Laser Surgery for Pets
I've been hearing a lot about laser surgery for my pets. My friend suggested I should have done it when I have my cat declawed. What are the benefits of laser surgery, and what else is it used for?
Laser surgery has been used in human medicine for some time, and with laser units becoming more affordable, it is gaining popularity among veterinarians. The three main advantages that Laser affords are: 1) Reduced bleeding from sealing of blood vessels; 2) Reduced pain from sealing of nerve endings; and 3) Reduced swelling from sealing of lymph ducts. These reasons are why it is becoming popular for declawing cats. There are many uses for Lasers in surgery, including correction of entropion (turned-in eyelids that may cause corneal ulcers) and epiphora (kinked tear ducts that cause excessive tearing), treatment of chronically infected ears, removal of oral tumors, and treatment of periodontal disease. It is perhaps most useful in the removal of warts and other small skin growths, that with the Laser, can be removed under a local anesthetic during a regular appointment. This is particularly important for pets that may be a general anesthetic risk. As with any technology, it is only as good as the person using it. The experience of the veterinarian with that particular technology, and the amount of training he/she has received, can determine the outcome of any procedure. When inquiring about the declaw procedure, or any procedure for that matter, don't be afraid to ask about the veterinarian's experience - number of years working with this technology and the number of procedures performed. A final note: I mentioned in the opening that laser units are becoming "more affordable" for veterinarians to purchase. They still cost around $30,000, so expect to pay higher fees for any procedure done with the Laser. Be sure to clarify with your veterinarian what these costs may be. The benefits to your pet will be well worth the extra fees.