Shooting your pet with a laser beam might make him feel a lot better. Low-level lasers, also called cold lasers, are becoming a conventional treatment for cats and other animals. Cold laser therapy is an effective treatment for all sorts of feline health issues, including injury and disease.
Cold Laser Basics
You may have seen it in your vet's office without realizing it: a rectangular box, similar to a desktop computer case, with a metal cylinder attached by a cord. Cold laser machines generate a low-concentration beam of photons at a particular wavelength in order to stimulate the natural healing ability of your pet's body, according to the Broadview Animal and Bird Hospital website. The beam also needs to have the right amount of coherency, power and frequency. Cold laser machines are calibrated to provide the right kind of light, so you don't need to worry about your pet getting scorched.
Types of Therapy
Cold lasers have several modes, appropriate for different types of tissue damage. Your veterinarian may apply static therapy by focusing the light on one area for a set length of time. "Flick" therapy involves quickly moving the laser over a larger area. The laser can also be set to a pulse to give the technician more control over what parts of your pet's body the laser effects, according to the Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation Technology website. Treatments can take as little as a few minutes, but some kitties may need longer treatments or need to make return visits before the therapy produces significant results.
If your cat suffers from chronic pain from a permanent ailment, you'll be happy to know that cold laser therapy may alleviate his discomfort. Laser therapy reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system and helps your pet's blood flow easier, according to the Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital website. This may seem a little unimpressive considering surgeries and medicine already accomplish the same thing, but laser therapy is far less invasive and does not involve artificial chemicals. It doesn't solve every problem, though. Laser therapy is often prescribed along with other treatment options, like medication, to help your pet recover.
Scheduling an Appointment
While laser therapy is certainly a great medical tool, it isn't appropriate in every case. Talk to your vet about cold laser therapy as a treatment option for your cat. Don't seek out cold laser treatment for your pet without professional advice. Even low-level lasers shouldn't be directed at the eyes or thyroid, because it could overstimulate the sensitive tissue in the area, according to Metropet Magazine. If you have pet insurance, check with your insurer to see if it covers laser therapy treatment.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.