Shopping cart

No products in the cart.

Did you know that Dog osteoarthritis can be helped by photo-biomodulation therapy ?

Margot dog

Why should knowing about dog osteoarthritis matter to you?  Your dog is young or old and show no signs of the disease.

But the reality is, that dogs are VERY good at hiding injuries AND  “In veterinary medicine, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most commonly diagnosed joint disease, with a high healthcare cost and impact on patients’ quality of life and welfare. The medical approach to OA aims to slow disease progression; relieve symptoms, particularly pain; and improve overall function.” REF 1

The main way that this painful CHRONIC disease is treats is Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) .  They are “frequently the first line of treatment in OA and are the mainstay of treatment of hip OA. Their popularity is probably due to a rapid efficacy in palliating pain in animals with OA and relative ease of administration.”

But note, we have promoted Shark cartilage for years because of its high levels of natural Glucosamine and chondroitin.

“Two substances that make up cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin, have been studied for osteoarthritis (OA). A number of these studies suggest that chondroitin may help treat OA. In OA, cartilage in the joints breaks down, either because of injury or to normal wear and tear. Chondroitin is often taken with glucosamine.”  Ref 2

We know that some sources say that in human trials there are mixed results.  But the reality is that shark cartilage doesn’t work for EVERY dog either, just most. AND its not a drug you have to buy via a vet.

Here’s just a snippet of the Shark cartilage benefits

“Even more important, when combined with the angiogenesis inhibition properties, which are believed to exist in the proteins, shark cartilage may not only provide inflammation relief, but also inhibit the vascularization of cartilage — often associated with advanced cases of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis …” ref 2

Benefits of FISH SKIN in alleviating OA pain.  

Now back to the value of NSAIDs –  yes they are commonly used, as a band aid, to relieve pain caused by inflammation, but they don’t address what causes that swelling, nor do they repair the cartilage connected to the joint and bone.

How Photobiomodulation might help your dogs osteoarthritis

HAPPY DOGS PLAYING “Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) uses red/near infrared light to produce a clinical effect. Commonly attributed effects of PBMT include stimulation of tissue healing, analgesia, reduced inflammation, and a noninvasive nature allied with a lack of adverse effects.

PBMT helps to modulate cellular functions and is defined as the nonthermal interaction of monochromatic radiation with a target site. This photobiostimulation upregulates the production of ATP, nitric oxide, and reactive oxygen species within cells, alters gene.” transcription, and increases cell proliferation, cellular motility, and growth factor production.  It has been described in the management of canine elbow osteoarthritis, chronic gingivostomatitis, wound healing, and postoperative period.” REF 1


They trialled 40 dogs with the therapy (including a control group).

Patients (DOGS) had a mean age of 8.3 ± 1.9 years and body weight of 65.7 ± 12.1lb.

Osteoarthritis was classified as moderate (26 DOGS) and severe (14 DOGS).

When given the PBMT therapy at +8 days  there was a slight improvement (P = 0.01 for PSS, P = 0.04 for function and COI),

+15 days (P = 0.01 for PSS and function, P = 0.02 for PIS and function, P = 0.03 for COI and P = 0.04 for Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs [LOAD]) and

+30 days (P = 0.01 for function and gait, P = 0.02 for COI, and P = 0.04 for PIS, PSS, and LOAD).

Joint range of motion improved in PBMT from +15 to 90 days. Kaplan-Meier estimators (statistical analysis) showed that PBMT produced longer periods with better results, Than NSADs.


‘Osteoarthritis is the most commonly diagnosed joint disease in veterinary medicine, leading to an impaired mechanical function of the joint and pain.1 Our results show that PBMT can reduce pain levels and improve clinical findings in dogs with hip OA.

The effect of PBMT in the management of canine elbow OA has been described, and treated patients showed significant improvements in lameness and pain scores compared with control.8 Our results show that PBMT can have a similar effect in managing hip OA, even in very active working dogs.” Ref 1


We are happy and excited about any treatment that gets dogs being happier and healthier.

The biggest issues seem to be how long it takes for a human therapy to transition to a dog therapy, and often the HIGH cost of the therapies.

We are much more interested in NATURAL options where possible and things that give lasting benefit. In arthritis it seems that there is more interest in alleviating pain and side effects rather than finding a cure or long term solution to the cause or the pain.

That is why we have promoted shark cartilage and fish skins to assist in the repair and maintenance of dog joints, rather than just masking the issue which is the function of pain relief mediation.

If PBMT is another non pharmaceutical therapy that is fiscally within the reach of owners, and has similar results to nutritional treatments, we welcome it!



REF 1 A randomized double-blinded controlled trial on the effects of photobiomodulation therapy in dogs with osteoarthritis  by João C. Alves,   DVM, MSc, PhD, Ana Santos   DVM, MSc, Patrícia Jorge   DVM , and L. Miguel Carreira  DVM, PhD    Volume/Issue: Volume 83: Issue 8  Online Publication Date:   28 Jun 2022

REF 2     Shark cartilage   www.


Previous reading
Your dog’s amazing Jacobson Organ – and how it enhances their super power of ‘SMELL’ and maybe even taste.
Next reading
Dogs barks, growls, or talking? Do you know the difference?