Laser Therapy – Could your pet benefit from it?


Laser therapy is an exciting treatment option for a vast range of conditions involving pain or inflammation.

Probably most often used for chronic arthritis, when traditional treatments alone don’t give a good enough effect, but it can be used for so much more.

Most chronic conditions, and almost anything ending in – it is benefit from laser therapy (see a list of conditions at the end of this article).


What is it?

Laser energy increases circulation, and draws water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment. Inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain are reduced. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.


In short:

It supports the body’s natural functions to heal itself.


Ours is a powerful class IV laser with wavelengths of 650, 810 and 915nm, and up to 16W. This means that it can deliver a therapeutic dose of laser energy deep into the tissues in only a few minutes treatment time.

The different wavelengths determine the laser’s depths of penetration. Each wavelength leads to a different effect in the tissue, and the combination of all 3 gives an overall greater effect than a single wave length would.

Other terms for laser therapy are photobiomodulation and cold laser treatment (it all means the same).


What to expect:

The experience is usually pleasant and comforting for your pet. There is no restraint or sedation needed to apply it (if your pet is wriggly, you will just gently need to keep them calm).

Treatments vary in length, depending on your pet’s size and condition, usually between 2 and 8 minutes.

The laser light is directed in a sweeping motion to the area to be treated by a treatment head that looks similar to a torch.

Most pets feel greater comfort and mobility within 12- 24 hours after a laser treatments, and often show visible improvement in their condition after 3-4 treatments.

For greatest benefit, most patients require several treatments, and chronic conditions usually benefit from regular top ups.

A sample treatment schedule could be:

Every other day for 1 week (3 in total), then twice the second week, then once the third week. Then top ups as needed.

However, each pet will receive their own treatment plan specific to their condition and needs.


What does treatment feel like? Is it painful?

It’s not painful! There is little or no sensation during the treatment. Occasionally the patient feels a mild, soothing warmth or tingling. Sometimes, areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive for a short period, before the pain reduces.


Are there any side effects?

During more than 20 years of use by healthcare providers all over the world, very few side effects have ever been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment.


Can it be given while my pet is on medication?

Yes! We often use laser therapy alongside medication, when these don’t control the situation well enough.


Do they need to be shaved?

No. If they are already shaved, this does help the laser light to penetrate to the deeper tissues, but there is no need to shave them specifically for the laser therapy.


Does this actually work?

Yes. Laser therapy has been used by healthcare providers for over 20 years all over the world. There are thousands of published studies that show the clinical effectiveness of laser therapy.


What conditions can benefit from laser therapy?

Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, chronic pain, IVDD (slipped disk), lick granulomas, infected and chronic wounds, post surgical incisions, kidney disease, liver disease, cystitis, pancreatitis, bronchitis, asthma, COPD, infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough), otitis, sinusitis, haematomas, post dental treatments and extractions, gingivitis, periodontitis and many more.


Laser acupuncture

The laser light can also stimulate acupuncture points, and can therefore deliver acupuncture without the needles.

It has been used like this for horses for many years, and for other animals too.

This is amazing for all those pets who either don’t tolerate the needles, or who just can’t manage to stay still for long enough to let the needles do their magic.


In summary:

A vast number of middle aged and older pets could benefit from laser therapy. It’s a scientifically proven, pain free and side effect free treatment option, and should be considered for all those conditions that aren’t quite under control with the treatment they already receive.


If you have any questions about laser therapy, or if you wonder if your pet could benefit from it – Please ask us!