COLD LASER THERAPY FOR YOUR PET
One of our newest and increasingly popular services we provide here at SBPH is our cold laser therapy. It is a treatment that can be used to treat a variety of joint conditions in dogs and cats, as well as other medical conditions (including injuries). A cold laser is a tool that emits a “non-hot” (low-wattage) beam of laser light. This type of laser therapy is referred to as cold laser therapy to distinguish it from surgical lasers, which use much higher frequencies to penetrate and reach deeper tissue (Bauhaus, 2020). As for the term “LASER,” it is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (Huntingford, DVM, 2019). Cold laser therapy alters the inflammatory response and affects cell signaling, meaning it alters cell and tissue physiology. The light absorbed by the cellular components stimulates electrons and activates the cells to promote growth, proliferation, migration, and repair.
Cold laser therapy can treat any type of pain, whether from an acute condition like a laceration, or from chronic conditions like painful arthritis. Laser therapy can also be beneficial during post-surgical healing, ear infections, and even dental problems like gingivitis (“Laser Therapy and Your Cat: What You Need to Know,” 2018).
Pain Relief Occurs in Three Main Ways:
- Laser therapy opens the blood vessels and activates the lymphatic drainage system. Both bruising & inflammation are reduced, thereby reducing pain
- It stimulates pain signal-blocking nerve cells
- It encourages the production of endorphins, naturally alleviating pain
Who Can Benefit From Cold Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy is used for many veterinary medical conditions, including:
- Chronic arthritis
- Surgical incisions
- Tendon & ligament injuries
- Traumatic injuries
& is particularly useful for pets with limited medical treatment options, such as:
- Pets with liver disease who cannot take medications
- Cats, for whom only a few pain-control medications are approved
- Older pets with diminished organ function
Laser Therapy Packages
Here at SBPH, we provide different cold laser therapy packages that we recommend to our clients. Treatment plans are tailored to your pet. We take into account their size and weight, the color, length and thickness of their coat, the area of their body that we’re treating, and the severity of the issue. Our purchasable laser therapy packages plans vary slightly in price from standard to extensive due to what is most beneficial for your pet. Please note we also provide complimentary laser therapy sessions in every surgery performed at the clinic. 🙂
The Laser Therapy Treatment
To see a video of the laser at work at our clinic, click here!
During a treatment session, the handheld laser wand is slowly moved back and forth over the damaged tissue, producing a warm, pleasant sensation that most pets seem to enjoy and find relaxing. Sessions usually last 15 to 30 minutes, with the number of sessions and frequency of treatments dependent on the injury. Chronic conditions may be treated weekly, whereas surgical incisions and open wounds often require daily treatment.
Although it’s referred to as a “cold” laser, it does produce some warmth. As a result, treatments are normally very relaxing. In fact, it’s not unusual for a pet to fall asleep during their therapy!
Cold laser therapy is a safe procedure. The frequency of light energy that’s used has no risk of burning your dog or cat. The biggest danger is retinal damage to anyone who looks directly at the laser beam. In order to prevent this, the laser operator wears protective glasses. Typically, pets are either provided with protective goggles as well or their eyes are covered or directed away from the beam during the procedure (Bauhaus, 2020).
Our clients often report seeing a positive result within 24 hours of the first treatment. However, like any therapeutic process, a series of treatments will normally provide the best results. Fortunately, each cold therapy laser session generally takes only a few minutes, so you & your pet can be in and out of our office quickly as to not intrude on your day!
Bauhaus. (2020, October 19). What Is Laser Therapy for Dogs? Retrieved February 11, 2021,
Huntingford, DVM. (2019). Laser Therapy for Treatment of Joint Disease in Dogs and Cats. Today’s Veterinary Practice.
Laser Therapy and Your Cat: What You Need to Know. (2018, December 12). Harlingen Veterinary Clinic.
What is veterinary laser therapy? (n.d.). AAHA. Retrieved February 10, 2021,
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