10 Innovations Vet Medicine Is Borrowing From Human Medicine

5. Better [animal] living through chemicals. The rise in drugs used to treat mental health in humans has led to a similar spike in their use among pets. Though ethical questions persist (as they should), some pets are clearly benefiting from the science behind these medications.

6. Low-level laser therapy (aka, cold laser therapy). By using low-power lasers to interact with tissues, this technology is thought to help accelerate wound healing and alleviate pain. Although still mostly considered an alternative therapy in human medicine, the technology’s relative safety, along with the wide availability of units once destined for human use, have opened the doors for veterinary medicine.

7. Stem cell therapy. The point of stem cell therapy is to take immature cells and put them in a location where they can then “teach” existing cells what to do. As with the cold laser, this is a human medical adaptation that’s gaining ground in animal medicine and has been approved by the FDA for some indications in pets.

8. Chemotherapy. Newer, more effective protocols are slowly making their way toward animals as veterinary oncologists continue to make smart, tactical decisions adapted from human protocols.

9. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Being exposed to oxygen-saturated air at a high pressure for prolonged periods of time has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve tissue healing. This used to be unavailable for animals. It’s now almost common practice for expensive racehorses and is finally making its way toward pets.

10. Online medical records. Though we hardly consider the Internet high-tech anymore, the truth is that we’ve got a long way to go before we realize this medium’s full promise. Online medical record keeping is one of the Internet’s Holy Grails. While human medicine has made some crucial strides, the veterinary profession’s freedom from certain privacy laws may mean that veterinary medicine can take this baby and run with it.

Stay tuned for more!

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