In the equine field, low level laser has been successfully used to treat RAO (COPD) and respiratory tract infections such as pharyngeal lymphoid hyperplasia.
Vector – RAO – April 2013
Vector – after laser acupuncture treatment with laser acupuncture (Physiolaser Olympic + single probe P 904nm/90W) – October 2013
Vector – May 2014
Dr med.vet. Astrid Reitz, Vergleich therapeutischer Effekte von Laserakupunktur und medikamenteller Therapie bei der COB (RAO) des Pferdes, Dissertation, Clinic for Horses, Internal Medicine, of the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen/Germany
The purpose of this study was to compare the efficiency of laser-acupuncture and medical treatment with a drug combination in horses suffering from Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO), formerly named chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).
In total 60 horses suffering from RAO were evaluated from November 2001 to May 2005 and were randomized in two treatment groups. All patients stayed for 7 days in the Clinic for Horses, Internal Medicine, of the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen/Germany. They were bedded on a mixture of wood shavings and peat, fed with wet hay and they got daily inhalations with a salt solution (Emser Sole). Exclusion criteria comprised infectious disease or concurrent diseases of other body systems. In order to compare the effects of a seven-day treatment of laser-acupuncture (every second day) with a medical treatment (combination of Dexamethason i.m. and Clenbuterole and Dembrexine orally) the following parameters were taken: Breathing frequency; results of clinical examination such as dyspnoea, cough-frequency and lung auscultation quantified by an established clinical-score; endoscopical findings such as quantity and viscosity of mucus and mucosal swelling also quantified by an established endoscopical-score, arterial blood gas analysis (paO2, paCO2, p(A a)O2), the latest is chosen as the main parameter because of its diagnostic specificity and sensitivity. Furthermore a cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung function tests with tidal volume, breathing frequency, breathing volume per minute, airway resistance and maximum intrapleural pressure changes were determined. Veterinarians of the clinic did the evaluation and assessment of the findings, mainly without knowing the treatment group. So there was a separation between the treatment by the author and the judgement of the non-objective parameters.
There was a highly significant improvement (p <= 0,0001) after 7 days of treatment in both groups in clinical-score, endoscopical-score, breathing frequency, partial pressure of arterial oxygen (paO2) and alveolo-arterial difference of oxygen (p(A a)O2). BALF cytology showed significant reductions (p = 0,018) in neutrophil percentages, which is a sign of a reduced inflammation in the lungs.
As a conclusion, the results of this study show an equivalent efficiency of laser-acupuncture treatment and combined drug treatment in horses suffering from RAO. With statistical significance, the laser-acupuncture group showed better improvement in clinical parameters than the medical treatment group.
Dr. med vet Uwe Petermann, Laser Acupuncture on Horses with COPD
105 horses with extreme COPD were treated exclusively using laser acupuncture. No other medicinal or alternative therapy was administered. All patients had been treated previously over a lengthy period (3 months – 10 years) with conventional therapies such as cortisone, clenbuterol, drugs for secretion- removal, hyperinfusion, inhalation and so on without success. The acupuncture lasers used were infrared pulsed lasers with 60 and 90 watt peak pulse power with an impulse width of 200 nsec. As pulse frequencies, those from NOGIER and BAHR (between 100 and 10000 Hz) were used. The horses were treated 4 – 12 times on each point for 30 sec. (1 case 29 times, on average 6.5 times). The interval between treatments was 4 – 7 days. In most of the patients (n=79) a clear spontaneous reaction could already be seen during the first session. The horses were able to breath deeper and remove secretion in a manner similar to that of infusion therapy. 15 patients that had not improved after 3 or 4 treatments, were treated by laser on marked points by their owners every day for 2 – 3 weeks with a 30mW continuous laser, 30 sec. on each point. After conclusion of the treatment, 73 horses appeared to have been cured. In other words, there was no more coughing, no more difficulty in breathing; the respiratory tract was clean and showed no signs of inflammation. The horses seemed to be in excellent physical condition. 17 horses were much better and had no more problems with their stamina, but sometimes had a slight cough while being ridden. 11 horses were also better than before and could be ridden, but their stamina was not completely restored and they were still coughing so that the result was not deemed satisfying. Only 4 horses showed no signs of improvement following the treatment.