Friday, April 27, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

In addition to stem cell regenerative therapy, our vet has recently acquired the technology and have started treatments with platelet rich plasma. These two are similar ideas - cell therapy. I suspect one of the reasons for this move is the now again more complicated availability of the stem cell therapy up here in Canada, after the falling out between Vet-Stem and their Canadian partner.

Regardless of running a small veterinary hospital, he offers the best of what is available out there.

Image: Regenerexx
So what is platelet rich plasma therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is derived from patient's blood. The blood is run through a special centrifuge, which separates the blood’s less dense components from its heavier ones. A portion of the blood is distilled to a platelet concentration that is much richer than regular blood. The process also removes red and white blood cells.

Why platelets? Aren't those just responsible for blood clotting?

Platelet indeed are involved with blood clotting. But they can do other exciting things too! They are responsible for bringing white blood cells to an injured area and they also release growth factors that assist tissue regeneration.

Platelet rich plasma therapy can be used to promote tendon, ligament, muscle, and joint injuries, which are normally slow to heal.

The procedure does require anesthesia, but it can be done in one visit.

Our vet has used the treatment on their resident rescue who came in with severe arthritis. I saw the dog three weeks post treatment, there is a marked difference. "He looks bad," our vet says, "but he looks awesome compare to what he used to look like. He's a big dog again, telling everybody what to do now."

Source article: Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

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