San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Stem Cells Used to Treat Horses’ Injuries

The School of Veterinary Medicine at Universidad Nacional (UNA), in Heredia, north of San José, is researching an innovative treatment that uses stem cells to treat horses’ injuries.

UNA veterinary student Roberto Estrada is carrying out a study using the animal’s fat tissue stem cells to cure cases of tendonitis and tendon injuries. Estrada hopes to become the first veterinarian to offer this treatment in Latin America.

Tendon wounds are common in horses used for racing, jumping, polo and other equestrian events, Estrada explained.

Their tendon tissue is prone to injury and has less of a capacity to heal than other tissues.

Studies carried out in England have shown that for every 100 horses who begin racing at two years old, only 10 are still able to gallop at four years old.

Estrada performed surgery on a mare two months ago, and so far it seems to have “very promising” clinical results, according to Estrada.

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