Holmium:YAG laser ablation of thoracolumbar disks in dogs has been shown to be an effective alternative to standard surgical fenestration techniques. Our hypothesis was the Holmium:YAG laser could be equally effective and safe when used to ablate cervical intervertebral disks. Six normal chondrodystrophoid breed dogs were used. A sterile, cleaved, 320 micrometers , low-OH quartz optical fiber was inserted into each needle and the laser activated for 40 s at 2 W mean power and a 15 Hz pulse repetition rate for a total of 80 J. Dogs were observed in pain, neurological deficits, or other complications for 24 weeks. At 24 weeks, dogs were euthanatized and cervical disks collected and placed in 10 percent neutral buffered formalin. Disks were decalcified, sectioned at 5 micrometers , and stained with H and E. No problems were encountered during the procedure except occasional difficulties passing the needle by the shoulder to enter the C6-7 disk space. No complications, including neurologic deficits or pain were observe during the 24 weeks. Histologic examination revealed varying degrees of necrosis and defects created in the nucleus pulposus by laser irradiation. In some instances there was evidence of mild adjacent annular and bony thermal injury. On the basis of these result, the Ho:YAG laser appears to be a safe and efficacious method for ablation of canine cervical disks.