INDICATIONS FOR USE IN DOGS
Intra-articular injections of biologic products (Platelet Rich Plasma and/or Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells) can be useful in numerous indications for dogs including:
- Use in the multimodal approach to combination therapy for OA (osteoarthritis) in addition to rehabilitation therapy and medical management
- For patients with residual postoperative intra-articular symptoms (effusion, discomfort, lameness) despite medical management and rehab
- For episodes of acute exacerbation of lameness and pain
- For patients intolerant or non-response to NSAIDS
- As a supplement or alternative to oral medical treatments
- For patients in which their OA has already progressed
- Post-surgical lavage (synovial fluid replacement at the time of surgery)
Soft Tissue Injuries (muscle/tendon/ligament injuries) and large wound care are also indications.
REGENERATIVE THERAPY BENEFITS
Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into any type of cells. They can also activate other surrounding stem cells and recruit additional cell types to aid in wound healing and tissue repair.
Platelet Rich Plasma is a highly concentrated blood sample that contains isolated cells (platelets) and the fluids portion of blood (plasma). When used as a therapy, PRP can help regenerate and heal tissues by:
- Recruiting cells to an area of injury to clean up dead and injured cells
- Releasing proteins called “growth factors” which are responsible for tissue regeneration
WHAT’S INVOLVED WITH PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) THERAPY?
The patient is sedated for the procedure. A blood sample is obtained and processed using a specialized system that concentrates the platelets and plasma. The joint that will be treated is shaved and prepped using sterile technique. The joint space is injected with the PRP.
If your pet is on an NSAID for osteoarthritis, we need to discontinue this medication for 7 days prior to the injection and withhold for 14 days after the injection. It is fine to continue Gabapentin or Tramadol during this time. Do NOT use ice packs for 1-2 weeks after the injection as this decreases efficacy.
Your pet may have mild discomfort due to “flare” for the first 24-72 hours after administration. This discomfort can be managed with pain medications. 8-12 weeks of rehabilitation is recommended following PRP therapy.
WHAT’S INVOLVED WITH STEM CELL THERAPY?
The patient is placed under general anesthesia and a small amount of bone marrow is collected from the femur. The sample is processed using a specialized system that isolates and concentrates the stem cells. Then the stem cells are injected directly into the area of injury.
Your pet may have mild discomfort due to “flare” for the first 24-72 hours after administration. This discomfort can be managed with pain medications. 8-12 weeks of rehabilitation is recommended following Stem Cell therapy.
- Mild Osteoarthritis: 1 PRP injection, repeat in 14 days if no improvement.
- Moderate Osteoarthritis: 1 PRP injection, repeat in 14 days if no improvement, transition to PRP/Stem Cell
- Severe Osteoarthritis: PRP injection every other week (2-3 injections) or PRP/Stem Cell combination followed by booster injection in 9-12 months if needed.
- Acute Post-Operative (8-12 weeks): 1 PRP injection, repeat in 14 days if no improvement
- Ligament/Tendon Tear (<50% tear or partial tear): PRP/Stem Cell combination
Response to therapy can vary from patient to patient. Oftentimes, these procedures are used for advanced cases or patients that can not undergo surgery. However, veterinarians are seeing 6-12 months of relief with one PRP treatment, and over 12 months with Stem Cell therapy. Repeating the treatments may be needed for long term benefits. Continuing multimodal approach (weight control, diet, supplements, pain relief medication and rehabilitation) is vital for long term success.
Molly received PRP in multiple arthritic joints. This therapy, along with rehabilitation, has allowed her to go for walks again rather than having to be pushed around in a stroller.