Letters to the Editor

Laser therapy in veterinary medicine

As the Board of Directors of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV), we are writing to express concern about the increased use in veterinary medicine of therapeutic lasers by individuals who are not adequately trained in the indications for laser therapy or the correct applications of this modality. The AARV believes that laser therapy, when used correctly, is an important tool in veterinary rehabilitation. However, we are concerned that inappropriate use of this modality will, at best, yield poor results and, at worst, result in skin burns, particularly given the powerful lasers currently on the market. The AARV is further concerned that the inappropriate use of therapeutic lasers by untrained veterinarians and lay personnel may adversely affect perceptions of the value of laser therapy among clients and our fellow professionals.

Laser therapy is not the answer to every physical ailment, and even when it is indicated, it must be used in conjunction with manual therapies, specific targeted exercises, and pain management. As veterinarians, we took an oath to use our scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health. That includes educating ourselves adequately before performing thera pies to provide the best standards of care.

Julia Tomlinson, bvsc, phd, dacvs

Evelyn Orenbuch, dvm

Julie Mayer, dvm

Janet Van Dyke, dvm, dacvsmr

Rosemary J. LoGiudice, dvm

Board of Directors AARV Burnsville, Minn

Treating animals with stem cells

I am writing to express how much I enjoyed the recent JAVMA News article on the growth in stem cell therapy.1 As a retired practitioner, I tend to look on this new treatment modality as something of a miracle development and only wish it had come along during my more than 50 years in practice. My fervent hope is that stem cell therapy continues to receive the vigorous support it deserves from our profession.

The news article reminded me of a poem of mine that was published in the letters section in 1963.2 In it, I vigorously defended the use of animals in medical research. At the time, I was the first veterinarian ever employed by Georgetown University as the director of their animal care facility. Much valuable research was done there on everything from mice to monkeys. Stem cell use is one of the obvious benefits coming out of those kinds of efforts.

Bud Stuart, dvm

Santa Barbara, Calif

  • 1.

    Burns K. Stem cells in theory & practice. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2011; 238: 396399.

  • 2.

    Stuart J. Humane care of animals (lett). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1963; 143: 458.

  • 1.

    Burns K. Stem cells in theory & practice. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2011; 238: 396399.

  • 2.

    Stuart J. Humane care of animals (lett). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1963; 143: 458.

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