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dog cruciate surgery

Unleashing the Power of Super Cells

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Is your dog suffering from osteoarthritis, or a tendon or ligament injury?

Elko Veterinary Clinic now offers Canine Platelet Rich Plasma (C-PRP). This is safe and natural cell therapy to relieve the pain of joint disease or injury, promote healing and reduce recovery time using your dog’s own blood. This simple procedure can be done in the hospital as a day-procedure. Veterinarians are using C-PRP for dogs with joint injuries too old to undergo surgery, as an adjunct therapy with surgery, and for treatment of nonsurgical conditions. Patients that would most likely benefit from C-PRP would include the following: those having knee surgery (TTA, TPLO, or lateral suture), patients with hip dysplasia, those that have had knee surgery and are having complications or poor recovery, and those with joint injuries or osteoarthritis that may not be surgical candidates for various reasons. PRP injections can also be used in knees that may not yet be ready for surgery to try and get them to heal.

What are platelets?

Platelets are a cell-like component of blood and are primarily responsible for the development of clots. Platelets also contain a remarkable array of growth factors involved in healing. The list includes platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF), ß-thromboglobulin, fibroblast growth factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, epidermal growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor. These growth factors are primarily responsible for the recruitment and differentiation of progenitor cells; promoting angiogenesis, new tissue growth, and replenishing the extracellular matrix.

Platelet therapy has been used since the early 1970’s in periodontics for the treatment of severe gingivitis and in maxillofacial surgery to build bone mass in the jaw in preparation for dental implants. Since then, the use of platelets from a patient’s own blood has been employed in the treatment of tendon and ligament damage, popularized recently by televised reports of its use in professional athletes. Pilot data suggests that dogs under the age of 10 with significant lameness show the best response, with 91% of them experiencing a clinically compelling improvement in lameness when rated by both dog owners and vets alike. The benefits have been shown to last for months to up to a year depending on the patient. 

What is involved in the procedure?

The animal is sedated or anesthetized, blood is drawn and filtered to trap the platelets, and then the platelets are recovered. Thereafter, a needle is inserted in the affected joint, synovial fluid aspirated to confirm the location, and the therapy is administered until resistance in the joint is felt. The volume administered can range from 1 to 5 mL depending upon the dog, the joint, and the extent of disease. This procedure is done as an in a single day and the entire procedure typically takes 30 to 40 minutes, but does require light sedation for the joint injection.  Some veterinarians ask their client owners to restrict the dogs to leash walking for the first day or two; thereafter, they can resume unrestricted behavior pleasing to the animal. Animals should not be forced to run for the first week or two. 

This regenerative medicine is a new, natural, nonsurgical and non-pharmaceutical treatment that Elko Veterinary Clinic is excited to offer as a drug-free, minimally invasive solution to acute and chronic orthopedic and soft tissue injuries. If you have any questions please contact us or visit

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