What is Plasma Therapy?

Hypermmunised plasma, such as that which comprises our entire range of plasma treatments from Equiplas, to Caniplas to Camelplas, has become an indispensable tool to veterinary practices all over the world.

But what is plasma therapy and how did it come to be? In a veterinary context, at its simplest, plasma therapy involves administering plasma or plasma-based products to increase the levels of antibodies in the blood.

The blood of all mammals has four key constituents:

  1. Red cells – cells responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to body tissues
  2. White cells – cells responsible for producing antibodies that counteract infectious microorganisms
  3. Platelets- cells that aid the clotting process
  4. Plasma– the liquid component of blood containing proteins, antibodies or gamma-globulins, clotting factors and a variety of other immunity-boosting agents

Plasma, derived through the process of plasmapheresis, is extracted from the blood using a complex centrifugal process.

This is a procedure in which whole blood is taken from a donor and separated into plasma and blood cells. Once isolated, the plasma is collected into a sterile bag, and the blood cells are then returned to the donor. This method has a huge benefit: it reduces more red blood cells than other processes, so the plasma is as pure and safe as possible.

While the clinical use of plasma has been practiced for over 100 years in human medicine, its veterinary use has only seen widespread adoption over the last several decades—despite its efficacy first being proven in a canine patient in 1916!

The liquid portion of uncoagulated mammalian blood that is free of cells is known as plasma. Plasvacc products contain hyperimmunised plasma, a form of plasma that has greatly increased levels of antibodies. Hyperimmune plasma can only be obtained from donors subject to a formal hyperimmunisation regimen.

This involves the strategic administration of a variety of commercial and proprietary vaccines enabling Plasvacc products to target specific active infections. In response to hyperimmunisation, donors can accumulate levels of antibodies in their bloodstream 2-3 times higher than those of normal animals.

Plasvacc is proud to have been involved in advancing veterinary plasma therapy for over 25 years, developing a wide-ranging line of plasma treatments that serve the equine, canine and camelid communities, helping to treat a host of potentially life-threatening conditions including Failure of Passive Transfer in equine and camelid patients and parvovirus in canine patients.

Together, our lineup of hyperimmunised plasma products help animals live longer, healthier lives.