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Benefits of PRP Therapy for Canines

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) is a form of regenerative medicine initially used for humans but is now gaining popularity in the animal world. Offering similar benefits to stem-cell therapy, PRP therapy can help treat wounded canines. Platelet-rich plasma therapy works by accelerating the internal healing processes. This amplifies the biological signals that naturally occur during the healing process.

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelets are a key component of blood that help with clotting. Platelets also contain several growth factors and cell mediators that initiate wound healing naturally. This natural reaction helps to:

  • Reduce inflammation for arthritic cells
  • Stimulate stem cells to produce components of new tissue after an injury
  • Form a scaffold for stem cells, which makes it easier for these cells to act on the injury site.

Is Platelet-Rich Plasma an Effective Treatment?

While the science behind PRP therapy is complicated, its efficacy is very simple. Platelets are the first cells that get to injury sites and contain components required to initiate the healing process. Thus, PRP therapy helps to enhance your dog’s natural healing ability by delivering highly concentrated platelets to the injury site.

PRP therapy is becoming a preferred treatment option for the following reasons:

  • Less expensive than stem cell therapy
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Low-risk treatment alternative to surgical procedures
  • Shows almost immediate results

Which Conditions are Treated with PRP Therapy?

Veterinarians typically use PRP therapy for the management of several specific conditions. PRP therapy can involve a single injection or multiple injections depending on the specific disease process and severity. PRP therapy is commonly used for:

1. Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries, including partial tendon tears and ligament injuries, respond to PRP therapy very well. These injuries can include:

  • Achilles tendon strain
  • Iliopsoas strain
  • Shoulder tendon strain
  • Carpal tendon strain

Sprains and strains often involve partially torn ligaments, which can recover faster with PRP therapy. However, veterinarians may suggest surgery before PRP therapy for a full ligament or tendon tear. This is because platelet-rich plasma can’t help regenerate torn ACLs in canines. However, PRP therapy can still help to reduce pain and inflammation after surgery.

2. Wounds

Veterinarians also use PRP therapy to stimulate wound treatment. This is especially beneficial if wound healing isn’t progressing as expected. PRP cells are injected into wound edges to stimulate tissue regeneration by local stem cells.

3. Arthritis

Platelet-rich plasma can also be used in the management of osteoarthritis in canines. Arthritis and joint disease often include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Shoulder osteochondritis dissecans
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hock OCD

PRP contains growth factors and other components with excellent anti-inflammatory effects. The therapy reduces pain, swelling, and other signs of arthritis in canines. Dogs with mild arthritis often see improvement after six to nine months of PRP therapy.

PRP therapy is also effective for tendonitis, muscle tears, dental issues, and non-healing skin wounds.

Can All Dogs Receive PRP Therapy?

While most dogs are good candidates for PRP therapy, the therapy is unsuitable in some situations. Canines with the following conditions cannot receive PRP therapy:

  • Undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer
  • On anticoagulant therapy
  • On steroids or immunosuppressive drugs
  • Suffering from bleeding or clotting disorders

Because PRP is not suitable for all dogs, pet owners should speak to their veterinarian to determine if their dogs can have the treatment and what their options are.

The Bottom Line

PRP therapy is a low-risk therapy for the management of various conditions, including arthritis and soft tissue injuries. It is beneficial for most dogs because it stimulates natural tissue healing and improves comfort and function.

Contact the team at Naples Coastal Animal Hospital today to discuss your pet’s needs or to ask questions about PRP therapy.