Limping Dogs and Cats? The Star Trek Solution

Perhaps the most important treatment for lameness of all causes in dogs and cats to emerge is Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT.  LLLT is more accurately described as photobiomodulation.  Although this term seems a bit daunting if one looks at the individual parts it becomes very logical..  Photo refers to light, bio refers to the small units that comprise our body such as cells and finally modulation refers to altering the function of these cells.  Thus the term refers to impacting cellular function by using light.  In the case of LLLT  light in the red and near infrared wavelength  have a very beneficial effect on cells that are in a stressed state. In the presence of inflammation such as is present in arthritis or tissue damage asscociated with injury, chemicals called kinans are released.  This results in chemical changes in the cell continuing the inflammation.  This inflammation is usually associated with pain resulting in a limping pet or one who becomes inactive in order to avoid discomfort.  By treating these areas with light of the appropriate wavelength and frequency we can reverse the effects of these kinans and allow the cells to reestablish their health to once again carry on in a normal state.  This allows tissues to heal when healing is still feasible or in long term chronic conditions it reduces inflammation and allows the pet to resume normal activity without the previous pain.

If this all sounds a lot like photosynthesis in a plant, the process by which plants manufacture energy and grow, that is because the processes are very similar.    In animal cells (ours included) we use this energy to heal damaged cells and to “jump start” the body’s natural processes.  All of the above makes LLLT ideal for treatment of injuries as well as arthritis.  There is no discomfort associated with LLLT treatment and side effects have not been observed.    Once we begin treatment for a limping dog or non jumping cat, it is often as few as 2 or 3 treatments before the owner reports improvement.  In our practice we have used laser therapy for arthritis of knees, elbows, hips, backs as well as for treatment of slow healing wounds and corneal ulcers.  Laser therapy has also been shown to speed up healing of nerves,  currently the only known means of achieving this.

For more information on LLLT visit our website and watch the video or check out If you are interested in treatment for your pet and are in our area, feel free to discuss whether laser therapy may be helpful for your pet.