Pet Cold Laser Therapy

Modern veterinary medicine uses laser therapy to treat a range of conditions, including chronic pain in animals.

Pet Cold Laser Therapy

What is this therapy, and how can it help my pet?

Cold Laser Therapy works by using a laser light that is concentrated into an area of inflammation or pain. As the name suggests, this laser is not one that can cause a burn or heat due to the wavelength of the light, so it’s very comfortable when used on our pets.

The laser works by introducing light to inflamed tissues at a very specific wavelength which allows it to penetrate into the cells of the tissue. This causes the cells to increase their metabolism, thereby helping the cells to speed the creation of the building blocks needed for tissues to heal. Cold lasers use this targeted wavelength of light to create an anti-inflammatory healing effect, which is also known as “phototherapy.” Cold Laser Therapy has been shown in both human and animal medicine to:

  1. Speed healing
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Reduce pain
When can Cold Laser Therapy be used?

Cold Laser Therapy can be used very safely to aid in the treatment of a variety of different inflammatory conditions in our pets.

One of the best characteristics of Cold Laser Therapy is that it can be safely used for pets with underlying diseases that may limit the types and doses of pain medications or anti-inflammatories that are needed to keep them comfortable. Pets with kidney disease or liver disease can safely undergo Cold Laser Therapy to treat wounds or arthritis, which can lessen the amount of oral medication needed to reduce their pain in most instances. It can also be used postoperatively to speed healing and decrease pain/inflammation. This allows for a safer multi-modal pain control approach that is more natural for your pet.

See the photo for common areas that we laser on pets:

Is Cold Laser Therapy Ever Unsafe?

Cold Laser Therapy can be used to treat any inflammatory condition in our pets, with one exception: Cancer. Because the laser promotes cell healing and cell division, if the laser is used to treat an area containing cancerous cells, this will promote their growth as well.

It is always best to perform a workup prior to starting Cold Laser Therapy to rule out a cancerous process as the cause of the inflammation being treated for this reason. This may involve biopsies of tissue or x-rays of affected areas.

What is Involved in Cold Laser Treatment?

This is a difficult question to answer, considering that every pet is different and every pet will likely need different laser treatment schedules tailored to them as an individual.

We will start off the Cold Laser Therapy Treatment with an examination by one of our doctors to assess your pet for areas of pain/inflammation. Based on this exam, we will determine the best course of treatment for your pet. Subsequent laser treatments will be administered by a technician, and doctor consultations can be scheduled as needed throughout the laser course to address any concerns.

We start our treatment course by using a “3,2,1 Protocol,” which is commonly used for first-time patients with more chronic conditions such as arthritis. For this protocol, we will see your pets three times for the first week, twice the second week, and once the week after that. The laser is applied to the areas in need of treatment for 3 minutes each during each session. After this initial course, we will re-evaluate your pet to determine the success of the laser treatments on them. If the course needs to be adjusted, it will be done at the end of the 3,2,1 Treatment. Most of the time, we can help pets greatly by performing laser therapy on the affected areas once per week to once every other week on a long-term basis, depending on their individual needs.

For pets with wounds, laser treatments are more frequent than with more chronic conditions and can be as frequent as every day to every other day based on the severity and level of infection of the wound.

Please contact us today to book your pet in for its first laser treatment. We look forward to helping you heal your pet!