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11/28/10

Carly, Bailey, and Your Opinion is Requested.

First the fun stuff.

This is Carly.  She was in the other day for a haircut and a puppy shot.  She was surprising good for her first haircut as most puppies jump around, acting the fool, until the realize that the buzzing clippers aren't all that scary.









The next Beast is Bailey.  She's a 4 month old Lab who came in the other day.




The camera batteries died rather quickly, so I only got this short video of her.  She got a puppy vaccine but she originally came in because she got bug bit on her face by something, (bee, bug, spider, etc.).  You can't see it very well but her left eye is swollen, almost closed, along with the left side of her face.  We got her some Benadryl and she was fine.   We did get a puppy shot in her too.  Getting bug bit might have saved her life.  She was already way behind on her puppy vaccinations, and we've already seen our first parvo puppy this winter.   A 7 month old Bulldog mix died last week with it. 

He had received one vaccination from the feedstore.  It's very disheartening to know parvo puppies have to suffer unnecessarily like they do, or die, when it's easy to prevent, not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper, than to try and treat it.    But such is the reality when people rely on the feedstore, a yearly rabies clinic, and the spay- neuter clinic for  their veterinary care.  


And now for my question-
What do people think of crowd sourcing fundraising sites?  Sites like KickStarter.com, ChipIn.com,  IndieGoGo.com, Profounder, or CrowdRise?   Any experiences with them?

The reason I ask, I have been secretly wishing for a class 4 therapy laser.  Familiar with those?  They have been used longer in human medicine than veterinary medicine.  Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Sports Medicine specialist use them for rehabilitation.   They are a little different than a surgical laser that is used for tissue cutting.  Surgical lasers are great for surgery- no bleeding, less pain and swelling, etc.  Therapy lasers use a different wavelength of light than surgical lasers.   They are good for degenerative joint diseases, pain management, wounds that won't heal, fractures that are slow to heal-  really anything where it is desirable to reduce swelling, pain, inflammation, and stimulate collagen-   hot spots, lick granulomas, stomatitis, herniated disks and spinal injuries, etc.  I am probably going to get an appointment for Maybelline with a hospital that is about 40 miles away in Anderson, SC. To see if the treatments help her mobility.

If you want to read more about laser therapy, search for k-laser usacompanion therapy lasers, or litecure.com.  You can also find videos online on Youtube.

I first learned about therapy lasers 3-4 years ago.  And I think it is one of those things, that one would use, if they had it.  The case studies are impressive.  Jethro has his neck lasered twice when it seemed to be bothering him from his cancer.   The two treatments might have helped some, but he had worse problems to deal with so he only got 2 treatments.

The problem is that lasers aren't cheap.  And since they are rather new and everybody loves the one they have, you can't find them used or refurbished.   The surgical lasers run about 30 thousand dollars new.  You can find them used and refurbished since they have been around a bit longer.   Therapy lasers cost a little less but they are still expensive-  16-17 thousand.

And with the economy what it is at this time, I don't want to deal with an equipment payment or lease without knowing if that equipment can pay for itself in such a small community.  Large metropolitan area wouldn't have such an issue.    Arthritic patients would require a series of 6 treatments and then maybe only a monthly treatment after that.

The reason this comes up again now, is that  I have an older cat patient who is a little gimpy in his rear legs.  He had a couple of treatments when he got sick while the couple was on vacation in Florida.  And his owners  could really tell a difference in how he was moving afterwards.

 So, I am back to looking at laser therapy.  Using a program like kickstarter would fund the equipment ahead of time, without going down the traditional route of a lease or a bank loan.   (Kickstarter is actually for creative projects, so this might not qualify for them, although in my case, it's sort of a hybrid between business and art in how it would be stuctured.)

I guess what I like about Kickstart is that it's an "all or none" approach.  I think the limit is 90 days, so if the goal isn't met, no money is exchanged.  The fees and credit card fees would be similar to what a bank loan would charge for an interest rate.  I can get creative with incentive packages.  For local pet clients, it might be a series of treatment or other veterinary services.  For art patrons it could be packages of gift items, original paintings, reproductions, etc.

So, after all my ramblings,  my question is, What do people think of crowdsource fundraising rather than traditional financing?  Would you consider it?  Specifically for a site like KickStarter, what tiers of packages would you choose to do-     $20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 1500, 2500, 3600? 

Leave me your thoughts or comments below.  Also if you have any experience or comments about laser therapy in pets, leave those too.  Thanks.

10 comments:

The Southern Tip said...

Wow, I had never heard of sites like kickstarter and the others before this. It sounds great! I definitely think you should try it! It seems like a win win situation! Thanks for bringing these sites to our attention!

cici said...

I am interested in the laser for arthritic old dogs, SIDER, being one of those. Tho you are sort of out of my locality. I would travel 30 miles for that kind of treatment,for my old arthritic doggie. I'd pay 30-50 per tx. And trade you paintings or sculptures prn, Hahaha. CCC

Art with Liz said...

Good luck on getting your laser thingy Andy! My two dogs go for hydrotherapy and massage every week for their wonky back legs and it's done them wonders. But this sounds marvellous for arthritis.

Rachael said...

I am in the UK and so my little dog would never benefit from a laser that you have BUT I like to help all animals, whenever I can, wherever in the World they are. As I help by donating online fairly frequently, I would make a $20 donation, possibly a $30 donation.
The laser therapy sounds brilliant and very worthwhile and so I hope you 'go for it'.
On a different subject, the first little fluffy puppy on the short video worried me....could it slip and strangle it's self? It's paws were slipping and it has a choke type arrangement tied around it's neck.... I know you are a professional and a truly caring person but I have to ask.

Andy Mathis said...

Thanks everyone for your input.

Cici and Liz- when you have time, watch the videos on Youtube. It's rather dramatic in some cases how much better the old dogs and cats are moving afterwards. With cats especially since they don't tolerate NSAIDs. Also on the websites, you can search by your zip code to see if anyone in your area has a therapy laser. http://www.klaserusa.com and http://www.companiontherapylaser.com. For anyone reading outside of the US, one might have to do a little investigating to who makes or distributes them there.

Hi Rachael- Technically, that could happen, it's more like if they have lots of slack in the leash and try to jump off the table (so shorter is better), but it won't happen as no one is tethered to the exam table without someone being right there.

I should shoot a video of Maybelline walking to compare before and after her treatments.

Michele said...

Kickstarter sounds like a program that would work best for your situation. I do believe older dogs are in definite need. I see so many that suffer as well as cats.
Too bad you are unable to form some kind of "traveling laser" that you have access to so many days out of the month. They would do that with the "Ultrasound" for kidney stones and "PET" scans until our hospital or clinics were financially able to purchase their own. I am not sure how many vets that are around. If you had enough maybe it would be a good idea for a business for someone to drive all over the state so a you can form a large enough conglomerate of vets and vet hospitals to use it enough to where it makes money. They look like 5th wheels that pull into the back of the clinics or hospital.
Plus, since I have worked at hospitals and cancer clinics, I was involved in a lot of fund raising. Our town is not very big…not even 200k people in the whole county. But, we would raise all kinds of money for the equipment, or “lastest technology” in radiation therapy. Wonder if you could get a good coordinator to do this for you, or at least give you some ideas on how to raise the money.
Did not notice whether or not you had a “PayPal” donation button on your blog or not. But, you could also start something such as this to get your feet wet and I am sure get more feedback. I would click on the button and make a donation. Using several different types of resources in raising funds, etc. are always beneficial. Or….. would hopefully be beneficial.
By the way. I got myself the kind of dog I have been wanting for years and trying to adopt adults or puppies from Rescue Org. for the last few months. Just when I though I would never be able to Rescue or adopt a Border Collie, (they are very strict about who adopts this kind of breed, for good reason) a spur of the moment trip to the pound brought me a miracle. (Almost named him Miracle) His Name is Pepper and when you see a picture you will know why. He took to it instantly.
He was just put up for adoption that day, Saturday. He is a smart, lovable and of course energetic 10 month old pure breed Border Collie. We have him signed up for classes that start this week and appointments for the vet made for his next round of vaccinations. Also, ALSO, I am so happy we got a chip planted, so if he does wonder off again, they will know who he belongs too. (They are SO HARD to buy/adopt, I cannot see how someone would not try to find him…he has obviously been trained and loved!) But, he does not run off and comes when I call him. Looks like he has already had some training by all the things he is able to do! So smart! I hope to post pictures on my blog soon. I got my hands full and LOVING IT!
Just had to share in my excitement. I might have to commission a painting!
Good luck, hope it works out for you no matter what you decide to do. Hope you let us know so we may also help in some way.

Andy Mathis said...

That's great that you found a Border Collie to adopt, Michele. They are wonderful dogs. We had a few growing up on the farm with the cows.

José said...

Hi Andy,

Isn't this kind of laser that can susbtitute the scalpel and at the same time closes the blood vessels ?

I know ChipIn and have probably seen others.
In my opinion you should choose a system with no minimum limits or with a low minimum, such as $10 for insteance.

If you come up with this project do let me know so I can help spread the word.

Take care,

José (Bringer from Wetcanvas)

Andy Mathis said...

Thanks for the comment, Jose.

This is a little different type of laser. What you are thinking of is a cutting or surgical laser. This is a therapy laser. The light is at a different wavelength, and not concentrated into a point like the handpiece of a surgical laser.

José said...

Hi Andy,

Thannks for the clarification.

Have a nice weekend,

José

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