Functional electrical stimulation
A form of electrical therapy, functional electrical stimulation (FES) treatments (read more) are specifically used in the horse to generate deep muscular contractions. In horses these have been successfully used to:
- Stimulate muscles, tendons and ligaments so that normal movement is returned to injured tissue
- Promote edema reduction and tissue healing through increased circulation of blood and lymph due to the movement of muscles
- Stimulate muscle movement and sensory nerves for the treatment of pain
Shock wave therapy uses high-energy sound waves that penetrate through soft tissue at customized depths to reduce lameness, increase mobility and relieve pain.
Shock wave treatments can help your horse to return to work more quickly and has a more than a decade of clinical success behind it. The ProPulse is covered by most all insurance companies (up to 3 treatments) so it’s a beneficial option to owners. For more information, visit www.PulseVet.com.
Equine biologic therapies
Equine biologic therapies use a horses own blood or bone marrow to heal. A veterinarian collects a sterile sample of these fluids and concentrates it into a treatment dose. Each method of preparation alters the properties of the treatment. There are some key differences between these different therapies.
Why use biologic therapy?
After injury, due to poor tissue healing, the body produces scar tissue that lacks elasticity. This scar tissue is more likely to re-injure. Biologics like PRP and IRAP provide growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins. These treatments encourage improved healing.
When to use biologic therapies?
- Joint disease e.g cartilage damage/osteoarthritis if steroids have failed to rectify the lameness
- When there are contraindications to steroids e.g. endocrine disease
- Soft tissue injury
- Post-surgical cases
- IRAP – interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein is a very specific anti-inflammatory cytokine – “IL-1ra”. Incubation of blood in a specialized syringe (20 hours) multiplies this protein in serum. Serum is then separated in a centrifuge and stored prior to injection. Most often treatments are for joint or suspensory ligament injuries – www.thehorse.com.
- PRP – platelet rich plasma. PRP is a concentrated solution of platelets. After injection into tissues, platelets release growth factors which help promote angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation). As a result this reduces inflammation and encourages tissue regeneration.
- Prostride – a concentrated blood product containing cells, platelets, anti-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. It is produced stall-side and injected on the same day.
- Stem cells – bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells. The current scientific evidence is good; meniscus injury; tendon healing. First, cells are taken from the bone marrow (either the sternum or the hip). Second, high numbers of stem cells are cultured from bone marrow in specialized laboratories for 2-3 weeks to produce 25-100 million cells. Third, cells are frozen in liquid nitrogen until injection. Dr. Daniel has a high number of success stories in horses which historically would not have become sound.
Knowing when to use equine biologic therapies requires an experienced veterinarian. The decision requires a sound scientific understanding. If you have questions about a horse that needs treatment, contact Dr. Ali Daniel to help guide you.