How are lasers used in Veterinary Medicine?
The use of lasers in veterinary medicine has expanded rapidly in the last twenty years. In the late 1980s, a relatively small number of veterinarians began using laser technology. These earliest users were primarily located within colleges of veterinary medicine and large referral hospitals.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, private practitioners adopted the capabilities of lasers for soft tissue surgeries. Carbon dioxide lasers became popular for a wide variety of surgical procedures and, for many veterinarians, replaced cold steel for incisions, excisions, and vaporizations. Surgical diode lasers were also employed for many procedures, and were particularly useful for trans-endoscopic surgeries in a myriad of species. Similar to their counterparts in human medicine, veterinary ophthalmologists used lasers to treat glaucoma and retinal disorders, and internal medicine specialists performed surgeries and lithotripsies with Ho:YAG lasers.
Benefits of lasers and other energy-based devices in Veterinary Medicine
Veterinarians worldwide are appreciating the clinical benefits available to their patients using photobiomodulation. Photobiomodulation is quickly becoming standard of care in veterinary hospitals treating conditions such as arthritis, otitis, lick granulomas, wounds, acute strains and sprains as well as being an integral part of any rehabilitation practice.
Recent advances in lasers in Veterinary Medicine
With the introduction and enthusiastic acceptance of higher-powered therapeutic diode lasers in the late 2000s, lasers have again made a major impact in veterinary medicine for treating both large and small animals.