Feb 3, 2023

Golden Retriever Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Arthritis

In honor of National Golden Retriever Day, we are sharing a VetStem success story about a Golden Retriever named Makalia. At a young age, Makalia was diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia. At approximately two-years-old, Makalia underwent elbow arthroscopy in her left leg, which was the worst of the two. Despite the procedure, Makalia would limp on and off. Her owners managed her pain with medication for several years.

When Makalia was eight years old, she began limping on her right front leg more. The limp got progressively worse and eventually she became completely lame on that leg. After laser therapy didn’t help, Makalia’s veterinarian, Dr. Adam Gassel, recommended arthroscopy on the right elbow in addition to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy on both elbows.

Makalia

To begin the process, Dr. Gassel collected fat tissue from Makalia’s abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. At the same time, he performed arthroscopy on her right elbow. Her fat tissue was shipped to the VetStem processing lab where it was processed to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Three injectable doses of Makalia’s stem cells were shipped back to Dr. Gassel. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Makalia received an injection of her own stem cells into each elbow as well as intravenously.

In a 90 day follow up evlauation, Makalia’s owners noted that she was no longer lame. Her stiffness, pain, and energy level had improved and she was no longer having problems walking or jumping. Her owner stated, “I didn’t realize how much pain she was in because now she is a new dog. Happier and playful again.”

Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers are among the breeds that have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with joint dysplasia and osteoarthritis. The good news is, VetStem Cell Therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with OA and can even lead to the regeneration of healthy cartilage tissue.

If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or click here to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Jan 27, 2023

Arthritic Dog Defies Odds with Help of VetStem Cell Therapy

Recently, we shared the success story of a sweet Husky mix named Kobi who was successfully treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis in her elbows and wrists. Kobi’s story is special, in large part due to her traumatic start in life, followed by a harrowing prognosis after her parents learned she had severe osteoarthritis. Her owner’s submitted her story as a testimonial, and reading it gave us chills! So, while you may have already read VetStem’s version of the story, here is the full unedited version of Kobi’s story.

Kobi was a rescue through the Second Chance Pet Network in Dryden, Ontario. My husband Tom and I saw her on a Facebook post with her tiny curled husky tail and fell in love immediately, so we applied for adoption and set an appointment to meet her.

We learned that Kobi had a very rough beginning. She was found in November in a reservation in Northern Ontario, with no parents in sight. Her litter mates had passed away from the cold and only she and her brother were still alive, huddled in the middle together. The rescuers brought the two pups south to the shelter, and immediately realized the little boy was sick. Kobi and her brother were separated and he passed away soon after from parvovirus. Kobi was nursed back to health and eventually placed in a wonderful foster home.

Kobi

When we met Kobi at nearly 8 months old, we couldn’t believe she hadn’t been adopted yet. When we visited her foster home, Kobi bounced right up to us and dropped onto her back to show her belly. I gave her a little rub and couldn’t believe how sweet she was. We loaded her up into the car and brought her home.

We introduced her to March (our 6-month-old German shepherd cross, adopted through the Winnipeg Shelter) and it was unconditional love at first sight. Day in and day out they wrestled and played but about 3 weeks after Kobi came home, she called for help from the yard. She was holding up her front leg, so I ran out and carried her inside. Hoping it was just a strain from hard play, we let her rest through the night. It did seem to improve, but then two days later, she called for help again and it was the opposite leg she was holding up. Puzzled, we made a vet appointment for her.

During the x-rays, it was obvious that the damage done to her little body in the cold had taken its toll, and as she grew, she developed dysplasia and arthritis in both front knees. She was put on pain killers and it was so hard seeing her dopey and hurting. Within a few weeks we were able to bring her to a surgeon nearly 6 hours away in Winnipeg and she had surgery on both front legs to correct the dysplasia and try to clean up some of the arthritis. It was so expensive, but very worth it, because it worked well! After a difficult and lengthy healing period, she was back to her nutty, bouncy self. The vet did say, however, that the arthritis was not a mild case and we’d be able to expect about 6 years before it became too much for anti-inflammatory and pain medication to handle.

That was hard to hear, but we’re stubborn people and we were determined Kobi was going to live her longest and best life. Over the next two years, Tom and I fostered 40 puppies and dogs, largely with the help and patience of March and Kobi. There were ups and downs with her comfort level but for the most part, Kobi was a happy, hilarious, quirky puppy.

In 2019, the 4 of us moved to Calgary, Alberta. A BIG city compared to where my country girls grew up, but they love a good adventure! After about a year and a half, when Kobi was creeping up to 5 years old, she started showing signs of pain and slowing down. Is a husky who can’t be the fastest dog at the Bark Park even a husky anymore? We visited a few vets looking for solutions and it was a really emotional time. I refused to believe the only option was pain medication and laser treatment until it was time to let her go. That was for old dogs and she was still just a puppy.

After a lot of tears and many hours of research, Tom found something called Stem Cell Therapy. We found Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital in Calgary and they were incredible with Kobi. Dr. Schell identified that Kobi would be a great candidate for the treatment! It wasn’t an easy journey – another big surgery for our little husky to harvest the cells, but from there, the injections were easy peasy. After 3 weeks, it was clear that Kobi had never felt better. Literally! She’d NEVER been that comfortable before in her whole life. She played more and cuddled harder than ever before. It was incredible! Two weeks ago we all celebrated Kobi’s 6th birthday together. There was a point when we thought our time together would be up by now, but today she’s got a lot of years left and we’re going to make the best out of every single one of them. <3

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Jan 20, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy for Penguins

Posted by Bob under Exotic Animals, VetStem Cell Therapy

As our avid readers know, we like to acknowledge and celebrate various pet and veterinary “holidays” in our blog. Today happens to be an unusual but fun one: it’s Penguin Awareness Day! But what does this mean and why is it relevant to VetStem?

Well, first a little bit of history. Penguin Awareness Day gained popularity amongst scientists and other related institutions in 2010. Their main goal was to highlight their penguin research and to get the public interested in conservation. Today, Penguin Awareness Day aims to educate the public about penguins and their natural habitat and to learn about the effects of climate change on the various populations of penguins. Unfortunately, penguin numbers around the world are dwindling.

It is a terrible thing when animals become endangered or extinct. At VetStem we are proud to say that we have helped several penguins live a better quality of life! Several penguins have actually received VetStem Cell Therapy for conditions such as degenerative joint disease. And like in dogs and horses, they have experienced a better quality of life as a result!

Click here to see a video about VetStem Cell Therapy for penguins. Though an older video, at approximately 36:00 minutes, Dr. Todd Schmitt at SeaWorld San Diego begins talking about their penguin conservation efforts. He talks a bit about using VetStem Cell Therapy to treat arthritis in penguins and there is even a video of the first-ever penguin to be treated with stem cells.

While it may not seem like much, we are extremely proud that VetStem has a small part in penguin conservation. To date, VetStem Cell Therapy has improved the quality of life in numerous penguins, thereby helping them to live longer and more comfortably. We do not take our role in exotic animal conservation lightly and continue to further our efforts in this field.

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Jan 13, 2023

January is Walk Your Dog Month

Posted by Bob under Dog Ownership, Exercise For Pets

It should come as no surprise to dog owners that going for regular walks is not only necessary but also beneficial. Of course dogs need potty breaks, but the exercise and mental stimulation that come with walking your dog is great for both you and your furry companion.

While going for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood may not seem like much, there are actually many benefits associated with walking your dog regularly. Getting out in the fresh air with all sorts of new smells and sights to explore may bring your dog great satisfaction and may benefit their mental and emotional health. Additionally, giving them something constructive to do, such as walking, may prevent them from doing something destructive, like chewing on your favorite pair of shoes.

Perhaps more importantly, walking can help to reduce your dog’s weight or maintain an ideal weight. Unfortunately, obesity has become a major health concern in pets. According to some statistics, obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs, affecting approximately 25-30% of the general canine population. As with people, obesity is associated with an increased risk for many serious diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

Speaking of osteoarthritis, regular walks can help control symptoms of this disease as well. By reducing an obese pet’s weight, you also reduce the stress on their joints. Additionally, walking can help to strengthen the muscles and supporting soft tissue structures around the joints, promoting increased joint stability. It can also increase joint fluid circulation, which is beneficial to maintaining healthy joint cartilage.

Walking is a relatively easy and low-impact exercise that comes with many health benefits. While January may not seem like the best month to get out and walk your dog, it’s actually a necessary reminder that dogs need exercise year-round, regardless of the colder temperatures. That being said, you should exercise your pet safely and remember that every pet has different capabilities. If you have questions about exercising your dog, it’s always best to speak with your veterinarian.

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Dec 16, 2022

VetStem 2022 Wrap Up

Posted by Bob under VetStem

Well friends, here we are again nearing the end of another year. It’s hard to believe 2022 is almost over. This has been a big year for VetStem, one with a lot of change but also a lot of growth; a new building, new employees, and many new opportunities to educate veterinarians and pet owners about stem cell therapy. As our last blog of the year, we like to give our readers an overview of all that has happened with VetStem in the last 12 months. So, without further ado, here is VetStem’s 2022 year in review.

  • Towards the end of 2021, VetStem announced that we spun out our veterinary division, splitting off from our contract manufacturing division. With this separation, came a new corporate office. While the laboratory remains in the same buildings, our administrative offices have moved for the first time since VetStem opened their doors! Check out some pictures of the new space below.
  • In February, VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, was invited to present stem cell data at the Global Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) Symposium. VetStem Cell Therapy has been successfully used to treat this deadly virus in multiple elephants.
  • In March, we announced that we had reached an industry leading milestone: VetStem has processed over 15,000 patient samples and has provided over 35,000 stem cell treatments.
  • In April, we announced our new Chief Development Officer Dr. Anne Hale. Dr. Hale has significant experience in product development and regulatory approval and has led the charge in the development of upcoming VetStem products.
  • In June, Dr. Harman once again had the opportunity to present stem cell data for exotic animals. This time it was at the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM) conference. Dr. Harman discussed the use of VetStem Cell Therapy for various aquatic animals including dolphins, sea lions, and sea turtles!
  • Also in October, Dr. Anne Hale delivered a lecture at the annual American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) conference all about the use of VetStem Cell Therapy in cats.
  • Lastly, in November, Dr. Harman was invited to present about the use of real-world evidence in biological treatments at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons second annual Biologics Symposium. Though Dr. Harman officially represented our human counterpart, Personalized Stem Cells, his talk centered on his use of veterinary stem cell data from VetStem that helped guide the development of our human stem cell clinical trials.

And there you have it. Another year in the books. We thank you for your continued support, without which we couldn’t be here, improving and saving the lives of animals. We wish everyone the happiest of holidays and look forward to seeing what 2023 has in store for VetStem.

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Dec 9, 2022

International Day of Veterinary Medicine

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

Each year on December 9th, we celebrate International Day of Veterinary Medicine. On this day, veterinary professionals are recognized for their hard work and tremendous efforts in promoting the health and well-being of animals across the globe. Though one day is hardly enough to celebrate this dedicated group of medical professionals, we’d like to take this opportunity to discuss the impact that veterinary workers have not only on animals but on humans as well.

Veterinary medicine is not for the weak of spirit. It’s a challenging job physically, mentally, and emotionally. But most will tell you that this line of work is so incredibly rewarding, which often outweighs the challenges. Despite the human-animal bond and the growing evidence of the benefit pets can have on the health of their owners, veterinary professionals are rarely revered on the same level as human medical professionals. And yet, veterinary medicine and human medicine are much more intertwined than one might think.

Many advancements made in veterinary medicine also have a positive impact on human medicine. For instance, numerous vaccines, medications, and medical procedures have come about as a result of research in veterinary patients. In fact, we recently used our own veterinary stem cell data to launch stem cell clinical trials in people with our human company, Personalized Stem Cells.

The link between veterinary and human medicine is known as One Health. According to the CDC, “One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment.” While the One Health concept has gained increasing recognition in recent years, we think it’s important to emphasize the role that veterinary professionals have played in both animal and human medicine. So though International Day of Veterinary Medicine is only celebrated for one day, we will recognize and celebrate the many accomplishments of veterinary professionals every day.

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Dec 2, 2022

Meet the VetStem Clowder!

Posted by Bob under Cat Ownership, Cats

Happy National Cat Lovers’ Month! We never miss an opportunity to talk about how much we love cats. We’ve already introduced you to the VetStem Pack so for this week’s blog, we wanted to introduce you to some of the VetStem Clowder! (And if you’re curious about how VetStem Cell Therapy is being used in cats, check out this blog.)

Frankie and Puck

Frankie and Puck are two Maine Coons owned by VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman. Each one weighs 28lbs! As you can imagine, they hold their own with Mick and Gracie, the Border Collie and Aussie of the house.

Josephine’s Amazing Dreamcoat aka “Phini” and Scarf

Phini and Scarf are both Oriental Shorthairs owned by our Director of Commercial Operations, Kristi. Phini tolerates Scarf who tends to get himself into trouble. For instance, he loves eating socks. Can you tell by that goofy look on his face?

Ali’I, Keone, Squirrel, and Lilly

These four cuties are owned by Customer Service Rep, Whitney. Apparently they each hang out in different locations in the house so the only way you’d know Whitney has 4 cats is if you shake the treat can and they all come running!

Gryffin

Gryffin is a Ragdoll owned by Customer Service Manager, Veronika. According to Veronika, he’s full of cattitude and rules the roost (as he should with a face like that!)

Portia

Portia is a Manx mix owned by our Marketing Assistant, Ashley. If you so much as brush up against her, her purr machine kicks into high gear. She’s a love!

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Nov 18, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy for Horses: Orthopedics and More

It’s been a while since we’ve done a good overview blog on the various uses of VetStem Cell Therapy in horses. The VetStem Sales and Marketing team is currently heading to San Antonio, TX to exhibit at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) conference so we figured no better time than the present!

Some of you may not know this but VetStem’s very first patient was a horse that was treated way back in early 2004 for a tendon injury that would have normally been career-ending. As in dogs, veterinarians most frequently use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat orthopedic conditions in horses. Though their anatomy and injuries are different than our canine friends, the treatment methods are very similar.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Tendon and Ligament Injuries

In performance horses, tendon and ligament injuries are a leading cause of decreased performance. These injuries often require prolonged healing times and can be the source of reinjury. While soft tissue injuries can take many months to heal, VetStem Cell Therapy may speed up the healing process. Stem cells can reduce pain and inflammation and regenerate tendon and ligament tissues, thereby reducing the formation of scar tissue. When paired with a good rehabilitation routine, stem cell therapy may help horses get back to work faster.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Joint Conditions

As with tendon and ligament injuries, VetStem Cell Therapy can be beneficial for joint conditions in horses. Horses have been treated for a wide array of conditions including osteoarthritis (OA), osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), subchondral bone cysts, and meniscal tears. In one study utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy for the above conditions, there were several important findings:

  1. 80% (8/10) of cyst-only cases returned to their prior level of activity
  2. 95.2% (20/21) of OA cases in the study returned to prior level or lower level of work
  3. The average time for horses in the study from treatment to return-to-full work at prior level of performance was 6.2 months or 5.8 months for those horses returning to a lower level of work
  4. 83.3% (50/60) with joint injuries returned to prior level of performance or at least to a reduced performance level, with only 16.7% (10/60) being non-responsive to treatment.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Alternative Conditions in Horses

There’s plenty of data out there that stem cells can benefit soft tissue injuries and joint disease, but there are a few other conditions that VetStem may help as well. One of these conditions is Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). EIPH is characterized by the presence of blood in the lungs of performance horses following strenuous exercise. Traditional therapy includes medications that can reduce the amount of hemorrhaging but don’t actually treat or cure the disease. In a clinical research program conducted by VetStem, it was determined that the majority of horses treated with VetStem Cell Therapy experienced significant improvement with little to no bleeding post racing.

Another condition that VetStem may help is uveitis. Uveitis is characterized by inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye and can be a one-time episode or recurrent. Recurrent uveitis can lead to permanent damage and even blindness. Though the cause of recurrent uveitis is unclear, there is evidence to suggest it may be immune-mediated. Stem cells have demonstrated the ability to reduce inflammation and to modulate the immune system. Preliminary in-vitro and clinical case series results demonstrate safety and that stem cells may be effective in controlling recurrent uveitis.

Veterinarians have treated horses for numerous conditions that we have not mentioned here, some with favorable results, others not. If you think your horse may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, whether it’s for an orthopedic condition or something else, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Nov 11, 2022

The Power of Stem Cell Therapy Part 2: Holly’s Story

In last week’s VetStem blog, we introduced you to veterinarian and stem cell therapy proponent, Dr. John Hutchens. Dr. Hutchens shared his thoughts and experiences regarding the use of VetStem Cell Therapy in his patients. Check it out if you haven’t already, it’s a good one with lots of great information.

This week, we are sharing the experience of one of Dr. Hutchens’ VetStem patients, Holly. Holly is a chocolate Lab that received VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis in her hips and knees. Her owners kept a near daily journal of her treatment and initial progress. It’s rare that we get such a glimpse into the stem cell recovery process, so we wanted to share this with you! Check it out below.

Tuesday, July 25, 2022

Holly, our 11-year-old Labrador Retriever, had surgery today to remove a small amount of adipose tissue (fat) from her abdomen. It was sent to VetStem in California and should arrive there tomorrow. VetStem will isolate the stem cells and prepare 5 shots for Holly, one for each hip and one for each knee, and one IV. The rest will be stored by cryopreservation for future use. Stem cells are used for regenerative purposes in dogs, cats, and horses. VetStem will send the shots and IV back to my vet on Thursday for injection Friday morning if all goes well.

Friday, July 28

When we arrived at the vet at 8:00 am, we were told the shipment had been delayed in Indiana and was not there yet. My vet, Dr. Hutchens, had already talked to VetStem and they assured him it would be here first thing this morning. Since the cells are viable for 48 hours after shipping, if we had to, we could wait and do the procedure Saturday morning. He was willing to come in on a Saturday if they didn’t show up this morning. He is awesome. This was a minor blessing because Holly had developed diarrhea Wednesday evening and it gave the vet time to give her some meds to settle her stomach and start an IV to hydrate her. We left Holly at the vet and prayed the shipment would arrive soon.

Holly received an injection of her own stem cells into her hips and knees

Around lunch time we got a call from the vet. The shipment had arrived right away. Holly had already gotten her injections and IV and we could pick her up at 4:30. She was bright, perky, and ready to go home. She had a lot of swelling from the injections, and she was very sore on her back legs. She looked like a checkerboard where her hair had been clipped for her surgery and from her shots. She woke up twice that night and had to be helped up so she could go out to relieve herself.

Saturday, July 30

Her legs are still very sore. She is having difficulty getting up off the floor. We don’t have carpet and she slips when trying to get up. I’ve had to lift her up several times when she needed to get up. She slept all night.

Sunday, July 31

Holly is getting up easier today. In the morning she was stiff and had a hard time getting up but this afternoon she is getting up on her own and walking more.

Monday, August 1

Holly is so much better today. She can get up on her own and trots down the hall, instead of walking! She goes up and down her outside ramp with ease. This afternoon I rolled her ball about 10 feet and she actually ran after it. She is as good as, and maybe slightly better than she was before all this.

Tuesday, August 2

Wow, Holly went for a walk around the back pasture with Don (husband). Normally, she would go halfway around the acre, and stop while he finished his walk. Today, she walked around it 5 times! She hasn’t done that in about a year. I’ve cut back on her pain meds. Before all this, she was on 1.5 Rimadyl tablets and 2 Gabapentin capsules every day. She is only on 1 Rimadyl tablet and 1 Gabapentin a day now.

Wednesday, August 3 and Thursday, August 4

Holly continues to improve. It’s been a while since she would sit up and now, she is sitting again instead of lying on the floor all day. Unfortunately, that means she is begging for food. LOL. She has more energy, less pain, and is much happier. Her quality of life is so much better now.

Friday, August 5

We took her back to the vet to have her stitches out. The vet was amazed at how much better she was. She went from not being able to get up on her own, to getting up by herself, trotting down the halls. She is going up and down her ramp with ease, sitting up and being happy again! I recommend stem cell therapy to anyone who has a dog, cat, or horse that has health problems that this could fix. It’s a regenerative medical therapy that will enable the body to repair, replace, restore, and regenerate damaged or diseased tissues using its own cells.

Monday, August 8

Today Holly ran from the living room to the side door and barked when Robin came over and rang the doorbell. She commented that Holly had not done that in quite some time. This is so awesome.

Friday, August 12

Holly ran about 3 feet today. We threw (rolled) a ball about 5 feet and she ran after it. It didn’t last long but she actually ran a little.

Holly

August 16 & 18. This is week 3.

This is amazing. Robin threw Holly’s ball about 50 feet. Holly took off running as fast as she could (not very fast), trying to catch it. It’s crazy how much she has improved! She tried going down the deck stairs but fell at the bottom. She is still not quite strong enough to use the stairs going down all the time. She still mostly uses the ramp. We changed her meds to 1.5 Rimadyl only. We think the Gabapentin was causing her diarrhea.

August 24 & 25

Holly woke up wanting to play! She playfully growled and barked and tried to grab Don’s hand while squirming around in her bed and wagging her tail. She loves playing with him and never bites. LOL. When we opened the gate to the front pasture, she ran about 50 feet to meet Abby, Robin’s dog. They bounced around for a minute, then each went their own way sniffing everything they could find. She is actually interested in being outside now instead of lying around in the house all day. The next morning, she was stalking squirrels. She ran half the yard’s length then slowed down to a walk when the squirrel climbed a tree. She found one of her beloved balls and carried it around with her for half an hour before going back in the house. I can’t believe how much energy she has now.

September – Week 1

Holly has started using our deck stairs to go down to the yard again! Before, she would use her ramp which has roofing shingles tacked on it so she wouldn’t slip. Now, she is strong enough that she doesn’t fall at the bottom step anymore. She still uses the ramp to get back up to the deck.

September – Week 2 (approx. 45 days after treatment with stem cells)

Holly ran all the way across our back yard this week. That’s about 100 feet! I also noticed that she has started jumping up and down a little when she gets really excited or someone comes to the house. These stem cells seem to still be working. I wonder what it could do for me. LOL. It’s like the Fountain of Youth!


As you can see, VetStem Cell Therapy helped Holly live a better quality of life. At 11 years old with osteoarthritis in multiple joints, the treatment didn’t make her like a puppy again. But it did help her get moving so she could get back to some of her favorite things in life like playing with her ball, walking with dad, stalking squirrels, and greeting visitors. If you think your dog may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Nov 4, 2022

The Power of Stem Cell Therapy Part 1: Meet Dr. John Hutchens

We have a special veterinarian highlight this week. This will actually be a two-part blog series in which we will learn about Dr. John Hutchens of Westmoreland and Slappey Animal Hospital this week and his patient, Holly, next week.

According to his bio on the hospital website, Dr. John Hutchens received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Georgia and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. He has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since 2013. We recently caught up with Dr. Hutchens to ask him some questions about his use of stem cells.

Why do you find VetStem Cell Therapy to be a valuable addition to your practice?

VetStem Cell Therapy adds value to my practice by significantly improving my patient’s quality of life. Each of my patients have a special relationship with their human counterparts. That relationship can be greatly impacted by the pain associated with degenerative joint disease, arthritis, or injury. VetStem Cell Therapy helps to restore my patient’s ability to move comfortably, restoring their ability to enjoy life and interact with the family they love. There is HUGE value in providing relief of pain and suffering. You cannot put a monetary value on improving a pet’s quality of life and the relationship they have with their family. PRICELESS. 

What injuries/ailments do you typically treat with VetStem Cell Therapy?

I have used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat dogs with hip dysplasia and chronic arthritis of the knees and hips. I have treated the average family pet that couldn’t get up the stairs due to severe hip pain. I have also treated the working dog that was diagnosed with hip dysplasia whose human was told by a veterinarian he would no longer be able to do the job he loved. Guess what, after stem cell therapy he continued doing what he loved to do with comfort.

Please describe your ideal stem cell patient- what criteria must they meet in order to recommend stem cell therapy?

My ideal stem cell patient is a dog whose mind is ready and willing to go, but their joints tell them “NO”. This is a patient that wants to interact with the world around them, but because of pain, they just lie around watching the world go by. These are the patients that wag their tail when you walk in the door, but don’t get up because it just hurts too bad to move.

The things I want to know before deciding if a patient is a good candidate for stem cell therapy:

#1 Does the patient have cancer or a history of cancer?

#2 What therapeutics have they tried prior to stem cell therapy and what were the results?

#3 Are the clients willing to bring the patient back for follow up visits to assess progress?

What advice can you offer pet owners considering stem cell therapy for their pet?

Stem cell therapy sounds too good to be true, but in reality, it works! Stem cell therapy is safe, it’s effective, and it’s life changing. With stem cell therapy, you are utilizing your dog’s own naturally occurring healing properties, stem cells, to provide relief from joint pain. It’s not magic, it’s biology and amazing medical advancement.

We hear your patient, Holly, had a great response to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Can you tell us a bit about her treatment and outcome?

Dr. John Hutchens with his VetStem Cell Therapy patient, Holly

I’ve seen Holly many times over the years and watched as her body began to suffer from the impact of degenerative joint disease. She is one of the absolute sweetest patients I see, but because of joint pain, Holly could not comfortably get up to greet me when I walked into the room. Holly had previously been prescribed Rimadyl, Gabapentin, and Adequan at different times to treat her pain and inflammation with mixed results. Ultimately, the discomfort seemed to overwhelm the therapeutics. During one of Holly’s appointments, I discussed the success I had with other patients, similar to Holly, that had experienced dramatic improvement using stem cell therapy. It didn’t take much to convince the Cooks that Holly needed stem cell therapy.

The VetStem Process

We obtained the fat necessary to harvest Holly’s stem cells from a small incision in her abdomen. Holly did fantastic through the collection procedure! The collected fat was then shipped overnight to VetStem for processing. Within 48 hours I was holding the healing power of Holly’s stem cells in my hands! AMAZING!

Holly was brought back into the office to receive her stem cell therapy two days after the collection procedure. Holly’s stem cells were injected in both of her hips, both knees, and given to her intravenously. She was sent home the same day for monitoring and recovery.

Holly returned seven days later to have the sutures from her abdominal incision removed. The response to treatment was AMAZING. I knew that stem cell therapy was effective, but what I saw that day was miraculous. Holly, the dog that could barely get up without help, was bouncing around the exam room like a brand new dog. I watched as a previously lame dog walked without assistance. Seeing her improvement brought tears to my eyes and a HUGE smile to my face.  I would say Holly is a tremendous stem cell success story.


We would like to thank Dr. Hutchens for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to answer all of our questions. Hopefully his answers help you to make informed decisions about potentially treating your pet with stem cell therapy. Or, if you are in the Perry, GA area and are curious about VetStem Cell Therapy for your pet, Dr. Hutchens is a great resource. Also, follow him on Instagram @johnhutchensdvm for super cute and educational veterinary content!

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