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Cold Laser Therapy for Pets

If your pet is suffering from pain, they may benefit from veterinary cold laser therapy. Here, our Mandeville vets discuss which conditions this option can be used to treat, and how to find out if this therapy is appropriate for your cat, dog, or exotic pet.

What is cold laser therapy for animals?

Veterinary cold laser therapy is a safe, drug-free, non-invasive treatment option for pets that can stimulate and enhance cell regeneration and blood circulation, assist in the healing process, and perhaps most importantly, help alleviate pain. 

You may also hear cold lasers referred to as low-level lasers, soft lasers, and low-power lasers. Since cold laser therapy only interacts with the surface of your pet's skin, it is often a safer option than surgical or hot laser treatments, which penetrate deeper into tissue. 

The Food & Drug Administration approves this type of therapy for therapeutic use. It is often recommended in combination with conventional medicinal approaches to treating pain and disease in pets. 

What happens during a treatment session? 

When you come to Riverside Veterinary Hospital for a cold laser therapy treatment session, you'll be taken to a comfortable, spacious room for your appointment. The session may last from anywhere between five minutes and 30 minutes depending on the condition being treated, your pet's size, specific circumstances and needs, and other factors. 

Your pet will be positioned on a mat to help encourage him or her to relax. Both your pet and the operator of the laser will need to will need to wear protective eyewear. 

Your veterinarian will wave low-intensity laser or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) over your pet's body to stimulate the tissue for therapeutic purposes. The light-pulsing treatment is concentrated and should help your pet feel relaxed. Treatment can help with any health issues listed below. As the cells in your pet's tissue absorb the light from the laser, they'll repair themselves and regenerate. 

During your pet's treatment sessions, their brain will release endorphins, which helps them feel better. Many pets become so relaxed due to not suffering from pain that they sleep through most of their session. 

The laser's wavelength controls how deep it penetrates into the tissue. The veterinarian performing your pet's treatments should be trained in this type of therapy and on choosing the correct wavelength to reach the tissue to be targeted. 

This light-tissue interaction is called photo-biomodulation. No specific after-care is needed after a session. 

Which pets can benefit from cold laser therapy?

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

  • Pets that suffer from liver disease and aren't able to take certain medications. 
  • Older pets that can't take medication due to decreased organ function 
  • Cats that are only able to take specific medications for pain management 
  • 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 

Your vet may recommend veterinary cold laser therapy if your pet has any of the following conditions:

  • Degenerative joint disease 
  • Ear infections 
  • Acute injuries
  • Bone fractures 
  • Ear infections 
  • Muscle, ligament, and joint pain and injuries
  • Inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Wounds
  • Strains and sprains 
  • Soft tissue trauma 
  • Skin (dermatological) issues such as lick granuloma 
  • Symptoms of arthritis (including inflammation) 
  • Osteoarthritis 

How Does Cold Laser Therapy Help Pets With Pain?

Symptoms such as heavy panting, loss of appetite, trembling, aggression, and/or excessive grooming can indicate your pet is in pain. Aside from reducing their mobility and quality of life, pain can affect your pet's appetite, disrupt normal behaviour and have them feeling uncomfortable and distressed much of the time. 

Needless to say, you'd probably like to ensure your pet can live as pain-free as possible, whether they are healing from surgery, recovering from an acute injury, or suffering from a chronic health condition. 

In general, cold lasers are an effective way to alleviate pain in pets. Cold laser therapy helps heal damaged nerves. It increases blood flow and oxygenation to injured tissues, encourages muscles to relax, and reduces the presence of bacteria, all of which can contribute to a reduction in pain.

Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy Treatment for Pets at Riverside Veterinary 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.

No sedation is needed pre-treatment, and your vet won't need to pierce or shave any part of your pet's body before treatment sessions. That said, it's important to note that cold lasers are not a cure-all. They cannot reduce or eliminate tissue growth resulting from conditions such as mineralization in the ear canal, bone spurs, or deformities due to arthritis.

Cold laser therapy is not recommended for pets with cancer, as it could worsen or spread malignancy. Your pet should be able to return to normal activities following their session. 

Speak to your Mandeville vet if you would like to learn more about how your dog may benefit from veterinary laser therapy.

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 curious about whether cold laser therapy might be appropriate for your pet? Contact our Mandeville vets to learn more about this treatment option. 

New Patients Welcome

At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our veterinary team is passionate about the health and well-being of companion animals in Mandeville. Book your first appointment today.

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