Laser Therapy & Pets
Veterinary cold laser therapy (also called low-level laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy) uses focused light to increase the circulation of blood and stimulate cell regeneration.
No drugs are required with this non-invasive treatment that's often used to treat inflammatory conditions. More recently, it has been used in combination with traditional medical treatments to treat arthritis and injuries of the tendons or soft tissues. It can also be used to encourage healing of wounds and bone fractures.
How does cold laser therapy work on pets?
Laser therapy has been deemed by the veterinary industry to be safe and effective for treating injuries, conditions such as tissue injuries (including sprains and strains), arthritis and diseases in cats and dogs. It's also sometimes used during dental procedures.
At Miller Clark Animal Hospital, our veterinary team often uses pet laser therapy to supplement other treatments and improve outcomes for our four-legged patients.
When it comes to benefits of pet laser therapy, these treatments can:
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Enhance circulation
- Decrease sensitivity of nerves
- Speed the healing process
Are there risks to consider with veterinary laser therapy?
Laser therapy does not have any negative side effects. It's considered safe and typically painless. No sedation is needed.
However, these treatments should be performed by veterinary professionals with appropriate training and experience, as the lasers can cause burning to the tissues being treated if used incorrectly. Laser therapy triggers a natural healing process within the body.
We also do not need to clip or shave the area being treated. In our experience, when the vet waves the handheld laser wand back and forth over injured tissue, pets seem to feel a pleasant, soothing or relaxing sensation.
All veterinary staff and patients must wear protective goggles during the session, since laser beams directed at an eye can cause permanent damage to both animal and human retinas.
How often should my pet have cold laser therapy treatments?
The effect of a cold laser therapy treatment are cumulative, meaning pet owners typically see improvement in their pet's conditions over time. Your veterinarian can recommend how often your pet should have laser treatments.
How long does a cold laser therapy treatment last?
Depending on how much energy is being delivered via the laser and the area being treated, the length of laser treatment sessions for dogs and cats varies. A typical veterinary laser therapy session takes between 5 and 20 minutes.
We will conduct a full physical exam prior to treatment, in addition to X-rays if needed. This will help us learn whether laser therapy is the appropriate treatment option for your pet.
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.