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PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

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  • PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

    Anybody have this proceedure done? I have done a google search, but pretty much every article says the same thing about what it is...Any good/bad stories?


  • #2
    All I can say is that when a friend considered it for her mare's poorly healing suspensory injury, she was informed that her equine insurance would not cover the treatment because it was too new and its efficacy was not proven.

    Since that time, she learned that they are using the procedure for sports injuries in human athletes.

    After 6 months of treatment with shock wave therapy, my friend's mare was still not showing as much progress as would be hoped. Her vet informed her that insurance companies were now paying for PRP therapy. So she had it done a month or so ago....jury is still out on the result.

    But if insurers are paying for it, I would think that it has been proven to be beneficial for some injuries.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


    • #3
      I actually just did a search on this... I am using it on a corneal ulcer in one of my horse's eye. My trainer used it for the same thing on a foal and she said it healed up the infection very quickly. I don't want to mess around with anything having to do with his eye, so I'm picking up the test tube of plasma after work today.

      Anyone else used this before? I've never personally used it but am starting treatment on my gelding tonight, so we'll see how it goes.


      • #4
        Lots and lots of hype, enormous potential, little solid evidence. The marketing and "word of mouth" recommendations are years ahead of good, solid clinical trials. Which is very typical of this type of tissue-based therapy that is used in the cash-up-front realm of medical practices: you got the cash? We'll do this treatment.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          I have actually had this done at NC State on two of my horses in the past few months. The first was done in July and at his 1 month check up the suspensory had healed almost 90%. And this is an 18 year old horse - pretty quick healing for a large abnormality in his hind suspensory.

          The other is my 2 year old filly who was done one month ago. She goes back for her re-check in November, but right now it's looking good. The first one went back for a one month re-check since I was going with the other horse - decided we might as well take them the same trip.

          I decided to do them after reading a vet report done on Standardbreds at the track. 100% healed and raced again. That was good enough for me to try it.


          • #6
            Watched one get done on someone else's horse. Does that count? Horse in question got a combo of stem cell and PRP for a "hole" in the tendon. Next ultrasound showed it substantially healed and now, a few months later, you really can't see where it is. Horse was never lame and is still sound, so nothing to report there. Vet made it clear that this wasn't something that would give you a faster rehab, but possibly a better outcome.

            It was fairly cool watching the vet use a centrifuge that she set up on one of the tack trunks.
            The Evil Chem Prof


            • #7
              Originally posted by JstMyLuck3;
              Anyone else used this before? I've never personally used it but am starting treatment on my gelding tonight, so we'll see how it goes.
              My personal experience with it for corneal ulcers is very good. Fresh is best but I always kept several vials of frozen on hand (horse had uveitis and chronic corneal ulcers).

              My vet would periodically draw ten or so EDTA vacu tubes of blood and process them for us. He was surprised at how well it worked on my horse but I doubt he ever formally documented it.


              • #8

                What's the theory on why it would work?

                I ask in the context of knowing a little too much about haematology and having personally had platelet transfusions and immunoglobulin, stem cells, bone marrow etc etc etc. I can't see though why that sort of transfusion would work for such as a suspensory injury.

                Do you know? Or tell me to bog off, you're a cardiologist not a haematologist!


                • #9
                  They inject the PRP directly into the area of the suspensory that is torn or hurt with the idea of encouraging healing faster. Don't know the theory or biology behind it - I"m not that advanced in haematology.


                  • #10
                    PRP has been shown to work fairly well in race horses. I found 4 fairly recent studies done in both Europe and the US. One thing to note is that it generally did not accelerate healing but did accelerate rehab as the healing tissue was a better quality.

                    As for the functions of PRP, it has less to do with haematology than the simple aspect of having a vehicle to provide various cytokines and chemokines to stimulate tissue growth. Just like a scab on the skin is a scaffold and protein provider for cellular development, the injection of PRP does the same.



                    • #11
                      Right, platelets are just big bags of chemicals and when they clump together they tend to activate a lot of processes that rev up the beneficial (one hopes) inflammatory cascade.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        I have had PRP used on two horses in the past. One was a bowed SDFT -- it was the second time this horse injured it as he was rehabbing a previous bow when (some careless barn worker) let him out with my other horse and he got kicked, right in the previously injured tendon. For that horse...I'm not sure how much it helped, he was a difficult one, not very cooperative for treatment or rehab but eventually he was sound and the tendons are doing great now 2 years later. Whether the PRP made a difference -- can't say for sure.

                        Other horse was also a 2nd time injury -- high suspensory. Previous injury, we did shockwave 3x and rehabbed and all was well, then he tore it again... Did one shockwave, vet was not pleased with response so we did PRP. Next ultrasound, vet was ecstatic -- significant healing. Have since done an MRI (for another issue in the foot that appears to be the source of our previous susp injures...) and looked at the suspensory since he was down and they could hardly find the previous injury. So I do think in that case it worked.

                        Can't speak to the why or how - I just trust my vet to advise me well (he could do a lot more and spend a lot more of my $$ than he does but he doesn't). My insurance did pay in both cases. I believe there was a limit on the $ amount they would pay -- maybe $700 a treatment? I know we were within the limits.


                        • #13
                          Vet that did the PRP (and Star's IRAP) said that the difference is that the PRP was structural (a scaffolding was how she described it, IIRC) whereas the IRAP had amplified amounts of an anti-inflammatory protein. The IRAP was more processed--she took the blood away and came back with it a week or so later whereas she spun the blood for the PRP right in the barn aisle and then re-injected it (there may have been steps b/w that I did not see).
                          The Evil Chem Prof


                          • #14
                            Done it twice and tried returning one of the horses back to the track. Both horses had excellent healing in a shorter amount of time. We still did the time off that was recommended. The horse we took back to the track ended up with a lesion above the old injury. It was caught very early and was just a small lesion, but we will no longer race her.

                            Then my vet mentioned how they usually re-injure the area above or below the old lesion... Guess if I had realized this, we might not have done it and just given them the year off. Unless it was a full length lesion, then there would be no place to injure it above or below.

                            Both horses are doing good, the one is still healing the new small lesion and it is repairing it self much, much slower then it did with the PRP.

                            Here is something that is WAY out of my price range, but it is what I would try if it happens again for the next horse.


                            • #15
                              helped with my mare

                              I had a mare that damaged her tendon racing, the vet recommend the PRP and since it wasn't over the top expensive (about 900 i think) I did it.
                              When I took her back for a recheck in 6 weeks, the tendon was about 1/2 healed... and at a recheck a few weeks ago there was just a slight hint of the mishap...
                              would recommend it for a performance horse.
                              owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.


                              • #16
                                I recently (on the 7th) had it done on my gelding Hennessey who is listed on the giveaways. He has arthitis in rf fetlock, as well as a significant loss of range of motion as the result of a chip fracture, injections and later removal of chip. We did (about 6/7 months ago) HA injections and had good results. Was chatting with vet last months while reinjecting, about other extravagent options (thats what Care Credit is for right? ) in particular IRAP. She suggested PRP because of the good results with the HA. So far so good. Vet said we would see results in about 5 days. I rode him on Tuesday and he was a champ, moved out with a real get up and go attitude. Will ride tomorrow and see what we've got. We are hoping this will heal/repair the cartilage damage. We are doing another PRP injection the first week of November, might include HA might not depending on how Henn's doing/feeling.
                                Proud owner of a member of the Formerly Limping And Still Majestic Equine Society


                                • #17
                                  Could someone please give me a ballpark number on the cost for PRP? I have a horse with a high suspensory injury. Thanks.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by frisky View Post
                                    Could someone please give me a ballpark number on the cost for PRP? I have a horse with a high suspensory injury. Thanks.
                                    PRP for a high suspensory on my horse last year -- $595 for the PRP therapy, plus sedation, so total about $700.


                                    • #19
                                      There have been some studies on its use on tendon injuries, most of them indicating increased rates of recovery and lower instances of re-injury as compared to those treated only with time and rest- a good way to get a sense of those is to go onto The Horse website and just do a search for PRP.
                                      I recently did it for a non-healing tendon injury but it is too soon to know how effective it has been.
                                      The price varies based on region, practice, type of PRP, etc. The fancy schmancy, high profile vet clinic in the area around here charges more because they use a different, supposedly better centrifuge (about $900 I think). My regular vet clinic (not a low end clinic by any means) charges a couple hundred bucks less.
                                      There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                                      • #20
                                        I had PRP done on my gelding with high suspensory injuries. He had tendon-splitting surgery in Oct. '08 with disappointing results, and wasn't showing any signs of healing. In Jan. '09, I had the PRP therapy done. It promoted a great amount of healing in only a few months. That said, he was still lame. I finally turned him out in May '09 and after a few months out, he started looking sound. He is now back in light work, looks fantastic, but it remains to be seen if he will come back to full work (dressage, in his case).

                                        As to cost, I seem to remember paying about $800 incl. a full lameness exam.
                                        "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince