Canterbury Animal Hospital

88 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054


 Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy, also known as low level laser therapy, LLLT and therapeutic laser therapy is a treatment that uses a low-powered laser, that does not produce heat to treat conditions and injuries in animals of all kinds - dogs, cats, domestic pets, cows, horses and even humans.

Cold laser therapy is used to treat multiple ailments and injuries and is also beneficial to pets recovering from surgery. The treatment is particularly useful for animals that have a painful condition or injury. Treatable ailments include:

  • Joint, ligament or tendon injuries
  • Muscle sprains or strains
  • Skin lesions including wounds
  • Hematomas (swelling of blood in body tissue)
  • Post-trauma wounds
  • Post-surgical wounds
  • Arthritis: Basil, a Sebastopol Goose, being treated for septic arthritis
  • Nerve injury

How Cold Laser Therapy Works

The laser is applied either directly to the surface of the skin or it can be held just above the skin surface if direct contact is too painful for the pet. It is rare that an animal requires sedation for cold laser therapy because treatment can be administered without discomfort or restraint. Another benefit to cold laser therapy is that it is not necessary to shave the fur in the region of treatment. The laser can be set for shallow or deep tissue penetration for different time periods of treatment depending upon the condition that is being treated.  Cold laser therapy usually needs multiple administrations within the first weeks of treatment, followed by weekly or monthly treatments as needed until the condition has resolved, or in the case of a chronic condition like arthritis, is well managed.

How Cold Laser Therapy Works

The beam of the laser consists of wavelengths with photons that penetrate into the tissue. The photons are absorbed by cells that are not properly functioning due to injury or disease. The photons help to initiate cellular processes by increasing the productivity of ATP, the energy source for cells. This increases overall cellular function, allowing for more rapid absorption of nutrients, elimination of wastes and reproduction of new cells. The reproduction of healthy cells and efficiency of cellular function aids to:

Luna with Laser Treatment

  • Alleviate chronic or acute pain
  • Reduce inflammation of soft tissue
  • Reduce edema (fluid trapped in body tissue)
  • Activate immune cells
  • Reduce bacteria in region of treatment
  • Increase blood flow to region of treatment
  • Speed healing and recovery

      The effects of alleviating pain and reducing inflammation allow the animal to regain limited mobility and activity earlier in the recovery process. The laser also directly affects joint fluid and cartilage. This can benefit pets suffering from arthritis by increasing the range of motion in joints. Increased range of motion allows a pet with arthritis to engage in more moderate and comfortable exercise.

       The photons emitted by cold laser therapy have also shown improvement with neuronal regeneration and neural activity. Dogs that have suffered nerve injury may show an improvement in neurological function and range of motion with cold laser therapy.

Luna relaxing during her laser treatment



Click here to see how we used our laser to heal a full thickness wound on a cat