In a recent university study, injections of two growth genes incited healing in affected areas of lame horses.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science performed a trial with horses suffering lameness after injury.
“Advancing medicine, relieving pain and restoring function were the main aims of this study,” study leader Albert Rizvanov told The Telegraph.
The injections included bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) to stimulate bone and cartilage development and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF164) for blood vessels.
Within 3 weeks of treatment, horses were able to trot. After two months, they had returned to competition.
“We have shown that these are possible and within a much shorter time span than treatments available at the moment. In addition, we could use this type of therapy in other injuries and in many situations ranging from fertility problems through to spinal cord injuries,” Rizvanov says.
Standard medical solutions for lameness currently leave horses prone to relapse —— 60% of them do. Study participants were completely healthy and fit 1 year after treatment.
“Our next step is to secure more funding for an even larger trial to help more animals and improve and treat other disorders in the hope that one day we can routinely use this treatment around the world,” Rizvanov says.