Treatment of Equine Injuries with a Microlight Laser

– Tim O’Shea

In the process of researching the possible effectiveness of the Microlight laser on human patients, I first tested the microlight laser on the following horses:

PATIENT: CROUPIER – 24 year old Warmblood gelding, a magnificent animal, in otherwise perfect condition

Date: Oct 2005

Location: Diamond W Ranch, Milpitas CA

Diagnosis: acute lameness L. hoof, probable navicular disease/ ringbone arthritis,

had been lame for 3 months

Treatment: I treated the horse 3 times per week for 4 weeks using the Microlight Laser. Other veterinary remedies had been tried without success; prognosis was not good. His condition was worsening.

I treated Croupy by surrounding the coronet band (top of hoof) with about 10 33-second cycles per treatment session

After 4 weeks, the horse was vet checked and run in the arena and pronounced 100% sound. The owner was very surprised but thrilled. The cure was unexpected.

Most people who know horses realize that a diagnosis of navicular disease is commonly used by vets when they have no idea, no experience, or are too busy to actually examine the horse. Much the way MDs use terms like rheumatism, carpal tunnel, and just getting old. These phrases are commonly meaningless.

In Croupy’s case it was simply chronic inflammation which just needed to be reduced.

Interestingly enough, unshod horses in pasture are virtually never given this diagnosis. It is reserved almost exclusively for confined horses with shoes on.



PATIENT: ALI, a 20 year old Arab stallion

Date: Oct 2005

Location: Indian Hills Ranch, Milpitas CA

Ali is a beautiful white Arab stallion, very high-blooded, who had been unable to bend his front R leg to 90 degrees for several months. It was very difficult to clean his hoof. When he got new shoes they had to lean his one side against the wall because he couldn’t hold his leg in the normal position the shoer needs in order to do the job. Flexion of the lower R front leg was limited to about 10%. It seemed as though the horse was developing a progressive arthritis, although he could still be ridden and didn’t really limp. The owner was considering Xray and MRI.


I began treating the R front knee joint at a frequency of 3 times per week using the Microlight laser. I used the surround-the-dragon approach from classical acupuncture, going around the joint at about 10 different points, holding the laser at each point until it beeped, after 33 seconds. Always aimed the laser at the center of the meniscus as I went around the joint. I only treated the one joint.

RESULTS After about 3 and a half weeks Ali could bend his knee to the full 90 degrees with no restriction. The owner told me to stop treating because the horse seemed fine now.

3 months later Ali still had full range of motion.

No other treatment was tried during that laser period.



PATIENT: COWBOY, a 4 year old Appaloosa gelding

Date: Oct 2005

Location: Indian Hills Ranch, Milpitas CA

Diagnosis: Cowboy was only 20% sound at the start. He was diagnosed with navicular disease and pedal osteitis of the coffin bones, although these diagnoses are best guesses, even though the horse was X-rayed. He was in such pain that he could not trot. One vet recommended that the horse be put down and offered to do it, but then most vets seem to know very little about lameness, especially at the hoof.

I began treating Cowboy with the Microlight laser, at a frequency of 3 times per week. I did about 10 of the 33 second doses to both hooves, surrounding the coronet band {top of hoof} each session. After 2 weeks he began to show such improvement that I only needed to treat the R hoof. By the 4th week, he was 95% sound, with no limp at the canter and only the slightest limp perceptible at the trot. I continued to treat the R side only but could not get that last 5%. Since he could be ridden normally by that time, I stopped treating. The owner was extremely happy with 95% since the horse was unridable at the beginning, and didn’t know if he could ever be ridden again.