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What is Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy in cats is a drug-free, surgery-free, pain-free and non-invasive treatment for a wide variety of feline health conditions. The therapeutic laser is specially designed to admit deep-penetrating light to stimulate a chain of chemical reactions in the cells known as photobiostimulation. The cells are stimulated to promote healing and endorphins are released to aid in pain relief with the metabolic process the laser triggers. A laser therapy procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian that has received training to utilize this relatively new therapeutic practice. 

Laser Therapy Procedure in Cats

Prior to conducting the laser therapy treatment, the veterinarian will review your cat’s medical history and perform a physical examination. If your cat is suffering from an infectious condition, the veterinarian may request blood work and a urinalysis before performing the laser therapy. If the feline is suffering from a physical condition, such as arthritis, radiographs of the affected area may be taken to ensure there are no irregularities the doctor cannot see. 

Laser therapy does not require sedation or for the feline’s hair to be removed. The feline will be restrained by a technician to ensure the lasers energy is directed in the appropriate location. The laser is a handheld device that the veterinarian will hold for the duration of the session, which is usually between two to eight minutes long. The lasers light emits a warming sensation to the cat and most felines find this feeling of warmth pleasant. After the session is over, a follow-up session will be scheduled and your cat will be allowed to return home. 

Efficacy of Laser Therapy in Cats

Laser therapy in cats is highly effective in reducing pain and decreasing inflammation and swelling, as well as speeding up the healing process. Laser treatments do not require sedation, so cat owners do not need to worry about anesthetic risks and because laser treatments release endorphins, felines usually feel more relaxed after the session. Laser therapy is fast-acting and the majority of felines will show signs of improvement in 12-24 hours following treatment. 

Laser Therapy Recovery in Cats

The average length of a laser therapy session for felines last about eight to twelve minutes, after which the feline can return home. The feline will typically display signs of improvement within 12-24 hours following the session, but will require additional sessions until the issue is resolved. 

Cost of Laser Therapy in Cats

The average cost of a feline laser therapy session is $30-$40, but can cost pet owners up to $65 per treatment depending on the feline’s needs. The total cost of the laser therapy treatment will depend on the number of treatment received, the length of the treatment and if any diagnostic examinations were performed. 

Cat Laser Therapy Considerations

Acute feline conditions will be treated with laser therapy until the issue is resolved, whereas chronic conditions require multiple treatment sessions. There are no known side effects of laser therapy, but the feline will be required to wear protective eye gear. Specially designed cat eye goggles or a shield will be provided for the patient to wear during the treatment session to prevent damage to the eyes. 

Laser Therapy Prevention in Cats

The need for laser therapy can be prevented by simply keeping your cat safe and healthy. Many conditions treated with laser therapy can be prevented by following a balanced diet and visiting the veterinarian on a routine basis. Other chronic conditions, however, are difficult to prevent as the underlying cause of these feline health conditions are unknown. 

Laser Therapy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Emily
Domestic shorthair
14 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Brown spots in eyes

My cat has always had brown spots in her eyes but in the last few months it appears the number has increased and they are affecting the shape of her pupils. I know this is strongly connected with cancer but can be treated with laser therapy in the eyes. How much would that cost? What doctors in the Manassas VA areas provide this treatment?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1610 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. The spots in Emily's' eyes may or may not be related to cancer. There are normal aging changes that occur. It would be best to have her examined before deciding what therapy she might need, as this probem may or may not exist. your veterinarian will be able to see her, determine what is going on, and recommened any therapy that she may need. I hope that all goes well for her!

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Anastasis
Russian Blue
11 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

healing

11 year old feral cat had part of tail cut off from something or someone. Took off at the joint but also skinned the remainder of the tail to the base of her spine. She has about 2 inches left of her tail. Raw skin, tip is healing. Skin is slow to heal, has had three laser treatments and now cream mixed with insulin being applied twice day. Vet wants maybe six more laser treatments every other day/three times a week. She weighs 4 lbs now after being inside house in her own room. Does she really need six more laser treatments? The tail always looks moist and redder after the treatments? The cream keeps it moist also but absorbs pretty fast if I rub it in for a minute or two or however long she will be still. Antibiotic shot next week (This just happened a week and a half ago) . Do we need to continue the laser? Or give more time between treatments? Do we need to continue to mix the insulin with the cream and do this twice a day? She will be living inside for the rest of her life. Good appetite. She was only 3 lbs last week and is enjoying her food so much.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1610 Recommendations
I'm afraid that I cannot comment on her treatment plan without seeing her or the injury, but laser therapy has been shown to promote wound healing, and may be helping. With that sort of terrible injury, it would make sense to do everything possible to help it heal.

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Stormy
domestic short hair
16 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Stiffness

My cat had cold laser therapy for arthritis in her spine. This was a maintenance appt, it had been approx 4 months since her initial sessions. Anyway she appears to be uncomfortable since the session. Prior to and day of she was fine, great actually, and I feel horrible she is not moving well.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1610 Recommendations
I'm not sure that the laser therapy would have caused any trauma to Stormy, as it is quite a benign therapy. If she has been uncomfortable since the session 4 months ago, she may need further treatment for her arthritis. There are many prescription pain medications that cats can safely take, and it would be a good idea to discuss whether she may need one with your veterinarian.

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