Prolotherapy - Do you have any experience with it? Know someone who has?

I’m heading off to bed here but am hopeful that tomorrow morning may bring me a wealth of Doper knowledge to peruse at my leisure.

My dog (Bodhi, he’s awesome!) blew his right ACL a couple of weeks ago and my vet recommended I see a veterinarian he knows that has a more naturopathic approach. She does prolotherapy, and he (my long-time vet) believed Bodhi to be a good candidate for the procedure. Avoiding surgery is certainly desirable, I’m not entirely sure I’ve got the previous $3k paid off from the TPLO surgery he had on the opposite leg 5 years ago :wink: I’ve done some Googling and see they’ve been doing this procedure on people for a number of years.

Bodhi had his first run at it today. While she was at it she performed it in each hip as well as the knee to (hopefully) help to stabilize his hip dysplasia. And hey, since he was already laying there sedated… let’s hook him up with some acupuncture to help arthritis pain and stiffness in his back and hindquarters.

He’s happy to be home and in bed - a little groggy and certainly in some pain. With some awkward looking bald patches.

What can you tell me about prolotherapy that may assist in my knowledge as I go down this road? TIA & Goodnight!

Medicare considers the evidence for it being effective too weak for them to cover such treatment.

I have never heard of this before, so I looked it up and I have to say, it seems like bunk to me. I guess the idea is to inject something into the joint/affected area, and then just hope that it stimulates the body’s own healing/inflammation process enough to help reduce the pain?

A Cochrane review said this:

It seems that most of the “success” of the therapy come from what it’s combined with, namely physical therapy and/or exercise, and perhaps even actual local anesthetics in the injection.

Thanks guys, I had seen those articles and was wondering if anyone had anything anecdotal to share. I trust my vet and he is not a purveyor of woo, so I was willing to try this to see if we can avoid putting the dog through surgery. It will take some time before I am able to have my own observational perspective to add.

Some studies -


My only personal anecdote thus far is - Less than 24 hours after the procedure the dog was able to jump off the bed and while appearing stiff and sore is able to handle at least some weight bearing on the knee in question.

The answers you got just goes to show people shouldn’t listen to advice from people who know nothing about the question. The government doesn’t pay for prolotherapy because there’s no money in it for pharmaceutical companies or hospitals or orthopedic surgeons.

I am a prolotherapist. It works. The injection of dextrose causes a false sense of injury to the cells in the are from simple dehydration. This causes the body to release stem cells, fibroblasts and other healing factors which then migrate to the area and rebuild the damaged tissue. Pills don’t do that. Surgery doesn’t do that. Only the body can do that. The ligaments are 40% stronger than before the procedure. This is very helpful with hip dysplasia or any ligament laxity of any species. Go to the vet and get it done.

:dubious: Of course there’s “money in it” - patient shows up, doctor does procedure and submits a bill, hospital gets their overhead cut, presto.

And the original poster already said she went and had it done.

Classic shilling. I do it (for a price), but there’s no proof, because there’s no money in it. What nonsense. Every potential treatment is a potential money-maker. If it works, you can charge for it, as you yourself are evidence.

I’m not saying it doesn’t work. I’m saying there’s no evidence that it works. Therefore, I don’t know if it works, and neither do you. Your anecdotal claims are next to worthless when no proper studies have been done, and if you have any type of scientific background, you should know that. If it’s known that it works so well, where is the evidence that proves it? Where are the studies that give you that oh-so-precise 40% number? How was that figure determined? What was the sample size?

People love to come up with excuses as to why science can’t or won’t prove that their pet little…thing…works, but the fact is that if something works, science can prove that it works. If it can’t be proven, it doesn’t work. So, based on what I’ve seen, when I see someone claim that something works, but for some reason the studies haven’t been done, I’m very skeptical. If you want to prove that it works, show us the evidence. Your anecdotes don’t count.

Didn’t the OP specifically request anecdotes?

I did specifically request anecdotes, but I was thinking more in terms of people on the receiving end of the procedure. :wink:

For the record, I intend to update this with impressions when all is said and done but I don’t have enough data yet. Right now it is difficult to tell if there is improvement, and I am not qualified to test the stability of the joint nor do I want to try. If this prevents surgery I will be one happy camper.