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Laser Therapy for Older Pets: A New Hope

Happy, aging dog

As our beloved pets age, they often face a myriad of challenges, from chronic pain to reduced mobility. These issues can significantly affect their quality of life and leave pet owners feeling helpless. However, a promising solution is emerging in veterinary medicine: laser therapy. This advanced treatment offers new hope for aging pets, helping to manage chronic pain and improve their overall well-being. Let’s explore how laser therapy works, its benefits, and why it should be considered for older pets.

Understanding Laser Therapy for Pets

Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), involves using specific wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin and stimulate cellular activity. This non-invasive treatment is used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue healing.

Types of Lasers Used in Veterinary Treatments

Veterinary laser therapy typically utilizes two types of lasers:

  • Cold Lasers: These are low-intensity lasers used primarily for their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
  • Class IV Lasers: These high-powered lasers penetrate deeper into tissues, making them suitable for treating more severe conditions.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Older Pets

Pain Management

One of the most significant benefits of laser therapy for older pets is effective pain management. Conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and musculoskeletal disorders can cause significant discomfort. Laser therapy provides relief by reducing inflammation and modulating pain pathways, which can lead to a reduced reliance on pharmaceuticals and their potential side effects.

Improved Mobility

Laser therapy can significantly improve the mobility of older pets. By reducing stiffness and increasing the range of motion, pets can perform daily activities with greater ease and comfort. This improved mobility can enhance their overall quality of life.

Enhanced Quality of Life

By alleviating pain and improving mobility, laser therapy can greatly enhance the quality of life for older pets. Reduced discomfort leads to better mood and behavior, allowing pets to enjoy their golden years with more vitality and happiness.

How Laser Therapy Works for Aging Pets

Scientific Mechanisms

Laser therapy operates through several scientific mechanisms that make it particularly effective for pain relief and healing in older pets:


Laser therapy stimulates cellular activity through a process known as photobiomodulation. When the laser light penetrates the skin, it is absorbed by the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles within cells. This absorption enhances mitochondrial function and increases the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for cellular energy and repair. This process boosts the overall cellular health and regeneration, facilitating quicker recovery and improved tissue function.

Modulation of Inflammatory Processes and Pain Pathways

Laser therapy modulates inflammatory processes by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines, effectively decreasing inflammation and associated pain in pets. Additionally, it influences pain pathways by reducing the activity of pain-transmitting nerves and promoting the release of natural pain relievers, such as endorphins. This dual action not only alleviates pain but also helps manage chronic inflammatory conditions common in older pets, providing them with significant relief and improving their quality of life.

Pain Relief for Aging Pets

Laser therapy provides significant pain relief for older pets by modulating nerve activity and promoting the release of endorphins. By targeting and decreasing the activity of pain-transmitting nerves, laser therapy effectively reduces chronic pain conditions frequently seen in aging animals, such as arthritis and degenerative joint disease. The treatment not only alleviates discomfort but also enhances overall well-being, allowing older pets to enjoy a more active and comfortable life. With its ability to deliver non-invasive and drug-free pain relief, laser therapy stands out as a valuable option for managing chronic pain in senior pets.

Tissue Healing and Regeneration for Older Animals

Laser therapy enhances tissue healing and regeneration in older pets by promoting collagen synthesis and improving blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. This accelerated healing process helps senior pets recover more quickly from injuries and surgeries, while also improving the overall health of their tissues. By supporting the body’s natural repair mechanisms, laser therapy ensures that aging pets experience faster recovery times and better overall tissue health, contributing to a higher quality of life.

Laser Therapy Research in Older Dogs

Numerous studies and clinical trials support the efficacy of laser therapy in veterinary medicine. One notable study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) focused on dogs with osteoarthritis. The study aimed to determine if low-level laser therapy (LLLT) would increase physical activity in dogs with this common aging-related condition.

Osteoarthritis is prevalent among aging dogs and is associated with chronic pain and impaired mobility. The NIH study involved 23 dogs with osteoarthritis, each equipped with an accelerometer to record daily activity. The dogs underwent six consecutive weekly laser treatments.

The study revealed significant improvements:

  • The number of daily activities increased during week 2 and remained higher than baseline until week 6.
  • Daily step count increased from week 1 and remained higher than the baseline until the end of week 6.
  • Average energy expenditure during the study period showed no statistically significant differences.
  • Systemic analgesic therapy was decreased in 50% of the dogs during the study period.

This study points to laser therapy’s management of osteoarthritis by increasing the level of activity in dogs, thereby improving their quality of life. This evidence underscores the potential benefits of laser therapy for managing chronic conditions in older pets.


Laser therapy represents a new hope for older pets facing chronic pain and mobility issues. By understanding how laser therapy works and its numerous benefits, veterinarians and pet owners can make informed decisions to enhance the quality of life for aging pets. With clinical evidence supporting its efficacy and innovative products like the EVL Vet Laser System available, there has never been a better time to consider laser therapy for your beloved pets.

We encourage pet owners and veterinarians to explore the potential of laser therapy. As our pets grow older, they deserve the best care possible to ensure their golden years are comfortable and joyful.

To learn more about how laser therapy can benefit aging pets, contact your local veterinary clinic today.