Joints are subject to destruction over time and this can lead to osteoarthritis. The process may start with traumatic injury or with wear and tear. Complex biochemical mechanisms are involved in the disease process. The joint degenerates and becomes inflamed and painful. This also occurs with tendons and ligaments and leads to structural destruction as a result.

The IRAP therapy offers a biologic lameness treatment that utilises the body’s own healing mechanisms. Interluekin-1 Receptor  Antagonist Protein (IRAP) therapy now offers the opportunity to treat lameness of your horse utilising the bodies own healing mechanisms. This means low risk of side effects and no doping issues with the therapy.

IRAP therapy is based on the production of regenerative and anti-inflammatory proteins by the patient’s own blood cells. Irap® is an advanced syringe system which is used to produce autologous condition serum (ACS). ACS contains active quantities of autologous anti-inflammatory and regenerative cytokines. Irap® technique involves the retrieval of 50ml of the horse’s own blood using a special collecting syringe containing glass beads. During a 24-hour incubation period, the blood mixes with the beads, then is spun in a centrifuge at our laboratory to separate serum from red blood cells.

The ACS is then sterilely injected into the affected site. To achieve full effect most horses require 3-4 injections for a first round of treatment. This biological therapy has potential to induce regeneration or stop degeneration.

What Conditions can  IRAP therapy be used for?

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Damage to the articular cartilage of joints
  • Suspensory Ligament injuries
  • Inflamed tendon sheaths

When is IRAP Not a suitable treatment?

If there are fragments, OCD lesions or ligament damage that have not yet been corrected surgically.

What are the potential side effects /problems with IRAP?

As the product is a natural one, produced in the horse already, there are minimal side effects of the IRAP itself. However as the ACS has to be injected into a joint or tendon sheath, there is always the risk of a secondary infection or inflammatory joint flare-up, as there is when injecting anything into any equine joint. Strict aseptic techniques are used in preparing the skin at the site of the injection also when collecting the original blood sample from the horse.

The horse does need to be rested for a period after the treatment and the Vet dealing with the case will advise how long this should be for each individual case. If you have any queries about IRAP, other joint therapies or surgery please contact Wendy Furness or Jacqui Paton on 01332 294929