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Equine Veterinary Care offers a variety of regenerative therapies such as Alpha II, IRAP II Therapy, PRP, Stem Cell, and Shockwave Therapy.
For horses suffering with joint pain, their joint space has more destructive enzymes than their body can handle. The result is inflammation and cartilage regeneration. However, within the blood is the powerful Alpha -2 Macroglobulin (a2M) molecule. The a2M molecule slows the progression of osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease process by preventing cartilage breakdown and loss.
The use of the Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-Ra) protein is one of the newest developments in the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is produced by withdrawing a sample of the patient’s blood into a syringe containing specially treated Chromium glass beads. During a 24-hour incubation period, the red blood cells interact with the bead’s surface stimulating the production of large quantities of IRAP and other anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors. The blood is then placed in a high-speed centrifuge to separate out the resulting serum which can be injected into a problem joint or frozen for future use.
Osteoarthritis can become a vicious cycle because damaged cartilage cells produce interleukins that incite further inflammation thereby breaking down cartilage even more. IRAP II therapy can inhibit this disease process. IRAP II competes with the degrading force of interleukin-1 (IL-1) for the same receptor sites in the horse’s affected joint; therefore, by adding it into a damaged joint, the less IL-1 will be able to harm your horse. Our veterinarians routinely use this product in young horses with relatively benign synovitis and capsulitis, horses in training with developing osteoarthritis, and post-surgically if cartilage loss would otherwise decrease the prognosis for an athlete to return to competition. Used early enough, IRAP II treatment may be as close to a "cure” as veterinarians have for some horses, halting the degradative cycle before it spirals out of control.
The use of PRP for the treatment of a variety of soft tissue tendon and ligament injuries is rapidly expanding. After taking a sample of the patient’s blood, in minutes a high-speed centrifuge or portable filtration system separates blood plasma rich in platelets from red blood cells. This PRP, along with its associated growth factors, is then immediately injected into the soft tissue lesions creating what some call a "super-clot” that serves to help create a biologic scaffold upon which the body’s own cells migrate. These cells produce new collagen fibrils along lines of tension in the structure being treated. Sometimes even used in conjunction with stem cell treatment, PRP is a fast, stall-side treatment that uses the horse’s own cells and molecules to stimulate more rapid and stronger healing in a variety of structures.
By using cultured bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) or stored, ready-to-use fetal stem cells (fMSCs), our veterinarians can perform the newest procedures for our patients in the aggressive treatment of severe, career-jeopardizing soft tissue injuries involving the tendons and ligaments of the lower limbs.
With a new, portable Storz-focused shockwave unit, our veterinarians can provide improved healing times and a better prognosis for a variety of tendon, ligament and bone ailments that affect all types of performance horses. With a probe that provides focused shockwave energy at a variety of tissue depths, we can more specifically treat superficial or deep tissues by increasing blood flow, increasing collagen strength and alignment, or even decreasing chronic pain.