Platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) is a type of regenerative medicine that harnesses the growth factors found in the blood to improve recoveries. There are many types of growth factors found in platelets that work to allow the body to heal better and faster because they can help initiate new connective tissue, blood vessels and bone regeneration.

Regenerative medicine is a type of care that uses tissue engineering and molecular biology to assist the body’s own repair mechanisms to help heal itself to restore function.

PRP is used at Smoky Mountain Integrative Veterinary Clinic for the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis and in ligament injuries for pets that are not candidates for surgery. They can also be used to help fractures to heal. PRP can be used in acute or chronic conditions.

Simply put, a blood sample is drawn from the pet that needs therapy. It is then processed by centrifuging the sample to separate the growth factor rich platelets. Once the platelets are harvested, a reagent is applied to the sample to get the platelets to release their growth factors. The PRP sample is then injected back into the pet under a local anesthetic and/or a light sedative. The process is well tolerated by pets.

Platelet rich plasma therapy works differently than regenerative stem cell therapy but is less invasive (no general anesthesia is needed) and has some other benefits because it is affordable for most pet owners.

The PRP therapy is often coupled with other rehabilitation techniques like laser therapy, therapeutic exercise and acupuncture to enhance the success of the treatment.