Healing laser enhances pet health at La Jolla Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Marilyn Seals (left) and Dr. Julie Breher of La Jolla Veterinary Hospital perform laser therapy on Pixel the dachshund. (Courtesy Photo)

By Marti Gacioch

Whether it’s for arthritis, dermatitis, a surgical incision or dental inflammation, La Jolla Veterinary Hospital is seeing amazing healing benefits for pets treated with K-Laser therapy, according to Dr. Julie Breher, DVM, MPVM.

“Laser therapy is appropriate for any inflammatory condition like arthritis; in 90 percent of the cases, we see improvement for dogs that walk better and are stronger,” Breher said.

With pet arthritis, the hospital’s three veterinarians adhere to a 3-2-1 protocol. They use the laser on a pet three times a week during the first week, twice a week on the second week, and once during the third week. Then they do monthly or bi-monthly single-dose boosters if needed.

Each laser treatment takes 3-5 minutes per site. On a typical large older dog with hip and back problems, the vet will treat the left hip, the right hip and the lower lumbar spine, taking about 15 minutes in all.

“We’re still finding more uses for The K-Laser; it’s good for inflammation, and when we use it on an incision post-op, we can usually take the stitches out in seven days, rather than 14,” Breher said.

The K-Laser is also used for “hot spots” (moist dermatitis) frequently caused by allergies. “Hot spots occur when the dog starts scratching and biting at a particular location that may cause enough trauma to induce a secondary infection that gets wet and infected,” Breher said. “We usually put the pet on antibiotics, but now we’re also giving them the laser, which makes a hot spot significantly better in 24 to 72 hours.”

The K-Laser also relieves dental treatment inflammation.

“We use the laser while they’re under anesthesia, and when I discharge a pet, I see a lot less swelling, and owners say that their pets are more comfortable,” Breher said. “Laser treatments are not harmful and there are no medications required. Furthermore, for holistically minded people, it’s a wonderful alternative to pain pills and extremely cost-effective.”

Laser therapy (the application of energy via light into the tissue) has been around since the 1960s, but the Food and Drug Administration didn’t approve it for use on humans and pets until the early 2000s.

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital
Address: 7520 Fay Ave., La Jolla, Calif.
Hours: Open seven days a week with new Sunday hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: (858) 454-6155

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Posted by Staff
on Mar 19, 2013. Filed under Business Spotlight, La Jolla Landmark Businesses.
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