Degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis is a very common disease in both young and old horses. It presents as lameness, joint swelling and inflammation caused by cartilage damage and inflammation of the joint synovium. This damage results in the release of inflammatory mediators, notably Interlukin-1 (IL-1) which in turn leads to further cartilage damage.
IRAP or Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein prevents IL-1 from binding to its receptor, stopping it from causing further inflammation and joint damage.
IRAP is produced by your horse’s blood cells and this treatment allows us to harnesses its anti-inflammatory protein and directs it to where it is needed. We take approximately 50mls of your horse’s blood and transfer it into a container designed to stimulate the production of IRAP. The container is incubated for 24 hours while this process takes place. The blood is then centrifuged to remove the cells leaving behind the now IRAP rich plasma.
This plasma is injected into the diseased joint every 7-10days for 3-5 treatments.
IRAP treatment is ideal for horses with mild to moderate radiographic signs of joint disease. It is not recommended in those with joint fragments but can be a useful tool to speed up recovery following their surgical removal and is considered low risk with few complications have been noted.
IRAP can be a great maintenance therapy for competition horses. It can reduce the need for steroid joint medications and can be used in conjunction with routine joint injections throughout the competitive season.
Please get in touch to discuss this treatment with us.