At Towne Center Animal Hospital, we recently added a new machine: a cold laser. How can this be helpful for your pet? In this post, we’ll go over what exactly a cold laser is, how it works, and what conditions it can treat.

What is a cold laser?

Cold lasers are also known as “low level lasers,” “low-power lasers” and “soft lasers.” Unlike the surgical laser that Dr. Z uses during many procedures, cold lasers don’t heat up tissue. Instead, they use low-intensity, concentrated beams of light to stimulate the tissue for therapeutic purposes.

Cleared by the FDA for therapeutic use, cold laser therapy is safe, non-invasive, and has no negative side-effects. The only preparation needed for the procedure is protective eyewear for the operator and the patient.

How does a cold laser work?

Cold lasers send a beam of concentrated light into the tissue. The light can go very far into the tissue, but because it’s low intensity, it causes no heat or damage. Instead, the light is absorbed by the cells, fueling them. This can stimulate injured cells into repairing themselves.

The wavelength of the laser controls how deep it will go into the tissue, so the efficacy of the treatment is highly dependent on using the correct wavelength, which is between 600 to 980 nanometers, depending on how deep the light needs to go to reach the target tissue.

What conditions is it used for?

Cold lasers are often used as a complement to other treatments. They help improve conditions involving pain and inflammation, for example, arthritis, tendonitis, muscle strain, soft tissue injuries, back pain, dermatological issues, and wounds. Cold lasers have also been shown to speed up healing in injuries.

The effects of cold lasers include: increasing cell growth, increasing blood flow, stimulating nerve function, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, and accelerating the healing of wounds. Therefore, they can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions.

However, cold lasers are not a cure-all. Cold lasers cannot reduce or eliminate tissue growth from conditions such as bone spurs, ear canal mineralization, and deformities from arthritis.

Are cold lasers comfortable for pets?

In general, cold lasers provide relief quickly and promote relaxation in pets. No special preparations need to be made for using a cold laser and there is no particular after-care needed.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule treatment for your pet, please contact our Sanford veterinary office.

You can also learn more about cold laser therapy by watching the videos below.