Your doctor has recommended Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for your pet. Autogenous PRP is generated from your dog’s own blood and an entire treatment can be performed in just a few hours. PRP is a regenerative therapy similar to stem cell therapy that stimulates tissue healing and does not require surgery. This handout should help explain some of the common questions regarding this therapy.
What is PRP and how does it work?
Platelet rich plasma is a fluid concentrate composed primarily of platelets derived from your pet’s own blood. The use of PRP in the treatment of small animals is a well researched, cutting edge regenerative medicine technique that supplies an increased amount of growth factors to encourage faster and better healing of bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, wounds and for the management of osteoarthritis.
Applications of PRP in Tendons, Ligaments and Muscle
PRP has been used extensively in horses for tendon and ligament injuries. In small animals we are using PRP in the treatment of diseases such as Achilles tendon ruptures, shoulder injuries, partial cruciate tears, iliopsoas injuries, musculotendinopathies,collateral ligament ruptures and hyperextension injuries.
PRP and Osteoarthritis
PRP injections can decrease pain and improve mobility and benefit articular cartilage in animals suffering from degenerative joint disease.
PRP and Bone
PRP may aid in fracture repair and healing by providing additional growth factors that are critical to bone formation. PRP has been used for bone formation most extensively in human dental and maxillofacial applications. PRP is being used in delayed and non-union fracture cases in an effort to accelerate healing.
What is the procedure for PRP treatment?
Blood is taken from the dog and spun down by a special centrifugation process to concentrate the platelets into a small volume of blood plasma for injection. The plasma containing the platelets is injected into the affected area. Generally the dog is sedated at the time of the injection. There may be some pain and discomfort for 24 hours post injection so pain medication is dispensed. One or more injections may be needed depending on the condition treated.
What are the risks associated with this treatment?
The risks associated with PRP injections are low. Joint infections, although possible, are minimized by the use of sterile technique.