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What is Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy?

Is your pet experiencing pain? Cold laser therapy could offer an ideal non-invasive treatment solution. In this article, our veterinarians in Torrance detail the conditions that can benefit from this treatment and provide guidance on assessing whether this therapy is suitable for your pet.

What is Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy for Pets?

Is your pet experiencing pain? Cold laser therapy offers a safe, non-invasive, drug-free treatment option that can alleviate pain, stimulate and enhance cell regeneration and blood circulation, and improve healing.

Cold lasers, also known as low-level lasers, low-power lasers, and soft lasers, treat only the surface of your pet's skin, making it a safer option than surgical or hot laser treatments, which penetrate deeper into tissue.

The Food & Drug Administration has cleared this type of therapy for therapeutic use. It is often used alongside conventional medicinal approaches to treat pain and disease.

What Happens During a Treatment Session?

During cold laser therapy treatment sessions, we typically conduct them in a spacious, comfortable room. These sessions can last anywhere between five minutes to 30 minutes, depending on factors such as the condition being treated, your pet's size, specific needs, circumstances, and other considerations. Your pet will relax on a mat provided to encourage relaxation. Both the operator of the laser and your pet must wear protective eyewear.

During these treatment sessions, your veterinarian will actively wave a low-intensity laser or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) over your pet's body to stimulate tissue for therapeutic purposes. Your pet will experience a relaxing, concentrated, light-pulsing treatment that can address various health issues. The cells in your pet's tissue will absorb the light from the laser, leading to repair and regeneration.

Throughout the session, your pet's brain will release endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being. In fact, many pets even fall asleep during their treatment sessions, finding relief from pain and able to relax comfortably.

The laser's wavelength determines its tissue penetration depth, underscoring the importance of your veterinarian's training in this therapy and their ability to select the correct wavelength to target specific tissues. This interaction between light and tissue is known as photobiomodulation.

No specific after-care is required 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?

Your pet may exhibit symptoms such as heavy panting, loss of appetite, trembling, aggression, and/or excessive grooming, indicating pain. Pain not only reduces their mobility and quality of life but also affects their appetite, disrupts normal behavior, and leaves them feeling uncomfortable and distressed much of the time.

Undoubtedly, you want to ensure your pet can live as pain-free as possible, whether they're healing from surgery, recovering from an acute injury, or suffering from a chronic health condition.

In general, cold lasers effectively alleviate pain in pets by healing damaged nerves, increasing blood flow and oxygenation to injured tissues, encouraging muscle relaxation, and reducing the presence of bacteria.

Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy Treatment for Pets at Harbor Animal Hospital

Veterinary cold laser therapy treats symptoms related to various disorders and primarily aids in managing pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.

Pre-treatment sedation is unnecessary, and your vet won't have to pierce or shave any part of your pet's body before treatment sessions.

However, it's crucial to understand that cold lasers aren't a panacea. They can't reduce or eliminate tissue growth caused by conditions like mineralization in the ear canal, bone spurs, or arthritis-related deformities.

Pets with cancer shouldn't undergo cold laser therapy, as it could exacerbate or spread malignancy.

Your pet can resume normal activities after their session. If you want to discover how your dog can benefit from veterinary laser therapy, consult your Torrance vet.  

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 Torrance vets to learn more about this treatment option.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Harbor Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Torrance companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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(310) 328-3733