Educating Horse Owners on the Power of Regenerative Medicine Devices

Author: Bobby Cowles, DVM, Managing Veterinarian, Equine Technical Services, Zoetis

Your clients already believe their horse is special, sharing a bond that is as rare as a unicorn, but do they realize their horse has innate healing powers to help with lameness, joint pain and more?

Bolster your client relationships by educating owners on how their horse can help heal themselves with their very own magical powers .

You already know and use steroids and hyaluronic acid to treat joints. While these are effective solutions for alleviating pain and inflammation, it’s critical to find the root cause and manage it appropriately.

Regenerative medicine is an exciting field for treating equine injuries by supporting the restoration of injured tissues and cartilage back to as close to their original quality as possible. The basic principles of regenerative medicine are to support the healing process by providing scaffolding, anti-inflammatory cells and biologic factors to promote normal tissue development versus scar tissue.

Regenerative medicine is a broad category, much larger than the stem-cell segment that most owners equate it with. Just like there are many different antibiotics for distinct situations, there are multiple regenerative medicine devices depending on the injury type.  The Zoetis Regnerative Medicine Device portfolio is the only system that has 3 different device options to flex with what you need for your patients. 

Here is what you need to know in order to educate owners on recovery options available for their horse.  

What are Pro-Stride® APS, Restigen® PRP and CenTrate® BMA?

1. Pro-Stride APS (Autologous Protein Solution): In a simple stall-side procedure using this device that takes 20 minutes to perform, you will draw blood from the horse and centrifuge it using a two-step process. The result is a concentrated protein and cell solution containing anti-inflammatory

cytokines (IL-1ra, sTNF-RI, sTNF-rII, A2M) and growth factors (VEGF, RDGF, IGF-1)1,2 that, when injected into the injured area, may help alleviate pain and boost the horse’s healing process. It is most commonly used for degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis and synovitis.

In a study looking at client-owned horses that were evaluated for lameness, results found significant improvement in lameness grade up to a year later after just one Pro-Stride injection.3 No other equine regenerative medicine device manufacturer has shared similar data to date.

2. Restigen PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma): The Restigen PRP device efficiently isolates platelets and white blood cells in the blood with one simple spin to create a highly concentrated autologous solution that is injected into the horse. By spinning the platelets, you’re concentrating key growth factors 9X in the solution.4,5  (TGF-β, PDGF, IGF and EGF), white blood cells and anti-inflammatories. These components play a significant role in the natural healing of injuries.6 Restigen is mainly used to help jump-start the healing of soft tissue injuries.

3. CenTrate BMA (Bone Marrow Aspirate): Chances are horse owners associate the phrase “regenerative medicine” exclusively with stem-cell treatments. Aspirating the bone marrow can be used to concentrate stem cells, white blood cells and platelets into a powerful concentration that can kick-start the healing process in complex injuries. After an injury, the body signals to recruit many cells for healing, and one of those is mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). You will collect a bone marrow aspirate from either the sternum or ileum using a specialized needle. The CenTrate BMA device isolates and concentrates MSCs and other regenerative cells to create a solution of powerful healing cells, which are injected into the site of injury.7,8 

The CenTrate BMA  device simplifies the procedure into a 15-minute process that is portable, safe for the horse and does not require further processing before using.

CenTrate is used for advanced arthritis, severe soft tissue injury or bone defects like OCD. Regenerative medicine devices for helping to heal equine lameness and injuries can be more expensive than traditional treatments, but they help provide a regenerative healing path back to normal.

When will I see results?

The goal of using regenerative medicine devices is to restore the injured area to as near normal tissue composition as possible by isolating and concentrating the horse’s self-healing properties. This does not necessarily mean that regenerative medicine devices works faster than traditional approaches.

Typically with Pro-Stride, you will see significant positive results in 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes sooner.3 Restigen and CenTrate are used for soft tissue injuries and the size, location, and rehabilitation protocol will each influence the time it takes for the horse to recover. These devices can improve the type of tissue and healing so that a horse can come back to its pre-injury level, however, they cannot change Mother Nature’s time frame to heal properly—so it is vital to give horses time to fully heal.

Learn more about regenerative medicine devices at


  1. Muir R, Goemni R. Non-compartmental analysis. Ed: Bonate PL, Howard DR. Pharmacokinetics in drug development, Vol 1. 2004, 235-65.
  2. Linardi RL, Dodson ME, Moss KL, King WJ, Ortved KF. The Effect of Autologous Protein Solution on the Inflammatory Cascade in Stimulated Equine Chondrocytes. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 2019;6. doi:10.3389/fvets.2019.00064
  3. Bertone AL, Ishihara A, Zekas LJ, et al. Evaluation of a single intra-articular injection of autologous protein solution for treatment of osteoarthritis in horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2014;75(2):141-151. doi:10.2460/ajvr.75.2.141
  4. Woodell-May J. GPSTM III vs. Arthrex ACPTM output characterization. Biomet Biologics. 2021.
  5. Biomet verification protocols. Zoetis internal validation study. 2008.
  6. Bosch G, van Schie HT, de Groot MW, et al. Effects of platelet-rich plasma on the quality of repair of mechanically induced core lesions in equine superficial digital flexor tendons: A placebo-controlled experimental study. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 2009. doi:10.1002/jor.20980
  7. King W, Tan M, Ponticello M, Woodell-May J. Anti-Inflammatory Properties of the Output of an Autologous Bone Marrow Concentrating Device. Orthopaedic Research Society 2016 Annual Meeting. March 4-8 2016.
  8. Ishihara A, Helbig HJ, Sanchez-Hodge RB, Wellman ML, Landrigan MD, Bertone AL. Performance of a gravitational marrow separator, multidirectional bone marrow aspiration needle, and repeated bone marrow collections on the production of concentrated bone marrow and separation of mesenchymal stem cells in horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2013;74(6):854-863. doi:10.2460/ajvr.74.6.854


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