Stem Cell Treatment in Horses Shows Promise
The advancements in regenerative medicine, specifically adult stem cell therapies, are proving to be viable treatments for horses with ligament injuries and suspensory lesions. Research has shown that after stem cell therapy a horse's reinjury rate of the superficial digital flexor tendon, and other ligament injuries, including chronic suspensory lesions, is cut in half. Stem cell therapy has also proven to be beneficial in meniscus tears. When injected after surgery there is a return-to-work rate of 60%, compared to 6% without stem cell treatment.
The treatment process consists of harvesting a small bone marrow sample. This is done with the horse standing and light sedation. The harvesting process only takes about 15 minutes and horses show very little discomfort. The sample is then processed in the Mid-Rivers lab and injected into the injury site. This is a onetime treatment. The cost of equine stem cell therapy is approximately $2,000 and must be performed at the clinic.
Mid-Rivers also offers IRAP therapy. This is a regenerative therapy to treat degenerative joint disease. The process includes drawing blood from the patient, processing it, and then injecting the harvested serum into the joint. It generally requires a series of approximately 4 injects into the affected joint. This treatment can be done on the farm and it range in cost from $1500-$2000.
If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of stem cell therapy or IRAP for your horse please feel free to call the clinic (636.332.5373) and request an appointment with Dr. Baxter.
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