Atlas Rehabilitation for Canines

Atlas Rehabilitation for Canines is Santa Barbara's only free standing, full service animal rehabilitation facility led by certified professionals. In June of 2017, Karen Atlas, MPT, PT, CCRT, teamed up with Dr. Bill Otto, DVM, to open ARC and offer physical rehabilitation services to pets. ARC is fully equipped with the latest underwater treadmill, cold laser therapy (class 3b), therapeutic ultrasound, Alpha-Stimulation (CES and MET), pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), electrical stimulation (NMES and TENS), as well as innovative land based exercise equipment.

Cold Laser Therapy


Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment option that has been proven to work at the cellular level to reduce pain and inflammation, facilitate faster healing, and improve joint health. At ARC, we use Class IIIB Cold Laser to treat a variety of conditions. Contrary to the name, cold laser therapy does not actually feel cold.  This modality does not work through thermal effects, rather it works through a mechanism known as photobiomodulation. 

During sessions, your pet typically will not feel anything at the time, but will often feel comfort following the treatment.


Conditions that laser therapy has been shown to be effective in treating:

  • Wounds and abrasions
  • Muscle spasms, strains and sprains
  • Ligament and tendon injuries
  • Hematomas and gross edema
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Acute and chronic inflammation
  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Myofascial trigger points and pain points
  • Non-union and small-bone fractures
  • Neuralgia and neuritis
  • Muscle contractures/scar tissue
  • Generalized pain

Physiological effects of cold laser therapy:

  • Facilitates faster healing by increasing cellular proliferation (the rate at which cells reproduce)
  • Reduces pain by stimulating endorphin receptors (the body’s natural “pain killer” hormone)
  • Reduces inflammation by stimulating the lymphatic system
  • Increases blood flow by means of vasodilation and angiogenesis.
  • Improves the tensile strength of tissues by increasing myofibroblast activity
  • Improves joint health by stimulating chondrocytes (the cells that produce cartilage)
  • Increases collagen synthesis
  • Enhances immune cell activity