Prolotherapy in dogs, also known as nonsurgical ligament reconstruction, is a medical treatment for chronic pain. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new connective tissue in areas where it has become weak. Prolotherapy is primarily used to treat joint pain and has been clinically proven to increase joint ligament strength by 30-40% in human clinical trials. Clinical results using prolotherapy in dogs and cats appear to indicate the same response. Many elite human athletes use prolotherapy to strengthen their weak tissues to prevent future injury.
Prolotherapy involves the treatment of weak or torn tendons and ligaments. A tendon attaches muscle to bone, and ligaments connect bone to bone. Both are important for the stability and normal movement of joints. The mechanism of prolotherapy is simple. A proliferant (a mild irritant solution) is injected into the affected ligaments or tendons causing a localized inflammation which “turns on” the healing process and directly stimulates the growth of new strong, healthy ligament and tendon tissue. As the tendons and ligaments grow stronger and more capable of supporting and maintaining normal joint stability, the pain is alleviated.
Prolotherapy is helpful for many different types of chronic musculoskeletal pain including: arthritis, degenerative joint disease, torn ligaments, tendons and cartilage, tendonitis, back pain, neck pain,and partially degenerated or herniated inter-vertebral disks. Prolotherapy can be performed on both dogs and cats; however, it is used most commonly in middle aged to geriatric dogs. Most owners report a 50-80% reduction in pain within the first two treatments.
Prolotherapy is not a subsitute for surgery as not all animals are not candidates for this type of medical procedure. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis!
Prolotherapy in Dogs is suitable for:
- animals with chronic osteoarthritic pain that involves one or more joints
- geriatric animals with chronic arthritis or joint pain that are poor anesthetic candidates
- animals with injury or tears of one or both anterior cruciate ligaments
- performance animals (agility, working dogs) with ligament or tendon injuries
- animals that are sensitive or have adverse reactions to conventional pain medications (Rimadyl, Dermaxx)