Laser Therapy Can Be a Benefit to Pets

posted by Apollo Lasers on Friday, December 19, 2014

Google "cold laser therapy" and more likely than not, you'll find several articles discussing how dogs and other animals can benefit. Savannah Morning News columnists Jusak Bernhard and Jeff Manley recently wrote about their dog's experience with cold laser therapy and what their vet had to say about the benefits of the treatment. 

We have a senior dog, Kai, who is 15 years old. She has lost muscle mass around her thighs and hips. Walking, sometimes, is a slow process. We also notice that getting up, lying down, and sitting down have become such an ordeal for her. Often, in the car, she will bark for many minutes at a time. We wonder if this is her telling us of her discomfort.

We also notice that she struggles to squat when she is “doing her business” while on her walks or when roaming in the backyard.

We had an opportunity to speak with Alex Hill, D.V.M., owner of Central Animal Hospital. From our conversation and visit, he suggested that we should bring Kai in for an exam, to see if she would be a good candidate for a new laser treatment that the hospital offers. Of course, we were happy to have her evaluated, as we would like to reduce her pain.

As we found out, Kai is a good candidate for the laser therapy. And at her age, we would prefer that she receives this therapeutic treatment before turning to long-term pain-relieving medication.

We have been bringing Kai to Central Animal Hospital to receive laser treatment on her hips and spine. The initial round consists of eight sessions, which are administered every other day for maximum benefit. Each of the sessions takes less than 10 minutes. After the initial round, it will be determined if Kai’s laser treatment will continue with weekly or monthly sessions.

She has now completed her sixth session. We are happy to report we’ve seen noticeable improvement in her movement. She is sturdier on her feet when walking. These past few days, we also see her being more energized. She’s been playfully running around the backyard.

So, of course, we wanted to learn more about laser treatment and asked Dr. Hill. (You can find out more at

What is laser therapy for dogs?

Laser therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light to treat painful and debilitating conditions. It works by the light entering the damaged cells to stimulate inter-cellular activity. This reduces pain in the area and speeds the recovery process of damaged cells.

Why is it being used?

It is being used because of its effectiveness and proven pain-free treatment for pain and inflammation.

What are the benefits of this treatment?

The laser treatment can relieve chronic pain, such as arthritis, and can also relieve acute pain, such as trauma or injury. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and improves local blood circulation. The laser light stimulates healing of damaged tissues and speeds recovery of the structural integrity of an injured region. We are also using it for postoperative pain relief and to promote faster wound healing.

How do you determine a good candidate for the treatment?

Patients who suffer from arthritis to patients who are recovering from a routine spay or neuter could benefit greatly from laser therapy.

Does the treatment need to be accompanied by medicine and/or physical therapy?

Depending on the severity of the case, some patients will still need to stay on anti-inflammatory and pain medications. However, the medications can often be greatly reduced with the use of laser therapy.

What are the differences between cold and hot laser treatments?

Cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation. Cold laser therapy treats on the surface of the skin, while hot laser treats deeper tissues. Hot laser treatments come with greater risk of cutting or burning caused by the increased intensity of the laser beam.

How long are the sessions, and how many treatments are recommended?

The sessions typically last about 3 minutes, and the number of sessions varies depending on the condition. Routine spays and neuters benefit from just one session, where as chronic arthritis could be anywhere from 6 to 8 sessions.

What are the costs for laser treatment?

The cost for one session is $25, 6 sessions for $125, and 8 sessions for $175.

Jusak Bernhard and Jeff Manley are owners of TailsSpin Pet Food & Accessories.


About Author

Apollo Lasers are powerful, state-of-the-art portable or desktop lasers that reduce pain, inflammation and stimulate healing. The low-level laser technology safely penetrates the skin one to two inches, effectively stimulating regeneration of damaged cells and tissues. This process brings rapid h ... read more