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Podcast Episode # 20: Lasers in Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Dave Huff

laser light show

Dr. Huff has been using Erchonia lasers to treat his patients with a wide range of inflammatory conditions, pre and post-operative procedures, infections, arthritis, and a host of other clinical conditions. Discover what Dr. has learned over the last 15 years using low-level laser therapy to deliver superior results for his patients and their owners.




Dr. Chad Woolner: Have you heard of veterinary low-level lasers? The Erchonia veterinary lasers are the most researched and validated veterinary lasers in the market. These are non-thermal lasers with absolutely no side effects or adverse events. No other laser systems can produce the outcomes of the Erchonia lasers for acute and chronic pain, pre-operative and post-operative applications, wound healing, and countless other therapeutic benefits. 

All the laser protocols are quick and effective, and average treatment time is around 3-5 minutes. All the lasers are fully automated and pre-programed with your veterinary protocols for ease of use. Just push the start button and treat the desired area. That’s it. Erchonia hosts several webinars and seminars each year to provide personalized training, as well as keeping you up-to-date with all the latest developments with laser healthcare. You can go to their website erchoniavetlasers.com for more information on the #1 veterinary laser system today. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: What’s going on everybody? Dr. Chad Woolner here with Dr. Andrew Wells and today we have with us our special guest Dr. Dave Huff and we’re going to be talking about lasers in veterinary medicine. So let’s get started.

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I used to love going to laser light shows at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They would put on these amazing light shows with incredible designs synced up to some of my favorite music. From the Beatles to Pink Floyd to Jimmy Hendrix and Metallica; they were awesome. Little did I know then that lasers would have such a profound effect on my life decades later. As a chiropractic physician, I have seen first-hand just how powerful laser therapy is in helping patients struggling with a wide range of health problems. As the leader in laser therapy, Erchonia has pioneered the field in obtaining 20 of the 23 total FDA clearances for therapeutic application of lasers. On this podcast, we’ll explore the science and technology and physiology behind what makes these tools so powerful. Join me as we explore low-level laser therapy. I’m Dr. Chad Woolner along with my good friend Dr. Andrew Wells and welcome to The Laser Light Show.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Alright, welcome to the show everybody and a special welcome to Dr. Dave Huff. Dr. Dave, great to have you on the show with us, thanks for being here. 

Dr. Dave Huff: No problem, glad to do it. Thanks for having me on!

Dr. Chad Woolner: So Dr. Huff is a veterinarian. And I have to admit there’s a certain level of awe that comes to mind whenever I think of veterinarians because with us as the various respective doctors we are, we have one species that we focus on. And more often than not, we are only focused on one specific area because of specialization and departmentalization. Not only do you have to focus on head-to-toe everything, or I should say – head to tail, everything, but you have multiple species across the spectrum in terms of what you have to be knowledgeable about. I can’t even wrap my head around that. So hats off to you – tons of respect to veterinarians out there. Where do you practice?

Dr. Dave Huff: I’m just outside of Raleigh in Clayton, NC

Dr. Chad Woolner: How long have you been practicing?

Dr. Dave Huff: Longer than I care to admit. About 33 years. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s amazing. The other thing I have to tell you is everytime I think of veterinarians I think of that Far Side comic. The Gary Larson one where he says “yet again another student breezes through equine medicine. Where it was like “what’s the symptom of the problem: broken leg, what’s the solution: Shoot. Appendicitis. Shoot

Dr. Dave Huff: Larson was actually pre-vet if you look him back up

Dr. Chad Woolner: Oh really

Dr. Dave Huff: I’m a huge huge fan. I have the complete gallery, I have every cartoon he’s ever done. I have the complete three book series. That’s why he has so many animal=related items.

Dr. Chad Woolner: That makes tons of sense. We have a calendar every year in the other doc that I work with. Dr. Allen gets a Far Side calendar so everyday that we’re in the office we get to peel it off so we can see what the next cartoon is that he does. But now that you say that, that makes so much sense because so much of his world in terms of his comics revolves around animals. So that makes a ton of sense.

Dr. Dave Huff: Yep, he chose wisely. He chose a more profitable path for sure.

Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s hilarious. So I guess maybe a good starting off point is to tell us a little about your practice. What does a typical day look like for you?

Dr. Dave Huff: Well, we are a small animal practice so we do probably 70% dog, 30% cat. And then there’s a spattering of pocket pets – gerbils, things like that. But they are very very rare for us for sure. And I have done equine, cattle, done all that in the past but I got smart enough to get out of that. Dogs might bite you but horses and cows might kill you. It’s a little bit safer realm. We are a five doctor practice right now. I started this business with just me, myself about 17 years ago. And we are definitely busy everyday we’re using lasers as well as other things. I have some other specialties I do. I do chiropractic veterinary practice.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Oh wow

Dr. Dave Huff: I do a lot of canine reproduction as well. I have other niches so to speak beyond the laser that keep us busy everyday for sure.

Dr. Chad Woolner: As a veterinary chiropractor, is that an additional specialization in terms of schooling? Or is that an elective within your standard curriculum. 

Dr. Dave Huff: It’s definitely outside of the curriculum. It is something I did when I got out. Acupuncture and chiropractic were some things that I did once I got out of school. They are not traditionally taught in the schools. I have gone to the schools and taught some of it – more than taught, exposed the students in some classes to the alternative therapies. As a general rule, they are something you would do outside of graduation. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: How did you get started with the lasers?

Dr. Dave Huff: Well, honestly though the chiropractic and a little bit of acupuncture. I started looking at alternative medicine. To be honest, I always thought acupuncture was a bit of a placebo effect, you don’t learn this kind of stuff in the real world. I watched dogs and they’re getting stuck by the needle. There’s no placebo effect. If it works it works. And that’s what got me interested in it. The laser therapy to me was a bit of Western medicine acupuncture in the sense that manipulating things at the cellular level and doing that. Certainly my chiropractic and alternative therapy got me looking into other therapies and that’s how I ended up doing laser therapy.

Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s something to me that I think is really fascinating when we go into the realm of animals. Is that whole idea of placebo, to some degree, thrown out the window a little bit? With humans, obviously there’s that question being all the time when we talk to patients there’s always that question “Did I just think myself better in terms of this” and we know that’s a very real thing – both placebo and nocebo. With animals when you have that obvious and inherent communication barrier that’s there what you see is what you get to a certain extent is my understanding.

Dr. Dave Huff: Animals just don’t feel sorry for themselves. So they are ready to heal and get better no matter what situation. You know – it helps us tremendously when you realize that the animal is doing its thing and not bringing any baggage.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Right, that’s incredible.

Dr. Andrew Wells: I have to imagine in veterinary medicine one of the challenges is your patients can’t speak to you. THey can’t tell you it hurts here. This isn’t working. Whereas we have the luxury of being able to communicate like that verbally with our patients. I have to imagine not only from a diagnostic standpoint, but from a treatment standpoint that it must be challenging and sometimes frustrating to know what the problem is. And also actually working other than just tracking symptoms and I’m sure you have objective measurements and things like that. That’s certainly have to be a challenge in veterinary medicine

Dr. Dave Huff: Well – I think it is a unique aspect, I suppose pediatricians who work on the very young would have a similar game so to speak. I’ve yet to have a dog walk in with its own leash by itself – so you always have an owner giving you some information. Sometimes good, sometimes bad information. But it is a unique challenge. I think that it’s what makes veterinarians so good at problem solving and getting things through. I think the laser has really been a great component to that because I can evaluate patients. What am I trying to do here? What am I trying to deal with? Then find an application for the laser or any therapy that you would have. For sure the laser has been a good tool to take that information that you gain from the exam and history and then apply it to what you are trying to accomplish.

Dr. Andrew Wells: I saw this in action and I mentioned this in our previous podcast and I thought this was really – I kinda laughed when I saw it. Afterwards I thought “this is really powerful.” I think it was maybe Dr. Varuka’s wife who had posted this Facebook video where a bird flew into their window and hit the ground and was laying on its side. They went outside, lasered it for 15 min and at the end the bird popped up on its feet, flew off, as if seemingly nothing happened. How amazing is this tool? I have to imagine it was not just the bird was dizzy for 15 min and just happened to fly off. I think 15 min for a bird to be laying on its side has to be a significant amount of time. But what a really cool tool to be able to pick up not knowing anything but this bird has hit a window. So maybe that’s a good segue into what got you interested in using lasers as a treatment protocol for your patients?

Dr. Dave Huff: Well I think for sure I was looking for something to add another another bullet in the gun so to speak or treatments and and diseases and things that don’t have great benefits and the laser and especially the Erchonia low level laser provided a do no harm option for me to use on so many conditions without the worry of complications, without worries of contraindications, without worries to the pet without worries to the owner. Those were some really big factors in what drove me there to start utilizing the technology. I truly believe the first adage to medicine is “Do no harm” and so if we can start from there and we have a product that will provide that “Do no harm” it gives us so much more flexibility it gives us so much more confidence that what we’re doing is the thing that will offer benefit while minimizing risk in this case for the most part without risk. In some 15 years I’ve yet to see an untoward event utilizing this laser in literally thousands of applications.

Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s pretty incredible.The question I would have is what are some of the most common applications, things that you’re using it for with the pets that you’re seeing?

Dr. Dave Huff: Well to put in a bad pun the laser shines when we use it for therapy. For sure pre- and post-operative Pain Management, when you’re dealing with either arthritic pain, or back pain these are some areas. For sure I’m going to use it in pretty much any itis I treat, whether it’s gastritis, or pancreatitis, or uveitis. You can list an itis and and there’s an application for the laser to try to reduce that inflammation so it is extremely valuable across the board. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: So it’s like a Swiss army knife of sorts in terms of tools that you use in your tool bag.

Dr. Dave Huff: It is. I mean it provides us with so many options. There’s always an application – I mean I probably don’t use it as much as I should. There probably isn’t a patient who walks in the door that couldn’t benefit from it. But of course you are balancing other things, and traditional medicine. One of the things I love about the laser is you don’t have to forget your traditional medicine. You don’t have to back out. If I’m treating, just as an example, pancreatitis, I’m still going to treat the dog with IV fluids. I’m still going to give the things that are traditional medicine but I can add this without concern to further my treatment options, speed the healing and make the dog feel better. That’s really one of the places it really shine in. An adjunct, you can add it to anything. 

Dr. Andrew Wells: Dr. Huff, I’m just curious, you mentioned benefiting the patient with side effects. Have you found when using lasers not only as an adjunct. But have you found that this has replaced certain therapies that you are using?

Dr. Dave Huff: Oh yeah. A hundred per cent. I mean the biggest place probably that I have replaced surgery is non-surgical use of the laser to treat cranial cruciate ligament injuries. 

Dr. Andrew Wells: I’m sure the owners are thrilled about not having to operate on their pets. You brought up an interesting point Dr. Huff that I want to talk about. I want to talk about the economics and I had a conversation with the orthopedic surgeon years ago. We were talking about using regenerative medicine for knees. And this doctor, this surgeon, got into regenerative medicine back in the 90s when nobody knew about it, and he got phenomenal results with patients. And he kind of took a leave from that. He stopped using it for like 15 years and then I was trying to bring it back and I asked him “Why did you ever stop using regenerative medicine? He looks at me and goes “Andrew – I have 5 kids. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have some financial incentive to do more invasive procedures.”  Like arthroscopic surgery, to do knee replacements. 

And I’m like “wow, did you really say that?” And the Doc was a super nice guy. I mean, his bedside manner with patients, he just seems like a very honest, ethical person, he was telling me the truth. He said “Listen, they pay me well to do knee operations. I do a great job with knee operations, and I get my patients better. Is it more risky doing surgery than regenerative medicine? Absolutely. But there’s a time and a place that has and I really don’t have a whole lot of time to try to convince people to spend money on regenerative medicine. When I can just use their insurance and then get them to the operating room.”

I was kind of blown away by that. I knew that that was true but that’s some of what he told me truth.. 

Dr. Dave Huff: Well what I’ve always said is if you go to a surgeon expect the surgeon to answer. 

Dr. Andrew Wells: Yeah that’s exactly right. So maybe I gotta imagine there’s some vets listening to this podcast, and they’re thinking, I gotta imagine, it’s the same thing in veterinary medicine. And if you’re doing an operation, it’s probably am I assuming it’s more lucrative to do an operation than to do laser therapy? Or? 

Dr. Dave Huff: Well, I mean, it’s all a balance, right? I mean, because your costs are just dramatically less doing laser compared to what your cost would be with surgery. For most of us in the veterinary world, we’re not looking for more to do, we’re trying to streamline our day, we’re trying to find ways to maximize our day. And, you know, laser therapy, one of the beauties of it is after I do the initial diagnosis, for example, on a cruise ship, there’ll be a series of 13 lasers over four months. 

Well, after I do the initial exam, and an evaluation, the technicians do the next 12 lasers. So the only involvement for me, I’ll have a couple of rechecks in there. But my time is very limited compared to what I would do. If I was a surgeon, I would be me, I would have techs, I would have the surgical suite. So you know, it’s never going to obviously take you out of surgery, and you’re never doing surgery again, because I have the laser, but it is a benefit. And I’ve never really done a critical cost analysis, you know, to say, okay, exactly how much time would I have spent on this procedure versus this? But I know, I do way more cruciates than I would have done surgeries, because of the economics, the owners. I mean, you look at $4-500 versus $2,000. That’s not That’s not a difficult decision for most owners. And of course, we deal with very little insurance. On the veterinary side, it does exist, but it’s still probably one to 2% of our patients that have insurance. And truth be told, if they really, really want surgery, there are better surgical options, you know, go into an orthopedic specialist. Anyway, so we’re not really hurting ourselves in that vein.

Dr. Andrew Wells: I was gonna say I get the impression that you’re unlike traditional medicine in our healthcare industry, that you’re making these decisions for the benefit of the pet, not necessarily for the benefit, financial gain that you get from the practice. Is that, because we were finding this especially this is a huge, huge issue in, in healthcare in the US is that most, I think a lot of procedures are recommended, not because it’s necessarily the best, safest recommendation for the patient, but it’s the best thing because it fits the model, fits the business model. 

Dr. Dave Huff: Yeah, I mean, I’ve always, I’ve always kidded and said, you know, as a private practitioner, I had my own health insurance, I had to do it. Now. I said, I had been hit by car insurance. You know, I had a big deductible, and getting hit by a car was okay. But what I learned and experienced in that as well, I would go to the doctor and just have a cold or whatever, they do a strep test in there. And then they say, well, we’re gonna send it out to confirm it. I said, “How’s it gonna change what you do? Because I’m the one paying for that, I’m not, it’s not just insurance going down the street. You know, you’re still giving me antibiotics, you’re still treating it?” “Well, it’s the standard of care.” I said, “Well, it’s not the standard of care in my life, because I’m not going to, I have to pay for it.” And so in veterinary medicine, I think we do have, it’s a delicate balance, to be sure. But I think we have a little bit more luxury. And there’s the downside, of course, is there are certain patients that can’t afford to do certain things. And, and obviously, that’s true on the human side, too. But overall, I think it is a positive and, and we take economics into it. But mostly fortunately, it’s where we are at for this pet.

Dr. Chad Woolner: So my question now, now that we’re kind of getting into this is, I’m curious as to what the landscape currently looks like in terms of veterinarians using lasers, is this becoming mainstream? Is it still kind of relatively unknown? Is it viewed with a certain level of skepticism within the profession? Where are things currently and then where do you see things moving forward within the next five to ten years?

Dr. Dave Huff: Yeah, the simple answer is yes. All those things exist. Yeah. Lasers in veterinary medicine, but I think it’s fairly mainstream. I think the biggest confusion, which frustrates me, is that not all lasers are the same, right? And laser doesn’t mean laser. And it’s just across the board, I do believe Erchonia’s laser, being a cold therapy laser, photochemical, not photo thermal, not involving heat is just apples and oranges technology. And it’s what makes it work so well. And what makes it so safe. So I think, you know, I don’t want to bash lasers, right? Other lasers have their place. They have some function, but I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do with my laser. And I can do it safer and better. The only thing I can’t do with it is produce heat. And that’s because I don’t want to produce heat. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: Right. You know, that was you, I was I would still consider myself relatively new to this realm. I mean, prior to us getting involved with Erchonia. I had seen them and I had heard about it before. But I was very much in that camp that I think so many often are, of that there’s a direct correlation with how much power is being put out to the efficacy of the laser, right? 

More equals better is kind of, I think, a very common sentiment amongst the ignorant. And I don’t mean that to be insulting, I just think that’s a fairly common sentiment amongst people. And so again, I think that probably has to be to some degree prevalent in your profession as well, that there’s just this assumption that in order to get results, this thing has to just penetrate really, really deep. And the key to penetration, again, is going to be power, you know, and and that was I think one of the most revealing things to me and I would speak for Dr. Wells as well, is that when you start to learn the science behind it, you start to see that, that that’s not the case that there’s so much more to this story than just cranking up the dial as high as it can go and trying to just nuke, you know, the patient with these lasers, and you start to really see the science behind it is pretty, pretty compelling, you know, with what Erchonia has shown us. 

Dr. Dave Huff: Yeah, and I mean, when I first started looking at it, it was the thing that drew me to Erchonia is I went to the other veterinary lasers, literally was at a conference, going from booth to booth talking to people trying to make my decision. And, you know, I kept coming back to three things. 

One was safety for patients and owners. Two were the FDA clearances and approvals. Erchonia, back then, I was doing this for a long time. I think they had four FDA clearances on the human side at that time, they’re over 20 now. And to this day, they’re still class four lasers that just don’t have those clearances. And they were double blind FDA studies, they weren’t just the IP, they showed safety and efficacy. And that was really a selling point for me. Because it’s, that’s, that’s ultimately what I want to do for my patients is benefit them. 

And I want to have confidence, telling my patients that yes, this technology is safe, and it’s proven. That’s a combination that’s important for sure. So it is absolutely the power, I always tell my children growing up, you know, the best lies are founded in truth, right. And the power laser, it’s true, if you’re trying to heat the tissues, you need power. If you heat, you know, we don’t think microwaves as a light technology. But the microwave is a form of electromagnetic radiation or LightWave. Just like the laser, or the non visible Infrared, well, you put enough wattage, you can heat tissue in a microwave, right? It’s the same principle. 

And we’re not trying to do that, we’re not trying to deal with a photochemical reaction much closer to photosynthesis, we’re trying to communicate at the cellular level, and get the body to heal or get the body to respond. It’s a very elegant way to communicate using those photons of light. And then we can initiate all kinds of cascades and all kinds of anti-inflammatory aspects, things that the body can do, not unlike a drug. If we give a drug, it goes to a receptor, and it stimulates a response. Well photons of light go to receptors and stimulate a response to. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, that’s a great way of putting it. My question for you, because I don’t think I know this; what FDA clearances are there currently in the veterinary side of things? Because I’m familiar with what Erchonia has on the human side, but tell us a little bit about that. 

Dr. Dave Huff: Well, the biggest thing is unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t get involved in the veterinary side. That’s what’s driven, so many of them on the human side, there are a couple of applications but for the most part, good, bad or indifferent, the veterinary medicine is, is part of the blessing and the curse in our industry is because the veterinary lasers don’t have to prove safety or efficacy. 

They just have to say what they’re going to do. And then they get FDA clearance. As a perfect example, I mean, well, certainly, I won’t name the laser, but there is a prominent laser company out there, and they’re FDA clearance is for a heat lamp, right? That’s what their FDA clearance is. And so it is what it is, right? That’s all they have to prove is can this body produce? Can this device produce heat? And if it can, it’s FDA approved in the veterinary world. So it is a double edged sword, to be sure. But the FDA approvals that I spoke of back when I did it, they were all on the human side. And that’s where it’s driven. So, but the point is, the class IV lasers aren’t on the human side.

Dr. Chad Woolner: So does that make your realm a little bit kind of Wild West in terms of, do you see a lot of various types of tools and technologies and therapies being kind of sold to your colleagues and whatnot? 

Dr. Dave Huff: Yeah, unfortunately. And that’s why I mentioned earlier, lasers gets dumped into a million different packages. And it’s just not appropriate because there are variabilities in the laser, how it works, why it works, proof that it works. And Erchonia low level therapy laser just knocks it out of the park compared to any of the others out there. For those three factors safety, efficacy, and cost for that matter. The three that I was thinking but be that as it may. Yeah, it is a bit of a wild west, for sure.

Dr. Andrew Wells: I was gonna mention too, with veterinary medicine, you gotta find some satisfaction knowing that your pets can’t feel what’s happening to them, right? Like with other lasers, you have to worry about burning them or is it too hot? Is it too cold? The nice thing about Erchonia lasers is you don’t feel it. And then on the human side, that can be sometimes a negative because like I can’t feel it working. Is it really a working doc? But on the animal side, it’s like they don’t want to feel it working. And they just don’t know. You don’t have to have your techs working on it on an animal. They don’t have to worry about harming the animal. And the animal doesn’t feel it. So that’s got to be, I’m just picturing like a dog laying on a therapy table or a table, not squirming around knowing that it’s getting, you know, feeling heat in the area doesn’t feel heat. That’s got to be pretty comforting knowing that your techs don’t have to worry about that. 

Dr. Dave Huff: Well, absolutely. And in fact, I mean, I will say there’s no doubt that there is not a sensation perhaps over the area, but what I do see absolutely with the veterinary medicine is when we do lasers on pets, it’s almost always calming. And the pets usually after just a minute or two of the, are laying down and relax. And I have a lot of techs that have come from other practices that we’re using the other types of lasers and every one of them says, I just can’t believe the difference when I used to treat the other pets, they get anxious, they get nervous, they’d be uncomfortable. And you do have to be careful because, for example, on a black dog, a dark, dark colored dog, that laser energy, or that infrared energy is absorbed in a much more rapid and intense way. So you had to be careful about certain colors of dogs and where you did it and you had to move it around, you couldn’t leave it in one place. 

And, you know, when the veterinarian label started getting into lasers years ago, one of the first laser companies that had surgical lasers, they were cutting surgical lasers. Their first attempt would simply be focusing on cutting laser. And so it was a cutting laser, they just deep focused it to make it bigger, and it produced heat and it did things but it was a defocus surgical laser. So you know, it’s like, you wonder about it. 

And when you get into the FDA clearances, you know, there’s FDA, 123 and 4, and there’s a couple of AB categories in there. But the FDA categorizes lasers simply on whether or not they do harm. And you know, the Erchonia laser is a do no harm product. If you were to look at the light through binoculars or through a telescope, yes, that might injure your eye. That’s what the class two laser says. Right. But if you’re looking with a binocular, I think you cull the species and you get what you deserve. You know, what the class four lasers labeled a class four laser, because the FDA says that the moment that laser touches the skin, it causes damage, or it impacts the retina negatively if it touches it at all. And, and that’s all FDA clearances are talking about. They’re not talking about safety. They’re not talking well, they are talking about safety, apologize, they’re not talking about efficacy. They’re simply saying, what does this laser do to the body when it impacts it? And Erchonia is laser is, again, pretty much due to harm and the class four lasers absolutely do harm immediately. So that’s why you have to move it around. That’s why you have to be careful with certain colored dogs. Because it does have a negative impact, potentially right. But as far as the FDA is concerned immediately upon impact.

Dr. Chad Woolner: So in your, how many years would you say you’ve been using lasers? Did you say 17? Yeah, 15 years? In your 15 years – and obviously this is going to be a little bit of a challenging question. Maybe it will be. Are there a handful of experiences that you’ve seen that stand out to you in terms of like, incredible, miraculous stories that you share? Typically, whenever you think of lasers, you’re like, oh, man like these? This stands out. 

Dr. Dave Huff: I mean, I definitely have several that stand out. One of which was a patent. It’s too complicated but if you go to some of my webinars or seminars, I presented the case, so you get to see it, but I had a dog who had a myriad of problems and pain and had been to the veterinary schools. And basically the vet schools told the owner, we can’t get a response. We’ve thrown everything we can think of it this dog, we recommend euthanasia. And so they came to me because they were a client. I’d referred him to the vet school because he had really amazing, significant problems. He had just a few things: he had bone, fungal bone infection, and bacterial heart infection, extreme pain because he had spondylitis, which is an infection in the vertebral bodies of the spine. And he came in to me and could not walk. I mean, he was basically on eggshells and couldn’t walk. 

And within 30 days, we had that dog wagging his tail and getting around. And I kept that dog alive for about a year and a half, and did great and without any other meds except we kept them on a thromboembolic medication because he had a severe valvular heart problem. 

And eventually he threw a major clot from that and passed away. But this was a pet that, you know, modern medicine had given up. Modern medicine had thrown everything you can think at it and gave up. And the laser was able to relieve that pain and get it around. So I mean, that one definitely stands out. I have others. 

I have a patient that came to me and had slough about 70% of its back off. Maybe it had been a brown recluse spider bite, I don’t know for sure. And we lasered that dog and got it healed. And it was an area that was probably, was a golden retriever. It was an area that was probably 20 inches long by about eight inches wide of area of skin and it just slumped and died. And I did traditional medicine. I’m gonna scrap some traditional therapies right? No doubt about. But we used the laser extensively, and we got that dog to heal. And it had a scar that was about two centimeters by one centimeter in the center. And that was it. Everything else healed completely epithelialization we got hair growth. You could not, I mean, again, you had a tiny area. And that was in about 87 days, we were down to just that tiny area left. 

Dr. Andrew Wells: Wow. That’s amazing. That’s impressive. So I got to ask a question, Dr. Huff. Most doctors, I think, get into laser therapy to help patients but I think for the primary reason is they want to help themselves and want to help their family. Do you ever take these lasers home and use them on yourself or use them on your family?

Dr. Dave Huff: You can’t see behind me because this is a podcast, but I could show you the two lasers I have right here at home that we use. And it’s funny over the years, because you have so many clients that have come in with the dog and we’re treating something with inflammation. I have one that I recall on the lease, I have a terrible tennis elbow. And I told him to “Look, I can’t stop you from getting your elbow in the beam while I’m treating your dog.” And sure enough, you know, she came back about two or three times. Later she goes, “Oh my gosh, my elbow is so much better. I can’t believe that I gotta find a doctor to help me with this.” 

So yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s one of the beauties of the tech. It’s one of the beauties of the technology because it’s so proven on the human side, right. And, so there’s no question that we use it. There’s not a person in my office that has not been lasered. An interesting aside, we talked about this, when I started doing post-op, and pre-op laser treatments for our pets, for all our surgeries. And I’ll tell you a little bit about this, just because this is why I tell veterinarians it is a great way to get started if you bring a laser in, just add it as a post surgical pain management game, right? Simple to do. 

Well, as I’m closing, I’m older, right? And this even 15 years ago, I was older, but I had arthritis in my fingers. Because just you know, normal arthritis of doing surgeries and doing all that stuff. And the techs would start to laser the patient for post operative pain, as I was closing, so my hands would be in the laser. And I noticed my hands felt so much better. You know, just doing surgeries, and keeping my hands in there while they were while I was closing, they will be doing the laser. And so yeah, there’s no doubt. There’s not a person in my office that hasn’t been lasered. 

Dr. Andrew Wells: That’s amazing. That’s the exact opposite. I think of Marie Curie, right, getting your hands and in the x-ray beams. And yeah, yeah, that didn’t help her though different types of different types of wavelength. Right. That’s amazing, though. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: So doctor, have you mentioned that you do seminars for dogs? Who are listening for veterinarians who might be interested in kind of getting a bit more involved? Where would you send them?

Dr. Dave Huff: Well, I think for sure, Erchonia would be the best place because they have some of mine that are recorded. I go to certain conferences around the US. Now with COVID it has kind of faded a little bit. I don’t know what to claim. But people are getting back to in person seminars. We do some webinars for sure. And so for me, personally, I am not a social media guru by any stretch. So I don’t have my own podcast, I don’t have my own YouTube channel or anything like that. So I would just refer people to Erchonia. And they would be able to put them in touch with the way to get that information. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: Awesome. Well, we’ll make sure to get a link here in the show notes. So that docs who are listening who are interested in maybe diving a little bit deeper with what you’re doing, can get access to that. But Dr. Huff, we certainly appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to be here with us today. This has been really fascinating. 

Again, I would just echo the same kind of sentiments that we started with it’s incredible to hear kind of your experiences there working with your your patients and and just the great work that you’re doing we really appreciate it and no doubt your pet owners certainly appreciate what you’re doing as well because you hear these stories about that dog that you helped, you know, that extra year and a half that you gave his owners no doubt was probably an extremely meaningful year and a half in their life no doubt. My parents just had to put down their their dog that had been with him for years and years and years and I can’t help but think about what wonderful memories they had with this with this pet and my children who whenever they would go and visit grandma and grandpa loved love this dog and so anyways, it’s it’s great work that you’re doing we really appreciate it and again, we appreciate you being here with us. So thank you so much.

Dr. Dave Huff: No Problem.Glad to do it. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: Docs we hope that this has been valuable for you as well. And yeah, we this is a better really, really fun episode than anything you wanted to add Dr. Wells? 

Dr. Andrew Wells: No. 

Dr. Chad Woolner: Okay. All right Doc’s. Well, we look forward to sharing more with you guys on upcoming episodes. Have an amazing day, we’ll talk to you later. 

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