Is your pet suffering from pain? Cold laser therapy may be an ideal non-invasive treatment option. In this post, our Rochester vets explain which conditions can benefit from this treatment, and how to determine if this therapy is appropriate for your pet.

What is cold laser therapy for animals?

Pets can benefit from cold laser therapy, a treatment option that is safe, non-invasive, and drug-free. This therapy can help relieve pain, promote cell regeneration and blood circulation, and enhance healing.

People often use different names to describe cold lasers, such as low-level lasers, low-power lasers, and soft lasers. Cold laser therapy is a safer alternative to surgical or hot laser treatments as it focuses on treating the surface of your pet's skin rather than penetrating deeper into tissue.

The Food & Drug Administration has approved this type of therapy for therapeutic use. Many people use it alongside traditional medical treatments for pain and disease.

What happens during a treatment session?

Treatment sessions for cold laser therapy are held in a spacious and comfortable room. The duration of these sessions can vary from five to 30 minutes, depending on factors such as the condition being treated, your pet's size, specific needs, and circumstances. We will place your pet on a mat to promote relaxation. Protective eyewear is required for both the laser operator and your pet.

Your veterinarian will use a low-intensity laser or LEDs to stimulate your pet's tissue during these treatment sessions, promoting therapeutic effects. Give your pet a soothing and targeted treatment that can address a variety of health concerns. Your pet's tissue cells absorb the laser light, allowing them to repair and regenerate themselves.

While your pet is active, their brain releases endorphins, providing them with a sense of well-being. During their treatment sessions, many pets are able to relax and even fall asleep, as they do not suffer from pain.

It is crucial for your veterinarian to be well-trained in this type of therapy and have the expertise to select the appropriate wavelength that effectively reaches the targeted tissue. The laser's wavelength determines its penetration depth into the tissue, making it a vital consideration. Photobiomodulation is the term used to describe this interaction between light and tissue.

You don't need to worry about any specific after-care following a session.

Which pets can benefit from cold laser therapy?

Some pets are unable to undergo traditional treatment methods and will benefit from cold laser therapy. These can include:

  • Pets who suffer from liver disease and can't take certain medications
  • Older pets that are unable to take medication due to decreased organ function 
  • Cats that are only able to have specific pain management medications
  • Exotic pets that may not be able to take medications in the way they are normally administered

Conditions That Can Benefit From Cold Laser Therapy

Veterinary cold laser therapy treatment has been used to treat a variety of conditions in pets, including: 

  • Acute injuries
  • Bone Fractures
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Ear Infections
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Muscle, ligament and joint pain and injuries
  • Skin (dermatological) issues such as lick granuloma
  • Symptoms of arthritis (including inflammation) 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Soft tissue trauma 
  • Strains and sprains
  • Wounds

How does cold laser therapy help pets with pain?

If your pet is experiencing heavy panting, loss of appetite, trembling, aggression, or excessive grooming, it may be a sign that they are in pain. Pain can have a significant impact on your pet's appetite, behavior, and overall well-being. It can limit their mobility, decrease their quality of life, and leave them feeling uncomfortable and distressed for extended periods.

Of course, it's important to make sure your pet can live a pain-free life, whether they're recovering from surgery, healing from an acute injury, or dealing with a chronic health condition.

Cold lasers are highly effective in relieving pain in pets. Damaged nerves can be healed with the help of cold laser therapy. Blood flow and oxygenation to injured tissues are increased, muscles are encouraged to relax, and the presence of bacteria is reduced, all of which can help alleviate pain.

Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy Treatment for Pets at Stoney Pointe Pet Hospital

Veterinary cold laser therapy is a fairly new method of treatment for symptoms related to various disorders and is most commonly used to help manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.

Your pet won't require sedation prior to treatment, and there is no need for your vet to pierce or shave any part of their body before the treatment sessions. It's important to note that cold lasers are not a cure-all, though. Tissue growth resulting from conditions such as mineralization in the ear canal, bone spurs, or deformities due to arthritis cannot be reduced or eliminated. Pets with cancer should avoid cold laser therapy, as it may potentially exacerbate or spread the malignancy. After their session, your pet will be able to resume their normal activities.

If you're interested in learning more about how veterinary laser therapy can benefit your dog, it's best to consult with your local veterinarian.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you wondering whether cold laser therapy may be right for your pet? Contact our Rochester vets to learn more about this treatment option.