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Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy

By Wm. L. Inman BS, DVM, CVCP

Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved

Please see Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy Seminar dates 2013-2014

(Click here for dates)

(Click here for a list of Advanced Veterinary Cold Laser Practitioners)

(Click here for a list of archived VLLLT Webinars)

For a video on laser application C/O Michael Amsberry DVM of Tarpon Springs, FL click below. Dr. Amsberry has had the laser in his practice less than 6 months

A. Introduction

Invariably a new technique or process is often fraught with counter-intentions that are usually seen throughout the field of study and across the board.  The relative benefit of such a process or new technology is directly proportional to the amount of consternation, doubt, and criticism that, it in fact receives. It takes all this on as its requirement to grow and to develop. 


Veterinary cold Laser Therapy (VCLT) developed by William L. Inman DVM, CVCP, is the culmination of over twenty years of experience and application of healing technologies using a non-cutting or “cold” lasers on human beings and animals. This author has seldom seen a technology as valuable and inspiring, as this particular technology appears to be. Suffice to say you are witnessing the emergence of a completely new age in healing and certainly a total paradigm shift in veterinary health care.


The data transcribed in this article is designed to give you an introduction to the use of veterinary cold a laser therapy on the domestic animals.  The dog, the cat, and the horse can all be adequately treated with a number of modalities in a number of different disease conditions with healing equipment that does not even have to touch the animal’s body. 


This body of information is designed to give you an adequate blueprint for you to be able to take a specific disease condition, locate the healing solution that is designed to take care of that particular condition, and to prescribe a therapeutic methodology to treat that particular condition in an accelerated and complete fashion. 


Disclaimer; the information in here portrayed is based upon the use of a number of different types of lasers the most important of which is the Erchonia-style laser provided by Erchonia Medical Supply located in Arizona. Other types of lasers have been used with limited amounts of success and only the Erchonia PL5 laser will be referred to in the in this body of information. We believe the PLS Erchonia Cold Laser to be the “state of the art” at the time of this writing and to use other equipment, although possibly effective to some degree, would be “kind of like kissing your sister”.


This author has found the helium-neon style laser, firing at 635nm, to be the most effective and the easiest to use.  Its application rates and application modes are superior to other types of equipment and are available at the time of this writing. Other equipment has been tested and reproducibility and efficacy has found somewhat lacking in those models.


B. Laser Theory


Light amplification by stimulated emission rays or L.A.S.E.R. is a means of directing highly concentrated coherent light at a concise wavelength to the muscles, tissues, organs, connective tissue, formed elements of the blood, and the living matrix of the body, are all involved and are all subject to laser stimulation and healing. 


Photosynthesis is a means by which the light energy from the sun is gathered by reacting with chemicals in plant material to harness the energy of the quantum of light.  The sun’s light is discharged from the surface of the sun and spreads out in radiating beams that expand further and further apart as they travel from the sun. De to the radiating of the sun’s rays, the intensity of energy that is experiences here on Earth is just a small bit of the original radiation field density 


Coherent light is polarized, and able to be location ally specific.  It does not radiate but rather it is directed to a specific location.  Its coherency allows the delivery of exacting quanta of light and in specifically high energy levels to exacting locations with exacting and concise wavelengths.  


It has been proven that cells communicate through coherent light.  When a sperm and ovum fertilize, they immediately give off coherent light at precisely 632.8 nanometers.


Cells in the living matrix also communicate throughout the total body living things via a coherent light, and that communication is done instantaneously through the living matrix to direct all aspects of healing, growth, regulation of metabolism, and general cell survival.    


To be able to dial into this communication process via an artificial methodology such as a cold laser is the ability to emulate the exact methodology is that the cells themselves use to heal themselves and also to grow, to change, and to survive. It has been said, “it is the way God talks to all cells, tissues, organisms and creatures.


Laser light then communicates to the cells on a very basic and powerful level. The nature of the laser light has several facets:

1.      Wavelength: the actual wavelength of the light corresponds to how much distance the wave of light is from crest to crest. Such a distance (635 nanometers) is the length of light we are interested in and falls within the red band of visible light.

2.      Coherency: light can radiate like the Sun’s light or it can be arranged due to stimulated emission via simultaneous excitation of electrons to higher atomic levels and their immediate retroversion back to a lesser level giving off exacting quanta of light at the same wavelength at the same time and orientation, or coherent.

3.      Power: the amount of force or power delivered to a particular area with laser light is also dependent on the nature of the retroversion above and the amount of atoms artificially elevated to an unstable state and then allowed to degrade giving off coherent laser light. This is commonly evaluated in Joules/square centimeter and in many devices for medical therapeutics, is often too high.

4.      Frequency: this is the turning off and on of the laser light per unit time, in this case pulses per second. The laser can be beneficial if shown continuously but has been proven to be able to “speak” to specific tissues and organs if modulated with specific frequencies. Without varying frequency ability, laser equipment can be only partially effective. A number of early lasers were found to give results but could not “speak” to specific tissues with these exacting frequencies so they were only marginally effective. This is why lasers therapy has not become a “big deal” until now. Also these devices in order to try to make them more effective their power in milliwatts were increased which at first appeared to make them work faster but they also would cause harm and negate the healing that they would do.


C. Biological Effects of Laser Light


            There are many reasons that the light therapy works on the structure and metabolism of living tissues. /some of them are:


1.      Effects at the cellular level: the reduction of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is a major effect of the laser light. It has been proven that the light at the proper wavelength repairs mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) and messenger RNA (mRNA), used to support and direct maintenance and metabolism in the cell. (Please see enclosures in the addendum of this work that can explain these effects better than I need to at this point).

2.      Effects at the organ level: these effects are seen as the culmination of the combined effects of the rehabilitation of the cells and connective tissues repaired by laser light. As the cell heals, proper metabolism ensues and the organ resumes proper function.

3.      Effects at the symptomatic level: in the case of animals we would say at the level of clinical signs but the resumption of proper organ function will then reduce signs/symptoms that were the hallmark of the disease process and are a barometer in the evaluation of the healing process.

4.      Effects at the therapeutic level: then as the organs heal, the sign/symptoms resolve we see the organism heal.


D. Laser Application Modes


            There are various application modes in the use of VCLT. Each is used for a different purpose and is logically applied to enhance therapy and reduce treatment time. They are:


1.      Continuous or static application: this mode involves placing the light over a point or points and pinpointing the therapy to one exacting location. This method was first used in laser application and requires the point laser to be directed to the exact foci. It is more tedious than other modes.

2.      Motion or “flick” application: this mode allows the user to move the device in the more general area of the specific laser site and can be lightly “flicked” over the general area which allow a lot more leeway in the therapy. This application technique requires a very efficient lasering device that can deliver its effects with such a method. This mode is usually not possible with “dot” or “point” lasers as their energy is too closely focused to make such motioning hit the site adequately.

3.      Pulsed laser application: this is of course the current preferred method as it allow us to program a specific frequency of laser light that will “communicate” with specific cells, organs, and tissues. This communication enhances our success at least ten-fold.


E. Laser Beam Shapes


            There are several types of beam shapes in current laser equipment. They are:


1.      Dot types: these are the oldest on the market, require exacting placement and are often too strong or are the wrong frequency or wavelength.

2.      Square dot types: these produce a small square box type beam and have some of the problems of the dot laser but can be modulated and are usually of a succinct frequency.

3.      Line types: these are preferred as they can be used in the maximum application modes and can be easily motion up and down a meridian or laser site. They can be used to stimulate a whole meridian at one time and can be applied to a whole body area or just one focal point.



F. Laser Light Penetration


            It is important to remember that the light from the Sun diverges and is not coherent. It does not penetrate the body well and is of unlimited wavelengths. A photon of coherent light is smaller than an electron and if we revisit our atomic and molecular theory, we are reminded that to shoot something as small as a photon of light through a large, thick solid thing such as the body, it would be like shooting a bullet through a sparsely treed forest. Eventually we would hit something but we would easily penetrate deep into the forest before we ran into something.

            This is why we are able to deliver laser light deep into the tissues of even the thickest areas of the equine and bovine. You will notice that the treatment times for similar disease conditions, using the same frequencies are longer for the large animals than the dog and the cat. This reflects this phenomenon but in now way reduces or occludes our ability to effectively treat these “deep” tissues.

            This ability alone, to effectively treat these deep tissues makes VCLT a healing technology unequaled in current veterinary therapy.


G. Treatment Modalities


            The treatment modalities are application types and protocol methods directed to enhance efficacy and reduce treatment time (see application modalities above).


1.      Continuous or static: this is an application that directs light to a concise focal area for a specific time to yields a specific result. Directing any type of laser to a nerve root for the release of that nerve root and the muscles compromised by that nerve root is a good example of this type of treatment modality.

2.      Acupuncture point or meridian stimulation: this method directs energy to the acupuncture points such as GV20 at the top of the head or down along the internal or external bladder meridians on the back.

3.      Kinetic nerve or kinetic tissue stimulation: this is a method of moving the line laser light up and down a nerve tract, the spinal cord, a peripheral nerve, a muscle, or a band of connective tissue such as a tendon or ligament. It is particularly effective in rehabilitating the effects of vertebral subluxation complex and their effects on the myofascial tissues affected by these subluxations.

4.      Dual point stimulation: this method has unlimited and mostly undiscovered potential. It involves the use of two-point stimulation with various frequencies of laser light. It enables us to treat areas relative to other areas such as the nerve roots and muscles of the pelvic limb while stimulating the cerebellum on the same side of the brain and thus reprogramming not only healing, but also neurological re-organization and reorientation. The value and import of this method cannot be understated.

5.      Sympathetic Stimulation: this method of over stimulation of the sympathetic nerve tracts in the Para vertebral ganglion, allow an immediate “reset” to normal the parasympathetic neurological tonus and actually enhances that function to levels that are much higher than before and thus enhances performance. This method seem to have no down side yet much needs to be investigated as this appears to be a means of greatly enhancing performance in both human and animal athletes.


H. General Veterinary Treatment Protocols


There are several general treatment protocols that are used either by themselves or with other more specific protocols. These protocols are designed to enhance a particular disease therapy or can be used in a general sense as the sole treatment of choice.


If a practitioner were to master only these protocols and use only these, he would be still far more effective than any of his colleagues to date using methods other than cold laser.


Protocols are written for the sake of this work in this format:


Frequency (Hz) + frequency + frequency (etc.)/ time of treatment in seconds/ area or point of treatment.

So… a protocol that is written: 4/180/brainstem, means the device is set to 4 cycles/sec and placed at the brainstem for 3 minutes (180 seconds).

A protocol written:


            9/180/nerve root

            16/180/area of involvement (AOI)

            42/180/lymph nodes draining area

            33/180/same side cerebellum


This would see a four frequency laser programmed at 9Hz at A1, 16Hz at A2, 42Hz at B1, and 33Hz at B2, and applied to the affected nerve root and the area the nerve root innervates for 3 min, at the same side cerebellum for 3 min and the draining lymph nodes for 3 min, total treatment time is 9 min and could be repeated twice daily for 3 days and then every other day for two weeks or as needed.


Scheduling and Duration of Treatment Sessions:


In general, treatment sessions can be applied more frequently for shorter periods of time in acute cases and less frequently for longer periods of time (5-60 min/ in chronic cases.

 The number of sessions varies depending upon the severity and chronicity of the disease process and the nature and characteristics of the specific ailment. Also the age and general health of the patient and nutrition level plays a role.

Scheduling and Duration of Treatment Sessions


In general, treatment sessions can be applied more frequently for shorter periods of time in acute cases and less frequently for longer periods of time (5-60 min/ in chronic cases.

 The number of sessions varies depending upon the severity and chronicity of the disease process and the nature and characteristics of the specific ailment. Also the age and general health of the patient and nutrition level plays a role.



The veterinary treatment protocols that are used consistently are:


1.      Arthritis/Spondylitis/Myelopathy Protocol

9/300/effected nerve root

16/120/effected area

5/120/effected area

25/120/ joint above effected area

2.      Neuropathy Protocol

9/90/nerve, nerve root or nervous tissue

33/90/ same side cerebellum

60/90/opposite cortex

4/90/upper lip and brain stem

3.      Immune Protocol


73/60/tonsilar area and lymph nodes of the head

73/60/heart and thoracic duct

71/60/thymic area (thoracic inlet)


73/60/bone marrow of the sternum, femur and pelvis

4.      Lymphatic Drainage Protocol

42/120/lymphatic tissues inguinal, axillary, submandibular, thoracic duct, anterior and posterior cervical lymph nodes, popliteal lymph nodes

71/60/thymic area and thoracic inlet



5.      Pre and Post Surgical Protocol

9/180/surgical site

9/120/axial spine

71+45+16/90/thoracic inlet

37/90/upper lip

6.      Liver Detox Protocol

53/120/liver lobes

55/120/gall bladder (not equine)



20/120/jejunum, colon

7.      Hormone Balance Protocol

97+73+35+59/60/brainstem-hypothalmus-ant-post pituitary

19+59/60 thyroid-parathyroid

8.      Acute Pain-Injury Protocol

363+9/120/area of injury

33/120/same side cerebellum

60/120/opposite side cortex

4/120/upper lip

16/120/zyphoid (emotional loci)

9.      Sympathetic-Parasympathetic (S-PS) Balance Protocol

First laser the sympathetic areas:


216/120/parvertebral ganglion from T1-L3

213/120/over dorsum of T5-6-7

Then do the parasympathetic areas:


87/120/upper lip

87/120/L3-4-5 (over lumbar vertebrae)(L3-4 cat and horse, L4-5 dog)

10.  Acupuncture Meridian Balance Protocol

37/120/GV 20 (top of head)

5+10+15/60/pinna at the margin acupuncture points

11.  Infection Protocol

784+187+42/300/at infectious site(s)

73/180/thymus or thoracic inlet


42/120/draining lymph nodes

12.  Allergy Protocol (Specific or General)

73/120/thymic area, thoracic inlet

16/120/spine and sternum to zyphoid

21/120/each adrenal



These general veterinary treatment protocols will be referred to by name as additions in the section following for “Disease Specific Veterinary Protocols”.



Specific Canine, Feline, and equine protocols for specific diseases are delineated in detail in the body of the Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy Course delivered by the IAVCP and VOM Seminars.

click here for curricula and training locations



A. Disease Specific Feline Protocols


1.      Abscesses

2.      Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (CIBD)

3.      Feline Hyperthyroidism,

4.      Feline Skin-Spinal Reflex, Feline Neurodermatitis, Endocrine Alopecia, Milliary Eczema

5.      Kidney Disease, FUS, FLUTD

6.      Megacolon

7.      Pyorrhea

                Plus many others


B. Disease Specific Canine Protocols


1.      Canine Hip Dysplasia Syndrome

2.      Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy

3.      Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease

4.      Cushing’s Disease

5.      Canine Wobbler’s Disease

6.      Hypothyroid

7.      Progressive Degenerative Myelopathy

8.      Urinary Incontinence

                Plus many others 


C. Disease Specific Equine Protocols


1.      Arthritis, (General or Focal) Sore Back etc.

2.      Bleeder (exercise induced naso-pharyngeal hemorrhage) Elevated Blood Pressure

3.      Bronchitis, Bronchopneumonia, Pneumonitis

4.      Bruising, Subcutaneous Hemorrhage, Wound Reorganization

5.      Bursitis

6.      Colic (all kinds), Bloat

7.      Bone Injury, (splint bone and acute boney injuries)

8.      Dermatosis, Urticaria, Hives, Rain Scald

9.      Ear and Guttoral Pouch Disease

10.  Edema, (general, hypostatic, ventral, extremities)

11.  Equine Protozoal Myelitis (EPM)(see also Neurotropic Herpes)

12.  Facial Nerve Paralysis, Lip Paralysis

13.  Fear, Terrors, Miss-emotion, Training Problems

14.  Hepatitis, Hepatosis

15.  Hock Distension

16.  Heart and Heart Related Conditions

17.  Focal or General Inflammation

18.  Lacerations

19.  Lack of Focus in Training

20.  Laryngeal Hemiplegia

21.  Kidney Disease

See feline Kidney disease protocols

22.  Malignant Hyperthermia

23.  Navicular Disease and Laminitis

24.  Neurotropic Herpes (West Nile Virus?)

25.  Proud Flesh, Excessive Granulation Tissue

26.  Sepsis, (General or Focal)

                Plus many more

(Click here for a list of Advanced Veterinary Cold Laser Practitioners)


(Click here for curricula and training locations)