Platelet Rich Plasma
What is it?
PRP is a regenerative therapy for arthritic joints, working to manage pain and improve the quality of life of pets with arthritis.
Platelets are cells formed in the bone marrow and found in the blood stream, which when activated release anti-inflammatory and growth factors that facilitate tissue repair and healing.
What is it used for?
In veterinary medicine, PRP has been used for a wide range of indications:
When injected into the joint, PRP has been shown to promote cartilage health and reverse the cartilage breakdown that is seen in osteoarthritis.
PRP can also decrease inflammation, which improves pain.
PRP has also been used in acute and chronic soft tissue injuries; dental disease and healing, as well as certain spinal conditions.
Platelets also stimulate stem cell activity, so have been used in combination to augment the effects of stem cell therapy.
Who is it suitable for?
PRP is most useful for patients that have mild/ moderate levels of arthritis, to help heal and support the joint prior to more chronic changes developing. If the joint disease is severe, dogs may require a repeat injection 2 weeks later.
It is also beneficial following orthopaedic surgeries i.e. following cruciate ligament rupture, to reduce the amount of long-term osteoarthritis in the operated joints.
Improvement in pain and lameness within a few weeks, and the improvement can last 6-12 months. Because PRP is obtained from the patient’s own blood, there is minimal risk of any adverse reactions.
How does it work?
Your pet will undergo a sedation during which a small volume of blood (depending on the amount of joints to be treated) will be drawn from their vein.
This blood is spun in a centrifuge to filter the platelet-rich plasma component. The platelets are then activated and injected into the affected joints in a sterile manner.
Your pet may experience some discomfort after the procedure, but this will resolve within a few days.
The whole treatment will take about 30 minutes. We will then advise you on a rest and rehabilitation program to start the cartilage healing process.