Canine Arthritis? Try Stem Cell Therapy – VIDEO
This rather new and novel treatment may be an answer for some dogs with canine arthritis. Since it was introduced earlier this year, already over 700 dogs have benefited from this treatment.
The treatment, which involved removing cells from the same dog that is to be treated is not controversial and is not FDA regulated, but dogs treated have, in many cases, shown remarkable recovery within a short period of time, some in only a month.
Although the treatment hasn’t gone widescale, results are promising even though no one seems to really know why it works or what the stem cells are actually doing.
“They may be signaling other cells to come in and do different things — to reduce pain and inflammation or build new tissue,” said Dr. Julie Ryan Johnson, a veterinarian and vice president at Vet-Stem. “The X-rays may not look any better, but there’s definitely something going on there.”
A recent study sponsored by Vet-Stem, a California company that has been using it to help horses recover from tendon and other injuries since 2003 and began offering the treatment for dogs with arthritis earlier this year, found that dogs given the stem cell therapy over a placebo treatment had significant improvement in their walking and trotting and less pain when their joints were manipulated and had greater range of motion.
The stem-cell treatment starts with surgery to remove about 50 grams of fat, typically from the dog’s abdomen, explained Dr. Jacek de Haan from Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Maitland. He said all tissue holds some stem cells, and veterinarians use fat because it’s typically plentiful and easy to remove.
The dogs must be healthy enough to have the surgery, which requires the animals to be put under general anesthesia. Because anesthesia comes with risks, de Haan said dogs with other major health issues — such as heart disease or kidney failure — are not good candidates.
It’s more for dogs that are generally healthy aside from their arthritis.
After the fat is removed, it is sent to… Vet-Stem.
The company takes the fat sample, isolates the stem cells and returns the solution to the veterinarian, who then injects arthritic joints. There are no guarantees that the dogs will get relief, but many owners report seeing improvements within a month of the treatment. (Orlando Sentinel)
One of the biggest hopes is that this revolutionary treatment will not only be able to help animals but in the future be able to help people.
The stem cell treatment, which costs about $2,500, may not be a miracle cure but it may give dogs who are in pain with limited mobility, a new lease on life. Watch the video to see how it’s help one 11 year old Australian Shepherd named Maggie Mae.
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