Cold Laser Therapy for Your Pets

Image Courtesy of Lake Elsinore Animal Hospital

Image Courtesy of Lake Elsinore Animal Hospital

Cold Laser Therapy in Pets

How It Works
Class IV Deep Tissue Laser Therapy uses a beam of light to deeply penetrate tissue without damaging it. Laser energy induces a biological response in the cells called “photo-bio-modulation”, which leads to reduced pain, reduced inflammation, and increased healing speed.

Is laser therapy new?
The beneficial effects of laser light on tissue were first recognized almost forty years ago. Since then, there have been thousands of studies documenting the positive effects laser light has on different types of cells, tissue, and disorders.  Recent advances in technology and manufacturing have made it possible to have this exciting modality available for clinicians.

How long does the treatment take?
Treatment protocols are unique to each patient and condition. Therefore, treatments will vary in time, complexity and cost. For some chronic patients, multiple joints will be treated during one laser treatment session. When appropriate, laser therapy can be used as a complementary adjunct to other treatment plans.

What can be treated with laser therapy?
If your pet is feeling pain, has inflammation, or a wound, the laser is a sterile, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment.  The laser is used to treat a variety of injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions, numerous dermatological problems, and pain. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, the laser has been shown to provide relief and speed healing.

What’s involved with treating my pet?
The laser light is delivered through a non-invasive handpiece to treat the affected area. Your pet will feel a gentle and soothing warmth. As the laser is administered, many pets will relax, much like you would during a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate (We've known several patients to fall asleep during treatment!)

How does it work?
The Companion therapy laser system sends photons, or packets of light energy, deep into tissue without damaging it. These photons are absorbed within the mitochondria of the cells and induce a chemical change called “photo-bio-modulation”.   This light energy then inspires production of ATP in the cell.  ATP is the fuel, or energy, cells need for repair and rejuvenation.  Impaired or injured cells do not make this fuel at an optimal rate.  Increased ATP production leads to healthier cells, healthier tissue, and healthier animals.

Are there any side effects?
Your pet may feel sore right after the appointment and for 1-2 days afterward but the soreness will fade away and be replaced with a sense of strength and vigor. There are no known short-term or long-term side effects that are harmful to your pet. 

What can I expect at home?
You might see a change in activity when your pet comes home. For some it might be increased activity and others may be more relaxed. This is due to the pain relief and reduction in inflammation.

How should I support this treatment at home?
There are no specific things you need to do at home, other than following normal restrictions, dietary needs, and additional treatment protocols as your pet’s condition dictates and is outlined by your veterinarian.

What to expect during a Laser Therapy treatment session for your companion?
Simply put, it provides relief. The fur does not need to be clipped. Eye protection will be worn by the laser operator and anyone in a close proximity to the laser probe.  The eyes of the animal will be directed away from the treatment area or covered with a towel or eye wear.  The clinician will move the probe over the area of treatment to assure the laser is being delivered to the area which needs improvement.

What will my pet feel?
As the laser is administered, often pets will relax and enjoy, much like you would during a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate. Occasionally, angry cats will start to purr and dogs will fall asleep during their therapy session.

Is there anything my pet should or shouldn’t do, or take, while on the treatment?
In nearly all cases, you'll be able to follow normal treatment protocols. Be sure to mention all medications or anything else of note to your primary veterinarian and the doctor administering Laser Therapy. 

When can I expect to see an improvement? What might I see?
You may see relief in the first treatment or so as pain and inflammation are reduced.

For example: better mobility for joint conditions, drying/healing of dermatological issues, faster healing for wounds and incisions, or your pet just seeming more relaxed and comfortable.

For some conditions, a series of treatments may be necessary before you see results due to the severity or complexity of the condition.  Each pet is different, and treatments are unique for your pet’s specific needs.

Laser Therapy for Arthritis
Though it can be used for both chronic and acute conditions, arthritis is by far our most common reason for using Laser Therapy. 

Arthritis is a very common condition for our pets and chances are good that if your pet is battling arthritic symptoms then you or someone you know can empathize with them too! 

Laser Therapy is great because it decreases inflammation and painfulness which in turn encourages more mobility in your pet; this will help to maintain or even improve activity levels and can help to slow down muscle atrophy. 

Whether your pet's arthritis has just become noticeable or it's already impacting mobility, Laser Therapy is a great way to get them back on track and moving around like they love to do!

If you're not sure Laser Therapy is right for your pet then please feel free to reach out to us with the comment box to the right. Ask a question. Tell us your concerns. We'd love to hear from you! 

If you're not sure your pet has arthritis or if it doesn't pertain to you then be sure to take a look below at the other common conditions we use laser therapy for!

  • Geriatric Care and Support
  • Congenital Joint Disease
  • Otitis (ear infections)
  • Allergies
  • Wound Healing
  • Lick Granulomas
  • Sprains, Strains, and Fractures
  • Post-operative Healing and Pain Relief
  • Abdominal Inflammation/Dysfunction