Over the last few years, many of you have undoubtedly become aware of the use of regenerative medicine techniques for treating orthopedic injuries in horses. All horses are subject to tendon and ligament injuries, regardless of breed or whether they are performance horses or ridden for occasional leisure time. Like human athletes, athletic horses are at greater risk by virtue of their occupation.
These injuries are notorious for slow, poor quality healing and a high re-injury rate and can be serious enough to end an athletic career.
GOLDIC is our platform technology designed to help veterinarians treat various syndromes. Focus is the treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
The positive effect of gold is well known in medicine and it has been sufficiently documented. The goal in developing the GOLDIC technology was to allow the use of specially designed gold particles in conjunction with the body’s most reactive cells, the blood cells, to fight inflammation and regenerate damaged tissue.
GOLDIC offers the veterinarian the opportunity to produce an enriched serum from the horse’s own blood. One can take advantage of the positive effects of gold by stimulating the active substances, cytokines and growth factors re-administered to the patient. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, relieves pain and helps to restore mobility. A horse must be able to move around freely – that is the foundation of its health and vitality.
The right indication for the treatment with the GOLDIC medical products should take place in close consultation with your veterinarian.
WHAT IS INFLAMMATION ?
A great number of diseases are caused by inflammations and / or accompanied by inflammatory processes. Inflammation is the complex process of protecting the organism against injuries and infections. It is the reaction to an external or internal irritation with the purpose to remediate or disable it.
The causes of inflammatory reactions can be biological irritations, such as pathogens, viruses, bacteria, worms, ectoparasites and bacterial toxins or also physical and chemical, such as pressure, injuries, rays, UV‐light, heat, cold, lyes, acids and many others.
There is no organ or part of the body, which could not be affected by inflammation, whereby there are differences in their frequency. Although acute inflammatory reactions generally represent a protective mechanism of the body, excessive inflammatory processes and chronic processes require therapeutic interventions to shorten the disease process or to avoid possible consequential damages.
For diagnosing a problem arisen in horses, several examinations are necessary. First, the veterinarian observes the horse in different gaits and tries to find out, with which joint the horse has the most problems. Thereby, he pays special attention if the horse “runs in”, that is, if the lameness diminishes after some time. The veterinarian scans all joints and legs and checks the mobility of the joints. Touching gives information about increased volume, heat or sensitivity to pain from applied pressure.
Painful areas and stiff joints are particularly important for the veterinarian. With the so-called “bending tests” he can trigger pain and easily determine smaller changes. For this purpose, he bends the horses leg for some time and allows the horse to run forward again.
The veterinarian can determine detailed changes in the joint of the horse through x-ray examinations and ultra-sound scans can make smaller damages of the tissue visible.
If necessary, there are additional diagnostic options: Sample of synovial fluid (Synovia) in the laboratory; joint endoscopy (Arthroscopy); computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and scintigraphy.
Specially tendon disorders are the most common causes for lameness in sport horses.
The tendon inflammation in horses, called tendinitis in technical jargon, is mostly a lengthy story. Inflammations of tendons (tendinitis) or actual tendon defects occur often in horses, especially in sport horses. Depending on the degree of severity of the defect in an acute inflammation, medium to extreme, lameness occurs. The region around the tendons is swollen and warm, in case of defects of the deepest bending tendon swelling is not necessarily visible from outside.
As always, the best a horse owner can do is try to avoid injury to these fibrous tissues. Make sure your horse is fit for the activity you are about to undertake, as fatigue is often a contributing factor to tendon and ligament injuries. Horses need also to be warmed up before exercise and properly cooled down following exercise to minimize all types of athletic injury.
In case of a total rupture of the bending tendon there is a markedly dropped fetlock. Chronic inflammations mostly show very little or no lameness at all. Also, due to the formation of connective tissue (scar tissue) which is less elastic than the healthy tendon tissue, chronic inflammation can become an acute tendinitis due to new fibre ruptures.
Our GOLDIC medical products support veterinarians to perform an individual medicine. It is an autologous blood therapy and has other components of regenerative medicine and it offers a vastly improved healing. The goal of this approach is to create real regenerated tissue instead of scar tissue.
Ultrasound examination is recommended for a precise diagnosis. Therapeutically, the course of healing depends upon the duration and extension of the tendon damage as well as the purpose of use, age of the horse and his housing conditions.
Tendinitis can be cured functionally to a satisfying extent, if the affected leg is rested for long, until the reparation of the destroyed tendon fibres through granulation tissue and its rebuilding in collagenous scar tissue is complete; this process lasts for several months. Which treatment is chosen depends on the degree of severity and the localization of the injury as well as on the patient altogether.
Arthrosis refers to the wear and tear of joint cartilage. The causes of an emerging arthrosis are very diverse. Biological tissues are subject to degenerative processes with increasing age that can lead in later phases to the deterioration of the tissue and to the loss of function and mobility. These processes are influenced by a multitude of different factors; therefore, many medicinal therapeutic approaches available so far only have a purely symptomatic effect along with several side effects.
Inflammations of the joints lead to movement disorders and pain in horses; as a result, horses can become unwilling to move. The horse’s gait becomes bad, it has a blunt and numbing effect and mostly the horse turns only reluctantly. Many horses require some time until they run in.
Generally, arthrosis treatment is based on the cause and severity of the disease. Sufficient exercise, avoiding excessive training, regular hoof care and consistent feeding (phosphorus containing food e.g. avoid silage) can help in reducing further wear and tear of joints.
How can the EQUINE GOLDIC SET 4 / VET medical device assist the veterinarian in his treatment ?
Treatment with GOLDIC stimulates the body’s own regenerative ability with the help of cytokines and growth factors. This is done by a significant increase in the level of gelsolin, as well as an increase of stem cell-specific factors in the body of the patient. Through this “treatment” and “return” of the body’s own serum, the inflammation can be treated with minimal risk of side effects.
Here a small quantity from the animals’ own blood is taken and then it is prepared through a process with the help of specially designed gold particles. The shape, number, surface, concentration and size of the gold particles play a decisive role here. In this process, the regenerative factors (cytokines, various stem cell and growth factors) from the animal’s own body are enriched, filtered and concentrated.
The preparation of the enriched serum, with the help of GOLDIC SET 4 / VET, is done in the practice or clinic at the time of the patient’s visit and is available for treatment within 24 hours. A sample of the patient’s blood is withdrawn, incubated and processed in a centrifuge. Once prepared, the enriched serum is usually administered by injection into the injured tissue (defective zone) using ultrasound guidance and without any other additives. In horses, the procedure is done on the standing horse under sedation and local nerve block.
The aim of the veterinarian is always the restoration of the natural joint function, the greatest possible freedom from symptoms and the regeneration of the damaged tissue. The usage of the enriched serum produced by the GOLDIC SET 4 / VET promotes healing and ideally supplements any additional required surgery. It can be an important part of a treatment plan for osteoarthritis, taking into account both the horse’s level of activity and the severity of osteoarthritis.
Another advantage of treatment with GOLDIC is that the formation of disturbing scar tissue can be avoided and thus a renewed injury of the tendon can be prevented, without health disadvantages for the horse.
Here, some helpful hints to support the therapy and rehabilitation of the horse.
At the first sign of an abnormality – a little swelling, some heat, maybe a slight lameness – stop, look, evaluate and ask your veterinarian to check things out.
The tendon or ligament becomes injured when the load placed on it exceeds the combined strength of the entire fiber bundle groups. The degree of damage depends on the number of fibers torn.
Clinical signs can be quite varied. Acute injuries are often characterized by heat, swelling and pain on palpation of the affected area. Lameness can range from mild to severe. Chronic injuries often result in persistent thickening of the tendon or ligament and an intermittent or persistent lameness.
The gold standard for diagnosing these injuries in horses is by ultrasound examination. Normal tendons and ligaments show a long, linear fiber pattern and an evenly white appearance when viewed on cross-section. Injuries show a disrupted fiber pattern and a black or gray appearance.
Healing of tendons and ligaments is more difficult than healing of tissue in other parts of the body. While the body has the ability to produce new connective tissue for repair, with tendons and ligaments it does not organize the tissue into the original structure of longitudinal bundles of fiber. Therefore, with traditional therapies, the repair rarely recreates a structure that can match its original strength or function. The goal of your veterinarian using the GOLDIC SET 4 / VET is to drive the repair process to improve healing and ultimately to regenerate the tissue at its original strength and resilience to produce a scar less healing.
Key to the success of returning your horse to normal work, regardless of the medical therapy employed, is regular ultrasound evaluations to check the progress of healing throughout the rehabilitation. Injured tendons and ligaments should show a progression toward a more normal appearance in size, echogenicity and fiber pattern at each re-check examination.
Consequently, the single most important factor to the recovery of athletic performance following tendon or ligament injury is to minimize the amount of damage to the structure. To do this, an early diagnosis of the damage is essential.
The second most important factor to recovery is to start effective anti-inflammatory therapy immediately. Injury to a horse’s tendons or ligaments is quickly followed by a pronounced inflammatory response characterized by increased blood flow and swelling within the ligament. While this initial response is designed to set the stage for eventual healing, if unchecked it can result in further damage and create an even larger loss of structural integrity.
Finally, the healing of tendons and ligaments occurs very slowly, over a long period of time. These structures have minimal numbers of blood vessels within them by nature of their tight configuration of fiber bundles. Without a large blood flow, the tissues are not able to clean away the debris of damage and institute repair processes rapidly. As such, convalescent periods for horses with substantial tendon or ligament injuries are generally measured in months rather than days or weeks. Studies and clinical experience using the GOLDIC SET 4 / VET has shown that a minimum period of 3 months should be considered to give the patient’s body sufficient time to regenerate.
During the rehabilitation process we recommend the following plan of measures:
- Initially, stall rest with hand walking is required (app. 10 minutes twice a day for the first 30 days). Your horse should not have access to unrestricted exercise such as pasture or arena turnout during the first three months.
- Please do not exercise the horse in a water treadmill for the days after injection to avoid potential infection.
- Generally, the horse resumes active rest with a graded rehabilitation program aimed at getting the horse back to full work in four to six weeks for a joint injury and three to six months for a tendon injury.
- Be sure your horse’s feet are properly trimmed.
- Please increase the rehabilitation exercises according to your veterinarian recommendations. He will advise you when you can start trotting straight on hard ground, how and when to do further exercises. The overall rehabilitation program has to be individualized depending on your local situation.
- Your veterinarian can recommend a controlled exercise program -complementary to the horse’s medical treatment – that allows gradual loading of the tendon / ligament in increasing amounts so that it can heal to the best.
- Re-check ultrasound exams can be performed to screen and assess healing and to prevent another injury. Ultrasound can detect evidence of tendon or ligament damage before a new injury occurs.
- When your horse is well along in his exercise program, your vet may tell you it’s OK to put him out. Your horse should go out solo, at a quiet time when other horses won’t be acting up. Any horse is likely to explode when first out after months in a stall, so talk to your vet about medications to keep him calm at least for a few days. Don’t leave him out unwatched, and be ready to bring him in at the first sign that he’s going to act up.
- Perhaps the most important factor in a horse’s full recovery from a tendon or ligament injury is patient and owner compliance. A rehabilitation program requires patience and commitment from all parties involved. We all know how fast equine muscles can disappear and how long it takes to re-build them. Because it can be difficult to work with a fit horse that is suddenly not able to exercise, consult your veterinarian to develop an individual recovery plan that works for you and matches your situation. In the end, this plan will give you the best chance to have your horse return to his pre-injury level of function.
Regenerative medicine techniques are not only to speed the healing process, especially in chronic injuries, but they are likely to improve the healing so there is less of a chance for re-injury when the horse returns to full work.
When can your horse return to competition?
The answer depends on how severe his injury was to begin with, how well it heals and what you want to do with him. Please rely on the professional advice of your veterinarian.
What are possible indications for usage of the EQUINE GOLDIC SET 4 / VET ?
- Tendon- and Ligament Injury (superficial flexor tendon, flexor tendon, deep flexor tendon, suspensory ligament, etc.).
- Muscular Disorder (myopathy).
- Joint Disorder (coffin joint, hock joint, fetlock joint, ileosacral joint and others).
- Osteoarthritis (mild to moderate).
- Inflammation of Sesamoid Bone (sesamoiditis).
- Wound Healing Disorder.
- RAO (emphysema).
GOLDIC - AT A GLANCE:
- Personalized Medicine.
- Relieve Pain.
- No Drug-related Side Effects.
- Helps to Activate & Differentiate Endogenous Stem Cells.
- Supports Regeneration of Tissue.
- Sustainable Effect.
- Outpatient Procedure.