News & Articles

Laser Therapy – What is it and how can it help your pet?

Posted on: April 30th, 2015

by Dr. Cathy Gajewski

In a nutshell “laser” therapy is treatment with light. What can it do? It can be used to treat a multitude of common conditions that cause pain and inflammation. How cool is that? Even better, it is safe, non-invasive and has no side effects. We have been using it at Broadview Animal Hospital for several years to help pets with all kinds of conditions, such as painful arthritis and wounds. We use laser therapy every day on our patients undergoing surgery on the surgical incision to kick start the healing process and to manage postoperative pain as soon as they come out of the operating room. Our Doctors and clients, not to mention patients, all love that!
How does it work? At our hospital we have a class IV laser unit that is FDA approved. The type of laser is important because just like anything else, not all laser units are created equal. The class 4 unit has a probe that emits a powerful light beam (don’t worry-it is not Star Wars powerful) at the appropriate wavelength that when placed over the skin, it penetrates deep into the tissue without damaging it. The energy from the light wave is absorbed by the tissues and this energy is used by the body to help healing. This process is called “photo-bio-modulation”.
How can it help your pet? Chances are that if the condition is painful and inflamed the laser can help. One of the most common conditions we see in the summertime is painful skin and ear infections. Most of our older pets suffer from painful arthritis as they age. Some pets suffer from chronic mouth inflammation. These are just a few of the conditions that respond to laser therapy. Here is just a partial list of conditions that can be treated with laser therapy:
• Dental conditions and inflammation of the mouth
• Arthritis
• Skin and ear infections
• Nasal or sinus inflammation
• Traumatic injuries including fracture
• Wounds
• Bladder inflammation (especially cats)
• Painful areas in the spine
• Hip dysplasia
• Lesions caused by licking (lick granuloma)
• Post-surgical incisions

Please feel free to ask your veterinarian if laser therapy could benefit your pet. Often it is used in addition to other treatments and may be especially useful if other treatments seem inadequate or if the pet cannot tolerate more traditional treatments. Some conditions will respond in 1 or 2 laser sessions and other more chronic conditions benefit from treatments on a long term basis. Your veterinarian can discuss with you the best treatment protocol for your pet’s condition.

Here is a customer testimonial about using laser therapy:

“Dave and I were asked by the staff at Broadview Animal Hospital to write a testimonial regarding our German Shepherd, named Midnight, and her experience with laser therapy treatment on the left knee.
Midnight has responded exceptionally well to laser therapy. After the first treatment alone, she was running from our bed to the couch, back and forth, back and forth. This is something she used to do, but hasn’t done for quite sometime because of her hips and knees.
Midnight also started running laps in the backyard, which is also something she used to do all the time but hasn’t for a while. She is also sleeping more sound at night, not tossing and moving around trying to get comfortable.
Midnight’s experience with laser therapy has been amazing! Dave and I would highly recommend it to others.”

(Submitted by Kylee O’Clair & Dave Guerrette)


  1. Alise Harper says:

    I have never heard of laser therapy and the benefits that it can bring to pain in pets. My dog has been experiencing some pain lately and I would love for something to take the pain away. I will definitely call my vet and ask if the laser treatment would work for my dog. Thanks for the helpful information!

  2. I have a similar story to Kylee. Broadway Animal Hospital is absolutely amazing! Our puppy had some oral problems last year, and they were great with her. Must visit!

  3. Jenna Hunter says:

    It was calming to know that chances are that if the condition is painful and inflamed the laser can help. My cats seem to have gotten some sort of ear infection when they were lost for a couple days. I will be sure to check out this laser therapy a little more!

  4. Kylie Dotts says:

    I didn’t realize that a laser dog treatment could penetrate deep into the skin and help tissue in the healing process. We have a dog who seems to be favoring his right hind leg but we can’t figure out what is bothering his other one. I think it would be good to see if it was a muscular problem so we’ll have to talk to our local vet to see if that’s true. If so, maybe we’ll have to try the laser approach to helping him feel better.

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