Pets belonging to veterans can get free laser treatments

Jul 12, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Veterinarian Amy Stockton has found one "small way" to give back to those who have served their country.

She is now offering free laser therapy for the pets of veterans once a month in Riverton.

"I saw that a lady from Lander was doing acupuncture for veterans, so I thought, 'What a way to give back - how can I give back?'" Stockton said. "I see so many veterans' pets here at the clinic, but there are a lot more out there that I don't know."

A monthly "Pets of Vets" event will provide the opportunity for veterans to get laser treatments for their pets suffering from injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions and pain, Stockton said.

The treatments are useful when pets are rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, Stockton said; the procedure provides relief and speed healing.

It's a non-invasive technique that lasts anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and age of the pet.

All pets, large and small, are welcome.

It's not painful but does require people to wear protective glasses as Stockton runs a special, wand-type device over the animal in the process.

"It's amazing to see a dog come in struggling to stand up then watch it leave wagging its tail on its own," Stockton said. "It isn't always that dramatic, but a lot of times it is."

The procedure feels a lot like a hot stone massage, and it's actually pleasant, she explained.

Typically these procedures cost $40, but it becomes more expensive if the session runs longer.

First event

The first Pets of Vets was held June 17 at the Veterans Hall, 611 E. Main St.

One family attended with three dogs.

Another man was traveling from Illinois and found The Stock Doc online after searching for a place to help his sick dog. It was having arthritis issues for which it was taking medication, but Stockton was also able to help the dog with laser therapy.

Stock Doc marketing director Pamela Canham said cats are also welcome.

"Amy said she would even do laser therapy on llamas if she needed to," Canham said.

Canham noted the need to make the services free.

"This Saturday we had a veteran come in with three Dachshunds," she said. "You multiply that by three, and that gets pretty pricey. ... Some of our veterans are on fixed incomes, so this is a service we would like to offer to them."

She reiterated the different reasons to do laser treatments.

"A lot of dogs and cats that would normally go home in a 'cone of shame' do not have to do that if we use laser," Canham said.

In an attempt to increase participation in the free offering for veterans, beginning in August the Stock Doc will hold sessions 3-5 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at the Veterans Hall and Soldier's House, switching locations each month.

The next Pets of Vets event will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 15 at the Soldier's House, 1201 E. Jackson St. Updates will be posted on the Stock Doc's Facebook page, and the business can be reached at 856-7764.

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