Mid-Rivers Equine Centre firmly believes in educating horse owners about health care issues and treatments. What better way to do this than go where the horse owners are. In October, Dr. Timothy Ellis did just that. There were two shows, the Irish Fox Stables Hunter Jumper show and the Mid Rivers Saddle Club, taking place at the National Equestrian Center in Lake Saint Louis. Both were two-day shows, with downtime on Saturday evening. So Dr. Ellis hit the road and spoke to the groups about equine regenerative medicine.
Regenerative medicine (PRP, IRAP, and Stem Cell Therapy) is one of the most exciting medical advancements in equine medicine in decades. Equine regenerative medicine is healing tissue more closely back to its original state without scar tissue. This is a huge advancement for sport horse related injuries. Ligament and tendon tears that were once haunted by reinjures are now healing stronger and reinjure rates have dropped dramatically. Dr. Ellis pointed out that “Race horse injuries treated with traditional western medicine have a re-injury rate of 66% and hunter jumpers 56%. Horses treated with regenerative medicine have a re-injury rate of 13%.”
Lowering re-injury rates is not only important for the health of the animal but positively impacts long term cost and reduces downtime. Because PRP, IRAP, and Stem Cell Therapy can offer better healing, the likelihood of spending countless dollars (and time) treating an injury over and over again is lessened.
Success of treating a horse with regenerative medicine therapy depends on three factors, Dr. Ellis explained: “The greatest success of treatment is dependent on an accurate diagnosis, minimizing additional injury damage within the first 30 days, and supplying the needed element to heal the body.”
Mid-Rivers’ experience shows that treating an injury immediately with regenerative therapy is less effective than treating an injury 30 days post-injury. This does not mean you should wait to get medical attention 30 days after the injury. Measures will need to be put in place to reduce the potential for further injury. Generally this means anti-inflammatory drugs, icing for 24-48 hours, bandaging the injury for support, and exercise limited to hand walking.
Seeing is believing, and what better way to show you than before and after pictures. Dr. Ellis presented several ultrasounds at the seminar documenting patient recoveries. We will be making these images available to you shortly along with clips from the talk. You will be able to view these and other images for PRP, IRAP, and Stem Cell therapy in the gallery: Equine Regenerative Medicine – Before & After.
We believe that advancements in equine regenerative medicine are in its infancy. The pace at which technology is advancing medicine continues to increase. Dr. Ellis doesn’t exclude the possibility that “one day we may be able to create new tendons or ligaments.”