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    Conventional therapy for canine acral lick dermatitis (ALD) consists of systemic antibiotics and anti-anxiety medications. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a noninvasive therapy used to treat inflammatory and painful conditions. The primary objective was to determine whether LLLT with conventional therapy would be beneficial as an adjunct treatment for ALD. We hypothesized that LLLT and conventional therapy combined would result in a greater reduction in licking Visual Analog Score (LVAS) compared to conventional therapy alone. Secondary objectives were to assess change in lesion/ulcer size, thickness and hair growth. Thirteen dogs with a skin lesion consistent with ALD. Dogs were randomly assigned to two groups. All dogs received systemic antibiotics and trazodone. The treatment group (TG) received LLLT by laser (130 mW, 2 min) with blue and red light-emitting diodes (LEDs), while the control group (CG) had sham therapy (laser/LEDs off). Treatments were administered three times weekly for two weeks, then twice weekly for two weeks for a total of 10 visits. Descriptive statistics were performed (mean, median); primary and secondary objectives were assessed with nonparametric ANOVA (Kruskal-Wallis test), with significance set at P < 0.05. Thirteen dogs (six CG, seven TG) were enrolled. There were no significant differences in median LVAS, lesion/ulcer size or thickness of the ALD lesion between TG and CG. There was a significantly greater increase (24%) in hair growth in TG (P = 0.0081) compared to CG. Treatment of ALD requires multimodal therapy. Although combining LLLT with conventional therapy did not result in a significantly greater reduction in LVAS, there was a significant increase in hair growth compared to conventional therapy alone. © 2020 the European Society of Veterinary Dermatology and the American College of Veterinary Dermatology.


    Amy H Schnedeker, Lynette K Cole, Sandra F Diaz, Gwendolen Lorch, Päivi J Rajala-Shultz, Ryan N Jennings, Eric T Hostnik, Joshua B Daniels. Is low-level laser therapy useful as an adjunctive treatment for canine acral lick dermatitis? A randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled study. Veterinary dermatology. 2021 Apr;32(2):148-e35

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    PMID: 33471429

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