Platelet rich plasma has been used widely in human and equine medicine, primarily to promote the healing of musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., tendons and ligaments), but it is now making its way into companion animal medicine. The process is relatively simple and is done on an outpatient basis in the clinic or during surgery. Unless staying overnight due to the surgical procedure, you can expect your pet to go home the same day.
- A blood sample is drawn from the patient needing treatment.
- Using special equipment, the blood is spun down until the plasma (the liquid portion of blood) and platelets can be separated from white and red blood cells. The plasma now contains a much greater concentration of platelets than does “normal” blood.
- The platelets are activated via the addition of thrombin, calcium, or other substances/procedures that stimulate them to release their growth factors (chemical mediators that stimulate the healing process).
- The liquid is injected into the injured area and/or given intravenously.
After injury, platelets and other blood components normally rush to the scene and start secreting growth factors that essentially tell the body, “Hey, we need collagen, fibroblasts, bone, or some other substance needed for the healing process over here.” By concentrating these factors in platelet rich plasma and injecting them directly into the site of injury, we give a boost the body’s natural ability to heal. When platelet rich plasma is given intravenously, the platelets are attracted to injured tissues and can travel to multiple sites or to locations that are difficult to inject directly. Intravenous injections of platelet rich plasma have a similar, though probably somewhat attenuated, effect in comparison to direct injection at the site of the injury.
We are offering PRP as an additional option during ACL surgeries and as an adjunct treatment following injury. This is also an option for pets that do not need surgery or cannot tolerate it. Stop in for more information about this exciting new therapy for your pet!
We are excited to offer the newest options in REGENERATIVE MEDICINE at North Country Veterinary Clinic!