Information Provided By Arthrex, Inc. and Hawthorne Animal Hospital, Ltd.
Healing after an injury involves a well-orchestrated and complex series of events where proteins in the blood act as messengers to regulate the entire process. Many proteins involved in the healing process are derived from small cell fragments in the blood called platelets. Platelets are small, colorless, cell fragments present in the blood. They are formed in the bone marrow and are freely passing through the bloodstream in a resting state. However, when an injury occurs, the platelets become activated and start to gather at the injury site to release beneficial proteins called growth factors. This is the beginning of the healing process. For many years, blood components derived from the patient and then delivered to the site of injury have created growing interest for use in orthopedic procedures. New research and technology has expanded the application of this therapy for use in orthopedic procedures in dogs, cats, and humans.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)? PRP is a concentration of platelets and growth factors created from a small amount of your dog’s own blood. Increased levels of growth factors have the potential to improve signaling and recruitment of cells. This is often referred to as Autologous Conditioned Plasma.
How does the PRP process work? Your veterinarian will recover a small amount of blood from your pet using a needle and syringe. The blood then goes through a rapid spinning process that separates and concentrates the platelets and other beneficial growth factors from the blood. The entire PRP production process is usually done in less than 20 minutes. The PRP is then injected directly into the affected joint(s) of your pet, using heavy sedation to minimize stress. This is an outpatient procedure; your pet walks out the door the same day of his/her PRP, with minimal post-PRP discomfort.
Is my pet a candidate for treatment with PRP? Speak with your veterinarian and ask if PRP is right for your pet. Your veterinarian will perform an examination to make a determination if the use of PRP will benefit your pet. If your pet is on anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners, your veterinarian may temporarily discontinue the use of these until after treatment has taken place. The most common indications for PRP in dogs and cats include: -Cruciate Ligament and Meniscal Injury -Arthritis -Joint Injury from Previous Trauma
What are the risks associated with this treatment? PRP uses your pet’s own natural properties to treat their injury. Side effects utilizing PRP are very uncommon.
How much will this procedure cost me? In most cases, two injections of PRP are recommended. The injections are spaced one month apart for maximum benefit. The average cost for sedation and PRP is $150.00. Depending on the special needs of your pet, additional medications, treatments, or diagnostics may be indicated prior to PRP which can elevate this cost estimate.