The science behind the Dog Med Laser

What is Low-Level Laser Therapy?

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that uses specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue in order to help accelerate the healing process. Low-Level Lasers emit photons to stimulate cells to perform specific tasks in the body, such as reducing inflammation and edema, reducing or eliminating pain for a time, and speeding up wound closure. In essence, Low-Level Lasers like the Dog Med Laser teach nerve cells to stop the sensation of pain from reaching the brain. LLLT is the perfect alternative to risky anti-inflammatory medication.

Without light, there is no life

Visible and invisible light is composed of photons. Laser devices generate a beam of coherent monochromatic light by stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules. An example of the action of photons you may be familiar with is photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

The second example is tanning. The sun’s UV photons stimulate melanocytes (cells found in the layer of skin called the epidermis) to increase production of melanin (this is called melanogenesis) and, in turn, pigmentation.

As in nature, photons delivered by Low-Level Lasers stimulate the cells inside human and animal bodies to perform specific tasks, such as reducing or temporarily eliminating pain, reducing inflammation, and accelerating the multiplication of cells to close non-infected wounds faster.

The science of photobiomodulation

Photobiomodulation is the strange scientific (and official) word for Low-Level Laser Therapy.

The use of this term is key, as it distinguishes Low-Level Laser photobiomodulation therapy, which is nonthermal (doesn’t generate heat), from the use of light-based thermal devices used for heating tissues using near-infrared (NIR) lamps.

Learn more about Photobiomodulation from Professor Michael R Hamblin PhD, lead investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine / Massachusetts General Hospital, Professor at Harvard Medical School, the world top Photobiomodulation expert.

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Backed by scientific research

7,000 clinical studies have proven the efficacy of nonthermal Low-Level Lasers to deliver positive effects. Recognized institutions and publications have also vouched for the efficacy of Low-Level Lasers. These include the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, and MIT medical schools.

Dog Med Laser has selected a few abstracts to demonstrate that its claims are validated by the most respected Low-Level Laser researchers and practitioners in the field.

Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.
Hamblin, M. R. – AIMS biophysics, 2017


Photobiomodulation (PBM), also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy, is the use of red and near-infrared light to stimulate healing, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. The primary chromophores have been identified as cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondria and calcium ion channels (possibly mediated by light absorption by opsins). Secondary effects of photon absorption include increases in ATP, a brief burst of reactive oxygen species, an increase in nitric oxide, and modulation of calcium levels. Tertiary effects include activation of a wide range of transcription factors leading to improved cell survival, increased proliferation and migration, and new protein synthesis. There is a pronounced biphasic dose response whereby low levels of light have stimulating effects, while high levels of light have inhibitory effects. It has been found that PBM can produce ROS in normal cells, but when used in oxidatively stressed cells or in animal models of disease, ROS levels are lowered. PBM is able to up-regulate anti-oxidant defenses and reduce oxidative stress. It was shown that PBM can activate NF-kB in normal quiescent cells. However, in activated inflammatory cells, inflammatory markers were decreased. One of the most reproducible effects of PBM is an overall reduction in inflammation, which is particularly important for disorders of the joints, traumatic injuries, lung disorders, and in the brain. PBM has been shown to reduce markers of M1 phenotype in activated macrophages. Many reports have shown reductions in reactive nitrogen species and prostaglandins in various animal models. PBM can reduce inflammation in the brain, abdominal fat, wounds, lungs, and spinal cord.

Laser therapy applications for osteoarthritis and chronic joint pain – A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Marquina, N., Dumoulin-White, R., Mandel, A., & Lilge, L. – & Lasers in Medicine, 2012


Objective: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate an adjunctive treatment modality for pain associated with knee disorders was conducted utilizing a therapeutic laser system (low energy, non-surgical). Subjects and methods: The therapeutic laser system utilized a dual wavelength, multiple diode laser cluster probe with five super-pulsed 905 nm near-infrared (NIR) laser diodes, each emitting at 40 mW average power and four continuous waves 660 nm visible (VIS) red laser diodes, each emitting at 25 mW. It was used as an adjunctive modality providing 12 treatments, three times a week to a homogeneous patient population (n=126), in combination with standardized chiropractic techniques, to evaluate effectiveness on subjects presenting with osteoarthritis and knee pain. The primary endpoint was measured by the visual analog scale (VAS) to assess pain levels on a scale of 0–10. The success criteria for an individual patient in this study was identified as an improvement of 30% or more in the VAS from baseline to 12th treatment and/or an improvement of 20% or more in the VAS from baseline to 30-day follow-up evaluation.

Results: The data obtained in the study demonstrated that the present therapeutic laser system provided significant pain relief and osteoarthritic improvements in all primary evaluation criteria, with a statistical and clinical significance of p<0.01 in VAS from baseline to the 30-day follow-up.

The use of low level laser therapy (LLLT) for musculoskeletal pain.
Cotler, H. B., Chow, R. T., Hamblin, M. R., & Carroll, J. – MedCrave Online Journal of Orthopaedics & Rheumatology, 2015


Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States. One out of
three Americans is affected by chronic pain annually. The number one reason for missed work
or school days is musculoskeletal pain. Currently accepted therapies consist of non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, opiate pain medications, and surgery, each of which
carries their own specific risk profiles. What is needed are effective treatments for pain that
have an acceptably low risk-profile. For over forty years, Low-Level Laser (light) Therapy (LLLT)
and LED (light emitting diode) therapy (also known as photobiomodulation) has been shown to
reduce inflammation and edema, induce analgesia, and promote healing in a range of
musculoskeletal pathologies. The purpose of this paper is to review the use of LLLT for pain, the
biochemical mechanisms of action, the dose response curves, and how LLLT may be employed
by orthopedic surgeons to improve outcomes and reduce adverse events.

With the predicted epidemic of chronic pain in developed countries, it is imperative to validate
cost-effective and safe techniques for managing painful conditions which would allow people to
live active and productive lives. Moreover the acceptance of LLLT (which is currently being used
by many specialties around the world) into the armamentarium of the American health-care
provider would allow for additional treatment options for patients. A new cost-effective
therapy for pain could elevate quality of life while reducing financial strains.

Low-level laser therapy: Case-control study in dogs with sterile pyogranulomatous pododermatitis.
Perego, R., Proverbio, D., Zuccaro, A., & Spada, E. – Veterinary world, 2016

Wound healing


Aim: Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a therapeutic photobiostimulation with properties in reducing swelling, inflammation, and promoting tissue healing. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate LLLT in sterile pyogranulomatous pododermatitis in five dogs.
Materials and Methods: In each dog, one lesion was designated as the control (treated with a 0.0584% hydrocortisone aceponate spray), and one or more other lesions were treated with a gallium aluminum arsenide-laser, daily for 5 days. Lesions were scored before treatment (D0), at the end (D4), 16 days after the last laser treatment (D20), and after 2 months (D65).

Results: Comparing the treated lesion group with the control lesion group, the clinical score was similar at D0, whereas there was a statistically significant difference at D4 and D20; in the treated group over time, there was a statistically significant improvement between D0, D4, and D20. Lesion recurrence was absent in more than 50% of the treated lesions at D65. No adverse reactions were reported.

Conclusion: Given the positive results of this first clinical study, it would be interesting to extend the study to confirm the validity of this type of therapy in sterile pyogranulomatous pododermatitis in the dog.

Dog Med Laser’s manufacturer is a member of the World Association of Laser Therapy (WALT).