CO2 lasers has been used for five years at Malaren Equine Hospital, as an alternative treatment of some equine diseases. The application of CO2 laser has been studied for evaluation of its appropriateness for treatment of the equine diseases sarcoids, lameness in fetlock joints or pulmonary haemorrhage.
During the last five years, above 100 equine sarcoids have been removed by laser surgery (CO2 laser) and so far resulting in significantly few recurrences compared with results from usual excision surgery. In one study, acute traumatic arthritis in fetlock joints was treated three times every second day with defocalised CO2 laser. The therapeutic effectiveness of CO2 laser in this study was better than that of the customary therapy with betamethasone plus hyaluronan.
During one year, chronic pulmonary bleeders, namely exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage, has been treated with defocalised CO2 laser. Six race horses have been treated once daily during five days. Until now, three of these horses have subsequently been successfully racing and no symptoms of pulmonary haemorrhage have been observed. These studies indicate that CO2 laser might be an appropriate therapy on sarcoids and traumatic arthritis, and probably also on exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage. Other treatments for this pulmonary disease are few.