Laser Therapy for Snake Bites: Something You Wouldn’t Think Cold Laser Could Be Good For

Lasers are one of the most underutilized treatment modalities in the veterinary world.

A cold laser is one of the safest and most effective devices to utilize.

Laser treatment offers the following benefits:

  • increases healing
  • decreases pain
  • reduces unwanted scar tissue
  • decreases bacterial counts
  • reduces inflammation, etc.

Jasmine was getting cold laser along with her physical therapy but when she had the foot infection, she got that lasered too. With Cookie, we use it regularly during her PT appointments as well.

Further information about laser therapy: Laser Therapy for Dogs: Can Photon Power Help Your Dog?

Laser Therapy for Snake Bites: Something You Wouldn't Think Cold Laser Could Be Good For

Venomous snake bites

Could cold laser be also used to treat a snake bite?

A bite by a venomous snake needs to be treated quickly and aggressively. The severity depends on how much venom was injected by the snake.

What will snake venom do to the dog? 

Snake venom contains enzymes and other proteins that target the nervous system and the blood cells and cause tissue death. Venomous snake bites also cause severe pain.

Dog snake bites laser therapy

The story

The dog in this story sustained a snake bite on the mouth and needed help fast.

The front desk receptionist yells out, “Snake bite, STAT!!!”, and here she comes flying into the rear treatment area, being tugged by a blur of an out-of-control black Irish setter. 

Trying to maintain her balance, she yells out over the howls of the dog, “this dog has been bitten by a snake and needs help fast!”.

Severe swelling

Both his top and bottom lips were swelling rapidly. The hospital doesn’t stock anti-venom and they had to decide very soon whether this patient needed to be transferred to a trauma and emergency hospital.

The dog was put on standard IV treatment. The staff was waiting to see whether the treatment was having an effect or if the dog was headed for a transfer.

The goal of treatment is to minimize and reverse the effects of the venom as well as pain management.

Meanwhile, the swelling was getting worse.

Dr. Kuwahara decided to laser the dog’s lips, to see if it would reduce the swelling. And, indeed, the swelling started to go down. Encouraged, Dr. Kuwahara kept on with the treatment.

By the end of the treatment, both lips had decreased in size tremendously.

The dog was not acting like a typical snake bite victim. There was no apparent pain or sloughing necrotic tissue. Instead, he was presenting symptoms more typical of a bee, spider, scorpion, or other insect bites

Within four hours the dog could go home with no need for transfer to an emergency hospital.

Read the full story at Dr. Mahaney’s blog: Cold Laser Therapy Helps a Snake Bite Victim

This story was posted by Dr. Patrick Mahaney as part of FlexPet’s Summertime Pet Safety Series. The story is based on a case report by Dr. Yukiko Kuwahara, DVM, who treated a nasty snake bite with Multi Radiance Medical Laser.

Related articles:
Laser Therapy for Dogs: Can Photon Power Help Your Dog?

Categories: Alternative treatmentsConditionsLaser therapyReal-life StoriesSnake bites

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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