Assessing a Stem Cell Therapy for Tendon and Ligament Injuries in Horses

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For questions and more information about this study, please contact the team using the information below.
Study coordinator
Name - Dr. Larry Galuppo
Email -
Phone - (530) 752-1393

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"Help us find a treatment for tendon and ligament injuries in horses using stem cells!"
Animal: Horses & Ponies
Keywords: tendonitis, desmitis, tendon injury, ligament injury, stem cell, stem cell therapy, equine, horse, MSC
Type: Stem Cell Study
60 Participants
Background and purpose
Tendon and ligament injuries are a common cause of lameness in horses frequently associated with high expenses and failure to return to a previous level of performance. Conventional treatment regimens have various outcomes and mostly result in the formation of non-elastic scar tissue which plays a major role in the high incidence of recurrence. Scar tissue cannot be as functional as tendon and ligament tissue and the goal for an efficacious treatment is therefore the development of methods of regenerating the tissue and lessening the amount of scar tissue formation. The purpose of this study is to assess stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for tendon and ligament injuries. The clinical use of stem cells is still in its early stages, and determination of the ideal dose to administer these cells is worth further investigation.
What happens in this study

If you agree to let your horse participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • A brief lameness exam
  • An ultrasound exam or an MRI before and after completion of the injections based on the location of the lesion
  • Stem cell injections (either a single dose or 1-2 doses every two weeks for up to 3 treatments) under sedation
  • Rehabilitation and reevaluation every 60-90 days (there may be another injection during rehabilitation if there is increase in lameness and signs of worsening tendonitis or desmitis)

Depending on the degree and stage of the injury, a UC Davis veterinarian will either request that you to bring your horse to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) or a UC Davis veterinarian from the research team will go to your location and administer the stem cells treatment.

Pet owner responsibilities

If you allow your horse to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing the horse to the clinic or agreed upon location for the injections, and informing the UC Davis researchers if your horse of any adverse effects for the 10 days following each injection. Additionally, you will be responsible for covering all charges related to stem cell therapy, follow up, and any adverse events should they occur.

Participation requirements

We are looking for horses diagnosed with an injury involving a tendon or ligament. Please have your veterinarian contact Dr. Galuppo to see if your horse will qualify.

Benefits and risks of participating
Results from this study may help to determine an ideal dose of MSCs for horses suffering from tendon or ligament lesions.
Study duration and period
Participation in this study will take up to 12 months, which will include 1 or up to 3 treatments (multiple dose) with a 2 week treatment interval followed by a reevaluation every 60 – 90 days.
Recruitment period
From June 28, 2018
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Large Animal Clinic - Equine Surgery & Lameness
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Larry Galuppo

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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