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  • Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic

    896 N. Burlington Boulevard, Burlington, WA 98233 US


  • The Chuckanut Valley Feline Center

    1214 Dupont Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 US


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Cold Laser Therapy for Pets

Is your pet experiencing pain? Consider cold laser therapy as an ideal non-invasive treatment option. In this post, our vets in Burlington and Bellingham will explain the conditions that can benefit from this treatment and guide you in determining if this therapy is suitable for your pet.

What is Cold Laser Therapy for Animals?

Cold laser therapy offers a secure, drug-free treatment alternative for pets, actively alleviating pain, stimulating cell regeneration and blood circulation, and promoting improved healing.

Referred to as low-level lasers, low-power lasers, and soft lasers, cold lasers provide a safer option compared to surgical or hot laser treatments since they specifically target the surface of your pet's skin, avoiding deeper tissue penetration.

The Food & Drug Administration has cleared this therapeutic approach, making it a trusted method commonly used alongside conventional medicinal approaches in treating pain and disease.

What Happens During a Treatment Session?

Cold laser therapy treatment sessions typically occur in a spacious, comfortable room. The duration can range from five to 30 minutes, depending on factors such as the condition being treated, your pet's size, specific needs, and circumstances. Your pet will rest on a mat to encourage relaxation, and both the laser operator and your pet must wear protective eyewear.

During these sessions, your veterinarian will use a low-intensity laser or light-emitting diode (LED) to stimulate your pet's tissue for therapeutic purposes. Your pet will experience a relaxing, concentrated, light-pulsing treatment that can address various health issues. The laser's light is absorbed by the cells in your pet's tissue, promoting repair and regeneration.

Throughout the session, your pet's brain will release endorphins, contributing to overall well-being. Many pets even fall asleep during treatment sessions, experiencing relaxation and relief from pain.

The laser's wavelength determines its penetration depth into the tissue, underscoring the importance of your veterinarian's training in this therapy and their ability to select the appropriate wavelength for targeted tissue. 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 show signs of pain, such as heavy panting, loss of appetite, trembling, aggression, and/or excessive grooming. Pain not only diminishes their mobility and quality of life but also disrupts normal behavior, affecting their appetite and leaving them uncomfortable and distressed.

Ensuring your pet lives as pain-free as possible is essential, whether they are healing from surgery, recovering from an acute injury, or dealing with a chronic health condition. Cold lasers provide an effective method for alleviating pain in pets. Cold laser therapy aids in the healing of damaged nerves, increases blood flow and oxygenation to injured tissues, promotes muscle relaxation, and reduces the presence of bacteria. These benefits collectively contribute to a reduction in pain for your pet.

Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy Treatment for Pets at Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center

Veterinary cold laser therapy for pets is a relatively recent treatment method for addressing symptoms associated with various disorders. It is commonly employed to manage pain inflammation and facilitate pet wound healing.

Pre-treatment does not require sedation, and there is no need for your vet to pierce or shave any part of your pet's body before the sessions. However, it's crucial to recognize that cold lasers do not serve as a panacea. They cannot diminish or eliminate tissue growth resulting from conditions like mineralization in the ear canal, bone spurs, or deformities caused by arthritis. Pets with cancer are not recommended for cold laser therapy, as it may exacerbate or spread malignancy.

Following the session, your pet should be able to resume normal activities. If you want to learn more about how your dog could benefit from veterinary laser therapy, please consult your vet at Burlington and Bellingham. 

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 Burlington and Bellingham vets to learn more about this treatment option.

New Patients Welcome

Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Burlington and Bellingham companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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