Burton, Cat with Stifle and Carpus Osteoarthritis

MLS® Laser Therapy Case Study

Burton, Cat with Stifle and Carpus Osteoarthritis

Species: Cat

Breed: Domestic Short-Hair

Gender: Male

Age: 16 Years Old

Burton the cat being treated with MLS Laser Therapy

Clinical Case

Burton, a 16-year-old domestic shorthair cat, was seen for physiotherapy consultation because of weight gain due to inactivity, reluctance to play with his usual toys and stiffness after lying down, which had slowly progressed over a 6-month period.

Burton was unwilling to climb or jump to his previous favourite places: climbing to rest on the elevated bed and jumping to sit next to his owner on the dinner table chairs. At first his owner noticed he preferred not to jump and would pull himself up, then this became difficult too and he also stopped jumping down.


Burton has a history of left stifle cruciate partial tear managed medically some 3 years previous. Without radiographs, Burton was presumptively diagnosed with likely osteoarthritis in left stifle due to previous injury, apparent in his unwillingness to jump and mild effusion on clinical exam. His right carpus has mild valgus and he was seen to offset his weight from the right fore, preferring not to jump down using his right fore.


Burton had 5 sessions of MLS® Laser Therapy: once each week for 5 consecutive weeks using the “inflammation (chronic)” setting to his left stifle (3 points), right stifle (2 points) and right carpus (2 points). We introduced stairs to enable him to climb to his high resting place and started to add walk-sit-treat exercises to increase his activity.

Burton the cat being treated with MLS Laser Therapy


After 3 treatments, Burton’s owner was delighted to see he had returned to jumping to the chair, table, sofa and was easily moving up the stairs to his favourite resting place. He was also happy to play again with his owner.

After his initial 5 treatments, Burton was back to his old self, happy to play again and starting to work on his weight. He now receives therapeutic laser every 3 to 4 weeks, depending on how his owner perceives his mobility and activity.

Burton the Cat at the end of laser treatment climbing onto the sofa.

Courtesy of Dr. Jane McNae, Paws in Motion Veterinary Physiotherapy, Hong Kong

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