By Summer Griffin, DVM

The Opioid Crisis brings K-Laser Therapy to the Forefront

If your pet has recently been spayed, neutered, had a molar tooth extracted or even had a broken bone set with an orthopedic plate then there is a high probability your pet received a powerful pain reducing medication known as an opioid.  Examples of these potent pain reducing medications  are morphine, methadone, fentanyl, buprenorphine and butorphanol. 

There is currently an opioid shortage in America. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is starting to limit the use of certain opioids for ongoing pain management in the veterinary field.  Therefore, we need to have alternative therapy options for for pain management.  The K-laser therapy is an option. K-Laser therapy can be a big part of a multimodal pain management program.  It can be paired with acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy, as well as with medications and supplements.  Our K-Laser machine provides a non-pharmacological, non-evasive, advanced therapeutic solution to reduce inflammation and aid in pain relief.

What is K-Laser?

K-Laser is a Class IV FDA cleared therapeutic treatment that manages pain and inflammation while accelerating tissue regeneration.

What are the K-Laser Therapeutic Effects?

During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain.  As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved. 

What to expect with a K-Laser treatment appointment

There is no patient sedation required and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting to your pet.  The initial consultation will be scheduled with our veterinarian to establish veterinary/client/patient relationship and determine the best course of action. 

For most conditions we recommend a multi-visit treatment plan since the benefits are cumulative in nature.  A sample schedule would be:

week 1 – every other day for 3 total treatments,

week 2 – two sessions,

week 3 – one session,

then booster treatments as needed.

K-Laser treatment times vary in length, but most sites require 2-8 minutes per therapy session.

When will my pet start feeling better?

Some changes might be noticed after only one treatment, but most clients notice a difference in their pet’s reduction of pain by treatment three.

Are there any  contraindications to K laser?

A therapeutic laser shouldn’t be used in certain cases.  Applying a laser over a tumor site could accelerate the tumor growth. It shouldn’t be used over a pregnant uterus, either. Lastly, laser should not be used with a recent corticosteroid injection or use of corticosteroids.

What can K laser help with?

Tooth extraction healing sites, gingivitis, stomatitis, otitis, hematomas, IVDD, lick granulomas, pododermatits, arthritis, neuropathy, cystitis, IBD, lameness, hip dysplasia, anal saculitis, post surgical incisions, and infected and chronic wounds are some examples.

Ready to set up a treatment schedule?

Call us today! 619-741-5366


Quality of Life Appointments and Home Euthanasia Appointments

By Summer Griffin, DVM

Is it Time?

Are you undecided? Our Quality of Life (QOL) appointment can help you make an educated decision.

Our veterinarians can work with you in determining if it is the appropriate time for euthanasia. Every case is unique. Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is never easy.  Often the decision can be coupled with fear, guilt, doubt, or sadness.  Our doctors have the benefit of seeing your pet in their normal environment, they may go through the pain scale with you, and/or the HHHHHMM (quality of life) scale. Together you can work as a team to make sure euthanasia is the appropriate choice for your pet.

Saying Goodbye

When you know it is time to say goodbye to your beloved pet we can come to the comfort of your home.  There is no travel required by your pet.  A car ride in a pet carrier can be scary to cats and small dogs. Or a medical condition can make it painful for your pet to get into the car.  A veterinary hospital can have unfamiliar smells and sounds.  Many times the vet’s office can be a scary place to your pet.  The exam room can feel cold and sterile.  We know how it feels to drive home after the appointment without your pet.  Our goal is to help you and your pet feel comfortable and as fear free as possible as you say goodbye.  At your home, your pet can be in their favorite spot on the grass outside or be in their favorite spot in the living room surrounded by the people and things they love.   

The euthanasia process will be divided into two steps.  First, our veterinarians may encourage you to offer your pet their favorite treat (peanut butter, canned food, dog cookies) or even a treat off the “naughty list” (ice cream, cool whip, cheese, etc.), while a sedative injection is given. The sedation may take about 10 – 15 minutes to take effect.  Every pet and every disease condition is unique. Our doctors will be there to monitor the entire time.  Once your pet is sedate, a potty pad will be placed under your pet.  As your pet’s muscles relax the bladder and colon muscles can also relax which may cause them to urinate or defecate.  Dignity in death is important and we want to make sure your pet stays as clean as possible. 

The second injection involves placement of a butterfly catheter into a vein.  This second step is an intravenous overdose of an anesthetic agent. This will cause the heart and breathing to decrease until they stop, and your pet will pass away peacefully. After the appointment you can grieve in the privacy of your own home. 


We can transport and handle the aftercare of your beloved pet or you may take care of aftercare yourself either at our facility or the crematorium of your choice.  Our offices specialize in Aquamation cremation services. A respectful and dignified option, Alkaline Hydrolysis, also called Aquamation, is a gentle, environmentally friendly alternative to flame-based cremation. Your pet never leaves our care during the entire process.   

With our Private Aquamation, you will receive only your pet’s ashes back.  We offer a variety of urn and scatter tube choices and you may request a clay paw print and/or a fur clipping.  You’ll have an opportunity to hang a butterfly on one of our Hope Trees in honor of your pet when you come to pick up your pet’s ashes.

If you don’t wish to receive your pet’s ashes back, we offer two options.  With our Communal Aquamation, your pet’s ashes are scattered in a garden setting in lieu of getting ashes back. If you’d just prefer us to handle your pet’s body removal, we can also take care of that for you.  We call that Care of Remains. Some owners decide to bury their pet at home. We advise to check your local laws to make sure this is an appropriate and legal option.

Regardless of the aftercare option you choose, we treat your pet’s body with dignity and respect.

Pet Loss Counseling

Our support doesn’t end when the appointment ends.  We partner with a pet loss support specialist, Carolyne Joseph, PsyD. She offers pet loss counseling sessions at our office for those struggling with grief.  Dr. Carolyne Joseph also offers additional appointments if continued support is needed. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (619) 334-0708.

Why Choose a Fear Free℠ Hospital?

By: Summer Griffin, DVM

  • We are proud to have Fear Free certified professionals on our team that are dedicated to caring for your pets emotional well-being as well as his or her physical well-being. 
  • We have designed a hospital with you and your pet in mind 
    • Species specific exam rooms
    • Your pet will have a nonslip surface to stand on such as a yoga mat or a warm, pheromone infused towel
    • Pheromone and aromatherapy diffusers emit calming substances into the air and pet friendly music works its calming effect on the pets central nervous system 
    • We avoid bright white that can be startling to your pet. Pastels are soothing, so our scub uniforms and hospital walls are in shades of pastels 
  • We love Treats! 
    • Bring your cat or dog in hungry because Fear Free certified veterinary team members will be handing out treats throughout the visit to welcome your pet (Please let us know if you or any members of your family have food allergies. We give many treats to make your pets visit more enjoyable and wouldn’t want to make anyone sick!) 
  • We love Toys!
    • In addition to treats, our veterinary team members utilize a variety of distraction techniques such as toys to help your pet be more comfortable 
  • We love the Exam Room! 
    • Whenever possible, our veterinary team members will preform exams and procedures right in the exam room so your pet will be reassured by your presence 
  • We love stress free pets! 
    • If needed, we will prescribe anti-anxiety or other calming medications or supplements to help make the car ride and the visit more enjoyable and less frightening for your pet 
  • We love Meet and Greet Happy Visits! 
    • Swing by during our meet and greet hours to let your pet find a treat, get fussed over or even get a massage from a team member 
    • Early, positive experiences can build a foundation of trust and help prevent fear from developing
  • We love Victory Visits!
    • This entails a  more targeted preparation for your pet to help overcome a phobia ( i.e. – toe nail trims, ear exams, etc). The goal is to get the pet more accustomed to the environments and types of handling and care they’re going to experience via “baby steps” associated with pleasurable sensations to overcome the phobia

Contact Us:

Phone: (619)741-5366

Mailing Address:
Graceful Departure
3755 Avocado Blvd #438
La Mesa, CA 91941

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone