IRAP Therapy

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine offers Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) therapy for horses. IRAP therapy is recommended for horses suffering from mild to moderate osteoarthritis, capsulitis/synovitis, osteochondritis dessecans (OCD) lesions and following arthroscopic surgery.

IRAP is an alternative to the use of corticosteroids within an affected joint. It works by blocking interleukin-1, which is the major cytokine involved in the destruction of articular cartilage during the degenerative processes of osteoarthritis—one of the leading causes of lameness and loss of use in equine athletes. In-vitro and early clinical studies using IRAP show a decrease in the amount of joint inflammation and cartilage destruction seen in osteoarthritis.

Since IRAP is a naturally occurring protein within the horse's own bloodstream, immune reactions to the treatment are rare. Levels of IRAP and other anti-inflammatory proteins in the blood can be enhanced for injection into a joint by incubating a small sample of blood from your horse.

Here's how it works: a syringe with your horse's blood sample is incubated for 24 hours, then the sample is centrifuged and the serum collected. Each syringe yields five to six doses of IRAP, but the number of doses available for use from each collection is dependent on the specific joint. The number of treatments can vary and our team will discuss these options with you as treatment progresses.

Please contact the Hospital for Large Animals to make an appointment.

Hospital for Large Animals
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
53 Willard Street
North Grafton, MA 01536
Phone: (508) 839-7926
Fax: (508) 839-7931
Emergency Services: (508) 839-7926