May 13, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy Helps Senior Lab Walk Again

We absolutely love hearing stem cell success stories from pet owners. But some stories are extra touching because it’s clear that VetStem really improved a pet’s quality of life. That’s the case with Molly, a senior chocolate lab who was suffering from severe osteoarthritis and a potential spinal condition.

Molly

Osteoarthritis and Neurological Issue?

Molly has severe osteoarthritis (OA) in her hocks (ankles) and her left elbow. With a noticeable limp in her left front leg, one veterinarian called her elbow a mess after seeing X-rays of the joint. But Molly’s condition quickly deteriorated when one day she suddenly couldn’t walk at all. According to her owners, she was unable to bear any weight on her back legs and her back paws knuckled under when her owners tried to help her stand.

Her veterinarian worried that Molly may have a neurological issue such as a herniated disc in her spine, which can sometimes lead to being unable to walk. An MRI was offered however Molly’s owners elected to use the money to have Molly treated with VetStem Cell Therapy instead.

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Molly’s veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Wolf of Metropolitan Veterinary Associates, collected fat tissue from Molly’s abdomen during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem laboratory in Poway, California where VetStem lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Molly’s cells were divided into doses and four stem cell injections were shipped to Dr. Wolf for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Molly received one stem cell injection into each hock, her left elbow, and intravenously.

Molly Regains Her Ability to Walk!

According to her owner, Molly had a great response to the stem cell therapy. Just two weeks after her injections, Molly was able to support her own weight with assistance. At her one month recheck appointment, Molly was able to take a few steps. And just shy of two months post-stem cell therapy, Molly was walking on her own again. When her back paws were flipped over, she righted them within two seconds.

Molly’s owner stated, “She is walking again on her own and without assistance, and she is definitely limping less on that front elbow. While we do realize at her age and the severity of arthritis in her joints that she won’t be a puppy again, I would definitely expect her to continue to improve and continue to be mobile. I would do this again for her in a heartbeat, and we are so thankful this technology exists. Thank you, VetStem, for giving us back our happy girl.”

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diseases in dogs and pain associated with osteoarthritis can greatly reduce a dog’s quality of life. If you think your dog may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to find a VetStem provider near you.

Share
May 6, 2022

Responsible Pet Ownership: Celebrating National Pet Week

Posted by Bob under Cat Ownership, Dog Ownership, Pets

This week is National Pet Week. While it technically ends tomorrow, it’s not too late to celebrate your furry companions! National Pet Week was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Auxiliary to the AVMA. It is celebrated each year during the first full week of May to encourage responsible pet care and to celebrate the bond between pets and their people.

National Pet Week Themes

Smiling woman and her cat at the veterinary clinic, a doctor is examining the pet

Each day of National Pet Week has a specific theme that relates to responsible pet ownership:

  • Sunday: Choose well: Commit for life
  • Monday: Socialize now: New doesn’t have to be scary
  • Tuesday: Nutrition and exercise matter
  • Wednesday: Love your pet? See your vet!
  • Thursday: Travel with care
  • Friday: Emergencies happen: Be prepared
  • Saturday: Plan for their care: Give them a lifetime of love

You can read about each theme and find pet owner resources here.

The Cost of Pet Ownership

While responsible pet care has many facets, one important factor to consider is the financial aspect of owning pets. Recently, it has come to light that many pet owners underestimate the cost of pet ownership. In a survey of 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians, nearly half of the pet owner respondents admitted they had underestimated the lifetime cost of their pet(s). Additionally, approximately half of the pet owners thought they were financially prepared for unexpected pet expenses and realized they were not.

Routine Veterinary Care

Another factor of responsible pet ownership is routine preventative veterinary care. On this blog, we frequently talk about diseases and ailments which may prompt visits to the vet. But routine care is very important to maintaining your pet’s health. Preventative care, such as regular wellness exams and routine tests, can lead to the detection and diagnosis of problems that may otherwise go unnoticed until it is too late. If a problem is detected in its early stages, it is more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty, and better success.

Share
Apr 29, 2022

Supporting Veterinary Resilience for World Veterinary Day

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

April 30th is World Veterinary Day. Taking place each year on the last Saturday of April, World Veterinary Day was created in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession. Each year, there is a new theme. You can read about last year’s theme here. This year, the theme is Strengthening Veterinary Resilience.

Why is Veterinary Resilience Important?

There’s no doubt that veterinary work is very rewarding. From veterinarians to technicians to researchers to administrative staff, those who work in the veterinary field are helping to advocate for the welfare of creatures who do not have a voice yet offer unconditional love. That being said, the work can also be mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. Burnout and other health issues have risen in recent years and serving as frontline workers during the pandemic presented entirely new challenges.

Veterinary care. Vet doctor and dog Jack Russell Terrier

According to the World Veterinary Association, “Veterinarians, much like their patients, need proper tools and support to maintain their personal health and wellness. Healthy animals require healthy advocates. Resilient veterinarians are better equipped to handle the daily challenges and crises that may occur in their practices.” While many would argue that those in the veterinary field are a very resilient bunch, the WVA claims that veterinary resilience “requires appropriate support by associations, institutions, and governments to ensure adequate education, training, mentorship, and collegiality. It also requires ongoing research to better understand the mental and physical burdens veterinarians face and the opportunities to provide greater support.”

VetStem Fosters Veterinary Resilience

The majority of VetStem employees came to VetStem with prior experience in a veterinary clinic. Collectively, our team has been in this field for a very, very long time. And while we consider ourselves extremely lucky to be in this life-saving field, we also recognize the need for increased resilience support.

In an effort to support our veterinary clients, VetStem offers numerous free services to help them provide the best experience for their patients and clients when it comes to stem cell therapy. Some of these services include patient-specific veterinarian consultations, interactive and non-interactive trainings for veterinarians and their staff, as well as continued research in the field of regenerative veterinary medicine.

Much of our research has focused on utilizing stem cell therapy to treat difficult yet prevalent diseases with limited treatment options. Numerous animals have been treated under VetStem’s clinical research programs and have experienced a better quality of life after treatment. For instance, over 200 cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for feline renal disease, one of the top causes of sickness and death in cats. Doing the research and collecting the continual data for this clinical research program has enabled us to help veterinarians treat sick cats who may have had no other treatment options.

Thus, while we don’t work directly with animals at VetStem, we do our best to support our veterinary clients in their efforts to provide stem cell therapy to their patients. And we pledge to continue our research so that we can develop additional regenerative medicine treatment options and products for the animals who need them.

Share
Apr 22, 2022

Medicare Crackdown on Illegal Stem Cell Therapies

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Industry

Though we are a veterinary stem cell company, we always keep up with regenerative medicine news and breakthroughs in human medicine. As a leader in government compliant stem cell therapy treatments, we were not surprised to learn that in February, Medicare announced that it will recoup all the money it paid physicians, going back two years, for dubious birth tissue injections. Without any evidence of efficacy, birth tissue and exosome products were marketed by orthopedic and chiropractic clinics to their patients for indications such as longevity, pain, chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease, and Lyme disease, as well as numerous other chronic degenerative diseases.

On December 6th, 2019, the FDA issued a Public Safety Notification on Exosome Products to inform the public of multiple recent reports of serious adverse events experienced by patients in Nebraska who were treated with unapproved products marketed as containing exosomes. Despite this warning, these clinics continued to deceive patients and practice administering the unapproved cell treatments. 

Our commitment is to always maintain the highest standards for both patients and government regulators. At VetStem and our human company, Personalized Stem Cells, we take pride in our business model of providing elevated quality and safety of our stem cell products for both animal and human patients. It is important to note that our manufacturing facilities are FDA manufacturing compliant and have both FDA tissue establishment registration and a California tissue bank license.

CEO and Founder, Dr. Bob Harman, stated, “We continue to build patient centric cell-based businesses around scientifically and medically validated disease indications and treatments, always in compliance with federal and state guidelines. As the industry continues to mature and more products become approved by the FDA, our strong regulatory team and patent estate builds for the continued success of both companies and supports the reputation of the cell therapy industry.”

Share
Apr 15, 2022

VetStem Sponsors Veterinary Pain Management Forum

Last week, The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) hosted the first Pain Management Forum in Denver, CO. VetStem team members Kristi Hauta, Dr. Amber Vibert, and Dr. Anne Hale attended the conference to provide education on all things regenerative medicine, and to learn more about the most current research in pain and pain management. VetStem also proudly sponsored a dry lab with a long-time VetStem user and current president of the IVAPM, Dr. Douglas Stramel.

VetStem’s Dr. Amber Vibert worked with Dr. Stramel to explain the Platelet Rich Plasma process to dry lab attendees.

The IVAPM seeks to “advocate for best practices in the treatment of animals in pain.” The IVAPM was originally known as the Companion Animal Pain Management Consortium and was co-founded in 2001 by long-time VetStem client and collaborator, Dr. Jamie Gaynor. The Academy provides educational resources including a program to become a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) as well as online resources for veterinary professionals and animal owners. The IVAPM outreach in the veterinary community also consists of research funding and scholarships to help promote the welfare of animals around the world.

What we found at this intimate conference was a passionate group of people who work tirelessly to provide evidence-based education for veterinary professionals and pet owners so we can become more skilled in recognizing, understanding, and alleviating animal pain. We were privileged to have lectures provided by several experts in this field including multiple members of the IVAPM board of directors.

VetStem’s mission to improve the quality of life of animals and humans starts with understanding, treating, and preventing pain through regenerative medicine. Only through open communication of ideas, research, and collaboration with our colleagues throughout the world can we achieve this goal. Attending the Pain Management Forum and connecting with IVAPM members certainly brought these goals further into fruition.

If you think your pet may be in pain, you can use these online resources to help you learn more: Animal Owners – IVAPM, The Feline Grimace Scale, The Horse Grimace Scale, and Canine and Feline Pain Scales. But as always, your veterinarian is your best resource to assess your pet’s condition. To find out if regenerative medicine can help, click here.

Share
Apr 8, 2022

The Many Benefits of Walking your Dog

April 6th was National Walking Day. Regular walks can have several health benefits for both people and our dogs! In this blog, we will look at the potential benefits that come with taking your dog on regular walks.

Walking to Improve Joint Health

Walking is a relatively easy and low-impact exercise that has been shown to reduce symptoms related to osteoarthritis. Regular walks can help you lose or maintain weight, thereby causing less stress on the joints. It can also lead to increased muscle mass, which shifts the pressure and weight from your joints to your muscles. In addition, it increases joint fluid circulation which is beneficial to maintaining healthy joint cartilage.

Since 1 in 5 dogs is diagnosed with osteoarthritis, it is important to take care of their joint health from an early age. Like in people, walking can help to reduce the symptoms or delay the onset of osteoarthritis in dogs. And as a low-impact activity, walking puts minimal stress on the body, thereby reducing the risk of injury.

Additional Benefits of Walking

We mentioned above that regular walks can help your dog lose or maintain an ideal weight. While this is of course good for their joints, it is also beneficial to their overall health. Unfortunately, obesity has become a major health issue in pets. Obesity in dogs can lead to several diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and several types of cancer. By helping your dog achieve and maintain an ideal weight, you are potentially helping them live longer.

Additionally, regular walks can help to regulate your dog’s digestive and urinary systems. Routine walks outside can help keep your dog “regular” and prevent constipation while regular emptying of the bladder can help reduce the risk of bladder infections.

Lastly, regular walks outside with your dog can be beneficial for your dog’s mental and emotional health. Walking exercises the mind as well as the body. Allowing your dog to explore and smell different scents provides mental stimulation. And by giving them something constructive to do, such as walking, you may prevent them from doing something destructive, like chewing on your favorite pair of shoes.

Share
Apr 1, 2022

VetStem Reaches New Stem Cell Processing Milestone

As leaders in the field of regenerative veterinary medicine, we are proud to announce that we have reached a new stem cell processing milestone. VetStem has processed over 15,000 patient samples resulting in over 35,000 stem cell treatments for animals across the United States and Canada. Over 2,200 veterinarians have utilized VetStem Cell Therapy processing services for their patients.

Dr. Bernadine Cruz treats her patient, Nikita, with an IV dose of her own stem cells.

The majority of these treatments have been for orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis as well as injured tendons and ligaments in dogs, cats, and horses. We have also provided cell therapy services for patients with alternate conditions such as renal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gingivostomatitis, spinal conditions, and more as part of our clinical research programs.

While most know that we primarily work with domestic animals, we also work with multiple exotic animal organizations and their programs to provide stem cell therapy for several exotic species. To date, nearly 200 exotic animals have been treated. Those animals include elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, several species of bears, giraffes, penguins, dolphins and more.

We are very proud to be leaders in this field of cutting-edge medicine. And we look forward to what the future holds! That being said, we wouldn’t be where we are without all of YOU, our pet owners and veterinary clients, who have trusted VetStem to handle your pets’ and patients’ stem cells over the past nearly two decades. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Share
Mar 25, 2022

The VetStem Canine StemInsure

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, StemInsure, VetStem

March 23rd was National Puppy Day. To help you celebrate, we thought we would share how puppies can benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy. That’s right, stem cell therapy is not just for older or injured dogs, it can help puppies too!

VetStem StemInsure: The Stem Cell Insurance

VetStem offers a service called StemInsure. Similar to storing your baby’s stem cells at birth, the canine StemInsure provides peace of mind with banked stem cells that can be used later in life should your dog require them. Hence why we like to think of it as stem cell “insurance.” While many owners take advantage of this service for their young, healthy dogs, older dogs have benefitted from StemInsure as well.

What is the StemInsure Process?

The StemInsure process is similar to our standard stem cell process where we extract stem cells out of a small amount of fat from your furry friend. This small sample of cells can be stored for the lifetime of your dog and can be used to culture, or grow, therapeutic stem cell doses should your dog become sick or injured later in life. While many dogs can benefit from StemInsure, this process is ideal for large breed puppies and other breeds that are considered high risk for developing orthopedic diseases as they age.

Benefits of StemInsure

StemInsure comes with several advantages. First, the fat tissue can be collected in conjunction with an already scheduled, routine procedure such as a spay or neuter. While performing the routine procedure, your veterinarian will simply collect a small amount of fat from your dog and send it to our laboratory to be processed. If your dog requires stem cell therapy in the future, he/she won’t need to go through an additional fat collection procedure.

Another benefit of StemInsure is the price. The StemInsure process costs considerably less than our standard process. Because there are no therapeutic doses being sent for immediate treatment, the stem cell processing is much less intensive. Additionally, StemInsure cell banking is a bit cheaper than standard stem cell banking.

To find a VetStem credentialed veterinarian near you, click here.

Share
Mar 18, 2022

VetStem Exhibits at Western Veterinary Conference

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine, VetStem

The VetStem sales and marketing team spent several days last week at a veterinary conference in Las Vegas. The annual Western Veterinary Conference is one of the biggest veterinary industry shows in the nation and VetStem has exhibited at this show for over 15 years.  

We always enjoy getting out in front of our community and meeting both current and potential future clients. These veterinary shows allow us to educate veterinarians and veterinary technicians about VetStem Cell Therapy and how they can implement this therapeutic modality in their practice. Many veterinarians show interest in our clinical research programs, as these conditions tend to have limited treatment options.  

We also love being around our industry colleagues. Veterinary exhibit halls are a great place to look for new ideas and ways in which we can expand VetStem’s product offerings. Plus, there are always several pets roaming the exhibit hall, including our very own Ben! Ben loves meeting new faces in the VetStem booth.  

This year, we did an overhaul of our booth design and offerings. Check out some fun pictures below. 

Share
Mar 11, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy in Dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

It happens occasionally that a pet is treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for one condition, such as osteoarthritis, but the owners notice that a separate condition improves as a result of the therapy. That was the case with Finn, a German Shepherd who is owned by Dr. Lesley Gonzales of Gruda Veterinary Hospital.

Finn was adopted as an adult after he was found in the desert of Yuma, AZ. Thus, nothing was known about his previous medical history. From the get-go, he experienced gastrointestinal issues including chronic diarrhea, intermittent vomiting, and difficulty gaining and maintaining weight. After multiple tests ruled out infectious diseases, his veterinarian mom put him on a strict limited-ingredient diet, which helped to somewhat improve his symptoms but not entirely.

Finn

Then, in 2020, Finn partially tore his cruciate ligament. Due to his gastrointestinal issues, Finn was extremely limited on what medication he could take to help control his inflammation and pain. Thus, Dr. Gonzales decided to treat his knee with VetStem Cell Therapy. When she collected a sample of his abdominal fat for stem cell processing, she also took biopsies of his intestines, which allowed her to officially diagnose him with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

For his initial stem cell treatment, Finn received one dose of his own stem cells into his injured knee. He also received an intravenous dose. Stem cells have demonstrated the ability to home, or migrate, to areas of inflammation. Thus, we can assume that, when given intravenously, the stem cells would migrate to his knee and/or other areas that may have been inflamed. Within two weeks, Finn was noticeably more comfortable. His pain and lameness were much improved.

Approximately six weeks after his initial treatment, Dr. Gonzales noticed that Finn’s intestinal symptoms had also improved. According to Dr. Gonzales, his diarrhea resolved completely, and he was finally able to reach his ideal body weight. She also noticed improvements in his blood parameters.

Dr. Gonzales treated Finn with another dose of IV stem cells, this time specifically for IBD, approximately six months after his first treatment. She gave him a third IV dose approximately five months after his second. Finn has since experienced sustained control of his symptoms, he has maintained an ideal body weight, and he is now able to tolerate a greater variety of food ingredients without them upsetting his stomach.

IBD can be a frustrating disease. A definitive diagnosis can be time-consuming and costly, traditional treatments are life-long and can be complex, and the animal often continues to experience symptoms of the disease. Several dogs and cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for IBD and have experienced an improvement in symptoms. Stem cells have shown to down-regulate inflammation, modulate the immune system, and repair damaged tissue, all of which can contribute to healing inflamed and diseased intestines. If your pet has IBD, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

Share