Laser helps nurse neglected dog back to health

Bella, an abandoned German shepherd found wandering by herself on the side of a highway in Hampton, VA, was rescued by a kind stranger recently and taken to Deer Park Animal Hospital (Newport News, VA) for medical care. Close to full sepsis (the state of decay) when she was found, Bella had severe infections all over her body, including a large, cystic mass at the base of her tail that seeped continuously. "She hurt all over, yet wagged her tail. This is what severe neglect looks like and it's heartbreaking," says Dr. John Savell, a veterinarian at Deer Park.

Bella, a German shepherd, had several issues resulting from neglect when found, including a continuously seeping, cystic mass at the base of her tail (top). But a surgical CO2 laser was able to remove the mass entirely without any bleeding (bottom)
Bella, a German shepherd, had several issues resulting from neglect when found, including a continuously seeping, cystic mass at the base of her tail (top). But a surgical CO2 laser was able to remove the mass entirely without any bleeding (bottom). (Images courtesy of Deer Park Animal Hospital)

Savell used a Luxar surgical CO2 laser set at 10 W continuous-wave to remove the mass. The laser's highly focused infrared beam instantaneously ablates the soft tissue target area and, at the same time, seals capillaries, small blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings, enabling complete removal of the mass with hardly any bleeding, Karen Savell, LVT, told BioOptics World.

The clinic posted photos of Bella on its Facebook page, which led members of the Hampton/Newport News community to support her medical needs. These donations helped pay for her care.

"Bella is doing great! She is very friendly and loves getting petted by everyone," says Karen Savell. In more good news, the woman who rescued her has decided to adopt her, give her a good home, and continue to provide for her ongoing medical needs.

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