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Alvie Equine

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Platelet Rich Plasma
Shockwave Therapy

Degenerative joint disease is is an inflammatory condition, characterized by an imbalance in cartilage is degenerating faster than it can be repaired or maintained by the body. The inflammatory process causes pain through distension of the sensitive joint capsule, and also accelerates the break down process of cartilage through small proteins called inflammatory mediators. One of the most important inflammatory mediators identified is Interleukin-1 (IL-1).


Degenerative joint disease is one of the biggest causes of poor performance and a decreased competitive lifespan in the horse. This is true for all types of equine athletes, from racehorses through to dressage and show horses. Both young and old horses can be affected by degenerative joint disease resulting in a loss of athletic ability and possible early retirement.


Interleukin Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) is a relatively new therapy that has been developed to treat joint inflammation. This key protein prevents IL-1 from binding to cells within the joint and exerting its degradative effects. IRAP is an autologous therapy, meaning the product originates from the patient’s own body. The process starts by collecting a sterile sample of blood from the horse. The blood is then incubated for 24 hours with medical grade glass beads to stimulate the white blood cells to produce IRAP. The serum containing IRAP is separated from the blood cells by centrifugation, and then filtered into 3 to 5 treatment doses. The IRAP samples can then be injected into the affected joint immediately, or frozen and administered as future treatments. Treatments are typically given several weeks apart or on an as needed basis. IRAP treatment is indicated for treatment of synovitis, arthritis, bursitis, and/or tenosynovitis. This treatment is particularly useful when lameness has not been improved, or only improved for a short time by conventional joint injections.