxed. The process is very simple; most of the time it was a technician performing the treatment and not the vet.
The effect is not permanent, but its duration varies. For my bulldog, I noticed him having difficulties navigating the stairs after about six weeks. Unfortunately for him, I didn't schedule another session for two more weeks. About three days after the session, he could climb the stairs with ease again. The vet said that the duration of the treatments grows after time. I'll be keeping an eye on my bulldog and schedule another one when he slows down again.
If your dog has arthritis or hip dysplasia, laser treatment should be seriously considered. I'm happy that he's running around more, no longer risking liver damage, and saving me money.