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cold laser therapy for dogs, cold laser therapy for cats, k-laser, raleigh vets with laser therapy, holistic arthritis pain for dogs, arthritis medication for dogs, raleigh animal hospital, dog laser therapy, cat laser therapy, lllt, does laser therapy really workArthritis pain in dogs and cats doesn’t have to mean high doses of prescription pain relievers as the only source of relief. This is good news given that your pet’s liver can be affected by long-term use of many medications. As veterinarians, we’ve long had to be precise with our recommended dosages and regular follow-up bloodwork for this reason. And while laser therapy doesn’t mean the end of medications, it can mean reduced medications. That, in turn, means reduced side effects. Cold laser therapy for arthritis pain in dogs and cats is a favorite weapon in our battle against pain in your furry family members.

What is Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs & Cats?

Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or Class IV therapy, is a wonderful, non-invasive, painless laser that works beautifully to help reduce pain. It uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal. This results in reduced inflammation, reduced pain, and increased circulation. The laser does not get hot, so it is completely comfortable to patients.

Cold laser therapy works by increasing metabolic activity within cells. This means we are able to work with the body at its most basic level in a way that produces no side effects. It is beneficial for more than just arthritis. We love using it to speed healing to injuries or after surgeries, too.

We use the most popular kind of cold laser equipment called K-Laser. K-Laser also makes cold lasers that have been used on humans for years!

What to Expect from Your Pet’s Cold Laser Therapy Treatments

Cold laser therapy for arthritis pain is a wonderful treatment method, but the effects are cumulative since we’re working with the body to stimulate its own abilities to provide relief. We usually begin to see notable improvement in pain within a couple of weeks of treatments.

Each treatment takes mere minutes. Because it’s not a good idea to look directly at the laser light, everyone in the exam room, including your pet, gets to put on a pair of protective glasses. Pets look pretty cute in theirs! Us? Depends on how into the ‘80s you are! Then a technician will turn on the laser equipment and move the laser back and forth over the target area of the body for a set period of time, just a few minutes. Then you’re done!

Your veterinarian will make a recommendation for the frequency of your pet’s treatments based on their needs at the time. Often, you can expect two or three visits the first week, a couple of visits the second week, then decrease from there into the third week. By this time, pain relief is usually obvious. Your vet will make a recommendation on how often to return for maintenance treatments. It depends on the pet, but this could be once every two or three weeks on average.

Cold laser therapy for arthritis results will vary depending on the severity of the arthritis itself, so we aren’t always able to stop use of prescription pain medications, but we can often postpone them or reduce the dosage and/or numbers of medications being taken overall. Keeping up the schedule of maintenance treatments helps us to determine exactly if and how much medication your pet might still need by giving us a consistent baseline from which to work.

Overall, the benefits are wonderful with cold laser therapy:
Reduced pain. Reduced prescriptions. No side effects. Cool glasses.

Check out this video by K-Laser, and come see us to learn more!

foods toxic to dogs, foods toxic to cats, raisins bad for dogs and cats, raleigh animal hospital, raleigh ncAs much as we sometimes view our pets as human-like and happily to spoil, adore, and talk to them, it is very important to remember that in some regards they have very different biology than we do. The very same things that we enjoy can make them incredibly ill. This is especially true when it comes to food items. Foods that are toxic to dogs and cats are in every home, and it’s our job as their caretakers to be familiar with what they are.

Grapes and Raisins Can Cause Renal Failure

Both cats and dogs can become incredibly ill from consuming grapes or raisins, though dogs are most at risk. Exactly why grapes and raisins are toxic to your pets is not completely understood, but we do know that ingesting these can cause the kidneys to fail. Early intervention can save lives. Initial symptoms within the first few hours include vomiting and/or diarrhea leading to lethargy, dehydration, weakness, etc. Renal failure begins after that, at which point the affected pet often cannot be saved.

As with why these are toxic, it is also not clearly understood exactly how many grapes or raisins it takes to cause toxicity, but a mere 4-5 grapes have been associated with the death of an 18 lbs dog which is alarming.

Onions, Garlic, & Leeks

Of the household foods toxic to dogs and cats, onions, garlic, and leeks are mild to moderately toxic. Cats and certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to the problems caused by ingesting these. Illness isn’t typically seen immediately following ingestion, so it may be a day or more before you see symptoms. Onions, garlic, and leeks can cause damage to red blood cells leading to anemia as the body is not able to distribute oxygen effectively. Gastroenteritis is also a common problem with allium consumption.

It is tempting to think that most pets, especially cats, would never want to eat something as pungent as an onion, but it is important to note that cooked onions can be quite mild and sweet. They are more tasty to pets but no less toxic.

Xylitol is Highly Toxic to Pets

Not sure what xylitol is? Think it’s not in your home? It probably is. Xylitol is a common sweetener found in everything from chewing gums, toothpastes, and sugar-free candies to even being used in some nasal irrigation solutions or flavored dental floss.

It is well documented that even low amounts of it can cause a severe drop in blood sugar and liver damage in dogs that can be life-threatening. There are no documented cases of toxicity in cats, but given that in many cases cats are more sensitive than dogs, it should be assumed that they would also have similar reactions to xylitol.

Read your ingredient labels, and keep this far out of reach of your pets. Seek help quickly if you know your pet has consumed xylitol.

Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs and Cats

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but given the prevalence of it in homes, it’s worth mentioning again. Also, many cat owners don’t realize that it’s dangerous for the kitties too.

The two culprits that make chocolate life-threatening for pets are caffeine and theobromine. These cause tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heartbeat, as well as other cardiac dysfunction. They also affect the central nervous system causing ataxia, tremors, and seizures.

If your pet gets into some chocolate, it’s important for you to contact your vet immediately. Your vet will also want to know how much chocolate was consumed and if it was unsweetened, milk chocolate, etc. This determines how much caffeine and theobromine the dog or cat consumed.

What You Should Do

If your pet consumes any of these foods that are toxic to dogs and cats, you should treat the situation as an emergency and call your vet immediately. If it’s outside normal business hours, contact your local Emergency Clinic or call the Pet Poison Hotline for advice, though they will most likely tell you to get to a vet.


See our list of healthy treats for your dogs right from your kitchen!


natural dog treats, healthy dog treats, foods safe for dogs

Healthy, natural treats for your dog that are already in your kitchen? Yes! No trip to the pet store required. Many fruits and vegetables make wonderful treats for dogs. Obviously, they are nutrient-dense foods which makes them great for health. They are often really convenient because many are staples you probably keep handy for your family anyway. And unlike many dog biscuits or similar treats, they are low in calories. This really helps to relieve the challenge that many of us face in striking a balance between treating our pups and managing a healthy weight for long term health overall.

So what are some simple, natural dog treats to incorporate into your routine? Here are some of our favorites!


An apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the veterinarian away, and a whole apple would be a bit much for a dog anyway, but they are good for dogs just like they are people! Full of nutrients and fiber, these are great snacks. Just be sure not to let your pup have the seeds or the core.

Green Peas

Frozen or fresh, green peas are good treats, and most dogs love them. Hand your dog a couple as training treats or even put some in their bowl. Easy-peasy!


Loaded with beta carotene and other vitamins, carrots are almost guaranteed to be in your kitchen anyway. Why not cut up some bite-sized pieces and use them as a healthy reward? Some dogs can be bad about swallowing without chewing (we’re looking at you, labs and beagles), so if yours is one, be sure that the carrot pieces are an appropriate size.

Green Beans

Dogs can eat green beans too! Just be sure that cooked green beans aren’t seasoned. Plain, please. These are a great source of greens and fiber.


Just like humans, most dogs love watermelon as a tasty, hydrating, and beneficial snack. Be sure to remove any seeds, and don’t give your dog the rind.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Cooked sweet potatoes may not seem to smack of convenience, but since they keep well in the refrigerator, it’s actually really simple to roast up some extra to share during the week with your furry family member. It’s best to keep them plain. Do not give dogs raw potatoes of any kind.


We all know that bananas are loaded with healthy nutrients. Most dogs love them, too, so they are a natural choice that you probably keep handy all the time. Just be sure not to overdo it. Given their high sugar content, it’s best to give bananas to dogs in moderation.


Cruciferous veggies have well-known health benefits, and broccoli is a good choice for pups. Feel free to give them a few small pieces as a treat. These can be raw, roasted, or steamed, just unseasoned please. Like humans, dogs often have an easier time digesting high-fiber foods that have been cooked, but either is safe.

Cooked Squash

Cooked squashes are great natural treats for dogs! And since there are several kinds of squash that are safe for dogs, this is a good option year round. Butternut squash, yellow squash, or zucchini are all great. Even pumpkin! Just be sure to remove seeds, and for the butternut, the rind, as well.


Strawberries are sweet little vitamin C nuggets that dogs love. Like bananas, they are high in sugar, so just keep that in mind when you decide how many to give.


Like strawberries, blueberries are great, healthy, and easy little treats to share with your pup!

You Should Know…

When trying out new treats for your dog, it’s always best to start with small portions, and see how your dog’s GI tract responds.

There are also a number of foods in your kitchen that can be dangerous for dogs to consume, so check back soon for a list of common foods to avoid.

Would you know what to do if your canine friend was ever injured? We truly hope this never
happens to any of our clients, but we do want you to be prepared in case of an emergency. While
a serious injury will of course require immediate veterinary care, you may have to provide some
first aid before your dog can be transported. In this article, you’ll read some tips on what to do if
your canine friend ever gets hurt.


Pale gums, quick breathing, unconsciousness, seizures, weak or fast pulse, and difficulty
standing are all signs that a dog needs immediate medical care. Seizures, excessive bleeding, and
a change in body temperature are also red flags. If you aren’t sure if your dog’s injuries require
immediate care, always err on the side of caution, and take your pup to an emergency clinic right

First Aid

In an emergency situation, you may need to act fast to save your canine pal. The last thing you
want to do is scramble for instructions, so we recommend downloading a few pet first aid apps.
That way, you’ll always have the information on your phone.


If your dog has ingested something toxic, call the ASPCA poison control center at (888) 426-
4435. Once they have the details, the staff will be able to advise you on exactly what to do next,
including inducing vomiting, if needed.

Moving Your Dog

Even if Fido is normally friendly and gentle, he might bite if he’s hurt. Talk to your dog before
trying to touch him. If he growls or bares his teeth, you may need to muzzle him. Once your dog
is secure, you can move him into your car. You can use a strong box or laundry basket to carry a
small dog. For bigger pups, use blankets or sleeping bag to make a temporary stretcher.

Call Ahead

Call your emergency clinic before leaving, so they will be expecting you. This will allow
veterinary staff to prepare for your arrival, and may save precious time.


We strongly recommend getting a first aid kit for Fido. The kit should include his papers and
first aid brochures, as well as basic medical supplies, such as gauze, non-stick bandages, and
antiseptic spray.

Please contact us for all your pet’s veterinary care needs! We are always happy to help!

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