Agnes E. Rupley, DVM and Terri Parrott-Nenezian, DVM

There are many benefits of the CO2 laser in exotic animal practice. Their use is limited only by the imagination... The benefits of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser use in exotics include decreased blood loss, pain, surgery time, and healing time. Because the CO2 laser seals small vessels as it cuts, there is a decreased blood loss, which is of great benefit because many of the exotic species are quite small and therefore have a small blood volume. The use of CO2 lasers for surgery also decreases pain because they seal nerve endings as they cut, which may also decrease selfinduced trauma after surgery. Decreased pain may also lessen postsurgical fear and anxiety. Lasers make surgery safer and provide a quicker recovery period. Ablation of cutaneous masses is simplified, with minimal loss of blood. Many exotics develop a capsule surrounding an abscess. If this capsule is not removed or is only partially removed, there is a high recurrence rate. The CO2 laser allows for the ablation of the capsule.