Humane Society of Westmoreland County treats animals with laser
By Bob Stiles
Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8:22 p.m.
Boo Boo, a black Labrador mixed puppy, arrived at the Humane Society of Westmoreland County two weeks ago with a bad cut on his face near his right eye.
Humane society staff began using a recently purchased therapeutic laser on the wound.
“We used the laser for about a week, and it closed up,” said Kathy Burkley, society executive director. “Some hair will have to grow back, if it grows back, and he'll have a scar.”
The humane society in Hempfield, behind Lynch Field, purchased the laser a few weeks ago for about $17,000.
Staff received training on using the laser to help treat animals with cuts, skin conditions such as mange and ringworm, arthritis and muscle injuries, Burkley said.
The treatment consists of placing a cold laser probe, linked to a computer, directly on the animal for a prescribed amount of time.
The laser administers joules of light until the entire treatment area is covered, Burkley explained.
The probe emits laser light directly into the tissue, stimulating cells and increasing blood circulation. The laser can reduce inflammation and relieve pain, many times allowing older or lame animals to gain increased mobility, Burkley said.
“It's painless,” she said. “It can replace narcotics or other drugs that take a long time to work.”
Burkley said she saw an article about the laser in the Tribune-Review and believed it would be a “good fit” for the humane society since many animals coming to the agency, like Boo Boo, could benefit from the treatment.
Boo Boo has since been adopted.
Animals first are evaluated by the society's veterinarian to determine the course of treatment.
Amy Waltz, head surgical and laser technician, had used the laser on more than 20 animals by early this week.
“We've seen some really good results, especially with our arthritic dogs,” Waltz said. “It's been really promising.”
The treatment can also be used for dysplasia, Lyme disease, chronic injury, sprains, strains, disc disease and other ailments.
The society expects to offer the treatment to animals whose owners can't afford a private vet, Burkley said.
One treatment will cost $25 and will help to pay for the laser. The price for multiple treatments will be based on the number of sessions involved, officials said.
Often, an owner and pet part company because of medical costs, Burkley said.
If her nonprofit group can help to keep the two together via the laser then that's good, she said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Family seeking the miracle of a living donor
- Greensburg Salem teacher brings tablets to Haitian students