Donuts owners called me to see if I could help them with there horse who had sustained some pretty extreme injuries after having cellulitis. He had received veterinary care initially and the vets had done everything they could and it was a case of waiting for the leg to settle and heal. This is where I often get the call as people are trying to close a cut or reduce swelling, which is generally just a waiting game, and this is where the laser comes into its own, with reduction in swelling and speeding up soft tissue injuries, I often find that working with these open wounds gives you a clearer understanding of what the laser does to the internal structures that we don’t see in the case of a muscle tear.

Donut was initially unable to walk on the morning of saturday 4th June, but there was no injury, heat or swelling, he was monitored and later that night the leg started to swell, by the following morning his whole leg was extremely swollen as high as the stifle, he commenced veterinary treatment for cellulitis, with large amount of antibiotics. It was not known what the cause was but it was during the floods and it is now considered that it was maybe a spider bite.


My initial treatment was on 5th August 2016 as you can see the cuts were quite necrotic and still had quite an odor, so my initial work was to try and get some circulation to the area and try a reduce the swelling to give him a bit more comfort, the coronary band was hanging well over the hoof due to the amount of inflammation.


Second treatment was on 8th August 2016 as you can see the area has pinked up and the borders are starting to shrink back, the overhang on the lateral aspect has reduced, the swelling around the hock had reduced, but was still very present, and there was a reduction in the odor.


10th August 2016, battery on phone went flat so only two photos but its fairly clear how much more alive the cut is, and it had started to weep on the lateral surface. Leg felt softer around the hock.


12th August 2016. So this day we really turned the corner, you can really see the borders have started to shrink in the lateral aspect is almost flush to the coronet. The medial injury is going to take longer as it was bigger and he keeps knocking it when he lies down. It’s not really an option to bandage it due to the amount the leg is filled, and we are working under veterinary advice. But wow, this was a good day.


16th August 2016 so another milestone today the medial cut had shrunk back and was oozing a clear serum, no smell. I think personally that it is the fluid finding a way out, as there is a small cut on the coronet band. The back of the heel is really closing up now. Still very filled but we are not sure if this will ever fully go, and I think until he starts working its not going to reduce. But he’s bucking and trotting about, and has a surprising amount of flexion through that joint.


August 19th 2016. So we have only lasered twice this week, following our injury plan, and Donut was gently lunged since the last visit. Although everything looks very red and wet today, all the injuries have reduced, the swelling has dropped around the coronet, and the serum continues to flow, hence the wet appearance.

This journey is not over and I will continue lasering for the next couple of weeks depending on how the injury goes, the lasering can be spaced further apart as time progresses and now that we have a good blood flow to the area.

Thank you to Donut for being such a good patient, I will update you on his progress in the coming weeks.

Anna Ford


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