Sporthorse Veterinary Services offers many therapeutic options for the treatment of its equine patients. These options include Shockwave, IRap (Interlekin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein), PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), Stem Cell, Acupuncture, and Laser. Sporthorse Veterinary Services offers unique access to high intensity LASER therapy (HILT) in Southern California both in its own practice and on a referral basis to other veterinarians.

Regenerative Medicine continues to be an emerging topic in the equine veterinary field. Regenerative Medicine – Understanding IRAP, PRP and Stem Cell Therapies introduces three of these therapeutic options.

Shockwave Therapy

Sporthorse Veterinary Services offers shockwave therapy which stimulates the horse’s natural repair mechanisms. Shock wave therapy treats musculoskeletal problems as well as soft tissue and bone injuries. HIgh intensity shock waves are directed to a specific site to accelerate the healing process.

Looking at the emergence of new therapeutic technologies, consider reading the article, Shock wave therapy for lameness, published in 2005, yet still appropriate for gaining an understanding of the technique used for shockwave therapy.

IRAP Therapy

IRAP, Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein, therapy uses the horse’s own blood to produce a serum product that blocks inflammation in an osteoarthritic joint. For more information about this therapy, please visit the inks below:

Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) Therapy for Equine Osteoarthritis

IRAP: A New Weapon In The Osteoarthritis Arsenal

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

Sporthorse Veterinary Services offers this critical component of regenerative medicine for the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a component of blood in which the platelets are concentrated in a limited volume of plasma. Platelets contain many growth factors that enhance wound healing and help to induce tissue regeneration. PRP is used to promote wound, bone and ligament/tendon repair. Upon injection into an injured site, PRP delivers these platelets to stimulate the healing process through regeneration of healthy tissue.

If you would like to read more about PRP, The Center for Equine Health of the University of California, Davis has published an interesting article with case studies, Platelet-Rich Plasma: Improving Treatment for Tendon and Ligament Injuries.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell therapy, a major component of Regenerative Medicine, uses a concentrated form of stem cells that are derived from fat tissue to treat traumatic and degenerative diseases of soft tissues and cartilage. This therapy is a 3 part process: 1) surgical collection of fat tissue from you horse; 2) lab processing of the fat sample to isolate and concentrate the stem cells; and 3) injection of the stem cells into the affected area. Dr. Silverman will surgically remove a small fat sample from the area above the tail head on your horse, closing with suture. This wound should have minimal to no scaring. The sample is then shipped overnight to the lab for processing. After 24-48 hours the sample is shipped back to Dr. Silverman in ready-to-inject syringes. On many occasions the fat sample may yield excess cells that may be stored at the lab for future use. There is a separate “banking” fee from the lab for this service.

An alternative method of obtaining concentrated stem cells involves the use of bone marrow aspirate. This procedure involves the collection of a marrow sample from either the sternum, (breast bone), or the pelvis via the tuber coxae, (point of the hip). This sample is then sent to a special lab for processing. A concentrate of stem cells along with critical growth factors is then utilized to aid in the repair of your horse’s injury.

The area of stem cell research and regenerative medicine in general is in a constant state of evolution. For current information about the use of stem cells collected from the fat tissue of the horse, read Cell by Cell Recovery, published in July 2014.


Sporthorse Veterinary Services is committed to combining a solid foundation in traditional medicine with select augmentative therapies such as acupuncture. The stimulation caused by the needling of specific points can cause physiological changes within the body such as increased blood circulation or relief from muscle spasms. Most horses have an immediate relaxation response to the stimuli. Dr. Silverman uses dry needle, electro-stimulation, and aqua acupuncture.

Laser Therapy

Sporthorse Veterinary Services offers two types of Class 4 laser therapy, the K-laser and the revolutionary regenerative laser or HILT (High Intensity Laser Therapy) Laser. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. Laser treatment accelerates tissue repair and cell growth which promotes faster healing of injuries (i.e. wounds, tendons, osteoarthritis).

The acquisition of the HILT Laser allows Sporthorse Veterinary Services to bring cutting edge Regenerative Laser Therapy to the hands of referring veterinarians in the San Diego area, as well as southern Orange and Riverside counties.

Read more about the newest Class 4 laser, the HILT laser, in Star Wars in Your Barn: Laser Therapy for Horses as presented by Dr. Silverman at the July 23, 2014 Mary’s Tack & Feed Horse Health Seminar.