A group of researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph is seeking Thoroughbred racehorses between two and six years old, that have been diagnosed with front limb superficial digital flexor tendinitis, for a stem cell therapy study.

The study will investigate the repeated use of allogeneic umbilical cord blood mesenchymal cells for treatment of equine superficial digital flexor tendonitis. The cells will be injected into the damaged tissue (intralesional administration) on the test subjects.

The researchers hypothesize that repeated use of this treatment is safe, and promotes better quality, faster healing than repeated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. PRP treatment is similar, but uses a concentration of the injured individual’s own blood platelets instead of stem cells.

Study candidates should be racehorses in training, between two and six years old. The horses must have been diagnosed with front limb superficial digital flexor tendinitis within the first four weeks of the injury. To meet inclusion criteria, they must have injured a minimum of 50% cross-sectional area of the SDFT, and show a hypoechoic defect within the tendon on images.

Anyone interested in participating in the study, should contact either Dr Judith Koenig at jkoenig@uoguelph.ca or Dr Nathalie Cote at ncote@uoguelph.ca for further details.