Equine wound healing: influence of low level laser therapy on an equine metacarpal wound healing model


Objective: To evaluate the effects of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on healing of full thickness symmetrical skin wounds in horses. LLLT is a therapeutic modality using the application of light, usually a low power laser or light emitting diode in the power range of 1 mW to 12 W that, in practical terms, promotes tissue regeneration as well as reducing inflammation and pain.

Study design: Experimental study.

Animals: Healthy horses (n=8).

Methods: Full thickness, 2.5 cm square skin wounds were created in the mid-metacarpal region on one leg of eight normal horses. LLLT was used on limbs assigned to the experimental group and limbs assigned to the control group were allowed to heal without treatment. LLLT was administered using a line generated optical scanner with a dual diode laser system (model EML; Erchonia Laser Healthcare, McKinney, TX, USA) at a wavelength of 635 nm and an energy output of 17 mW per diode. Wound size was measured for an 80-day period post operatively. Eighty days after surgery incisional biopsies were examined histologically.

Results: Wounds treated with LLLT healed faster than the control wounds (p=0.01). Wounds treated with LLLT were completely epithelialized at day 80 after surgery. Control wounds were not epithelialized at postoperative day 80.

Conclusion: LLLT increased the rate of wound healing.

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