Search Results

May 20, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy for Canine Cruciate Ligament Tears

Cruciate ligament rupture is one of the most common reasons for hind limb lameness, pain, and subsequent knee arthritis in dogs. Additionally, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, 40-60% of dogs who injure one cruciate ligament will go on to injure the other cruciate ligament in the future. While there are multiple treatment options available, both surgical and non-surgical, treatment with stem cells may accelerate and improve healing within the joint.

Risk Factors for Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Unfortunately, no dog is completely safe from a cruciate ligament tear. However, there are certain risk factors that make cruciate ligament tears more likely. The cause of canine cruciate tears is likely multi-factorial and include breed, activity level, reproductive status, body weight, body condition, conformation, and even immune system variables. Canine cruciate ligament rupture ultimately results in degradation of the joint structures which leads to degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis.

Treatment Options for Cruciate Ligament Tears

There are several treatment options for cruciate ligament tears which may depend on the severity of the injury. Common treatment recommendations include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical rehabilitation, and surgical repair. While surgery may be indicated for complete tears, partial tears can sometimes heal without surgical intervention. Unfortunately, degradation of the joint and subsequent osteoarthritis will likely still occur with or without surgery.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Cruciate Ligament Injuries

The goal of using VetStem Cell Therapy for cruciate ligament tears in addition to surgery and other standard treatments is to halt or reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and thereby improve the dog’s condition long-term. By halting or reducing the development of osteoarthritis in the knee, a dog will experience less discomfort and better functional ability. Stem cells help to achieve this by migrating to areas of inflammation and reducing inflammation, stimulating tissue repair, and reducing scar tissue formation.

If your dog has experienced a cruciate ligament tear, 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
Feb 25, 2022

VetStem Helps Dog with Partial Cruciate Ligament Tear

Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon story. A dog is running and playing and suddenly starts limping or holding one of their back legs up as if hurt. Usually, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. That’s exactly what happened to Belle, a mixed-breed dog, who was approximately 9 years old when she injured her knee. A trip to her veterinarian revealed that she had partially torn her cruciate ligament and also had osteoarthritis in her left knee.

Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Dogs

Cruciate ligament rupture is one of the most common reasons for hind limb lameness, pain, and subsequent knee arthritis in dogs. Additionally, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, 40-60% of dogs who injure one cruciate ligament will go on to injure the other cruciate ligament in the future. While there are multiple treatment options available, both surgical and non-surgical, treatment with stem cells may accelerate and improve healing within the joint.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Partial Cruciate Ligament Tears

Though full cruciate ligament tears often require surgical repair, partial tears can sometimes be treated successfully without surgery. Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types, reduce pain and inflammation, help to restore range of motion, and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. Many dogs have received VetStem Cell Therapy for partial cruciate ligament tears and have experienced a better quality of life. Thus, Belle’s veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Tate of Timberstone Vet, recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.

Belle Receives Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Belle

To begin the process, Dr. Tate collected fat tissue from Belle’s abdomen during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat tissue was shipped to the VetStem laboratory where lab technicians extracted and concentrated Belle’s stem and regenerative cells. Two stem cell injections were shipped to Dr. Tate for treatment while the rest were put into cryostorage. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Belle received one stem cell injection into her affected knee as well as one intravenous injection.

According to her owner, Belle had a great response to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Her owner stated, “Choosing to do stem cell therapy for Belle was the best choice we could’ve made. Within a few months of treatment and recovery, she was back to her old self running and playing and patrolling her kingdom.” Approximately one year later, Belle received a similar stem cell treatment for her opposite knee. Using some of her stored stem cell doses from the initial procedure, Belle received one dose into her right knee and one intravenous dose. She recovered well from that procedure and, according to her owner, is a happy girl with great mobility.

If your dog has an injured cruciate ligament, speak with your veterinarian about the possibility of treating with VetStem Cell Therapy. Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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
Oct 15, 2021

Agility Dog Returns to Competition after VetStem Cell Therapy

Charm is a nine-year-old dalmatian and accomplished agility champion. Though she has always had a strong will to perform, Charm has had a few setbacks along the way. In 2016, Charm partially tore her cruciate ligament in her left knee. After consulting with her veterinarian and doing some independent research, Charm’s owner elected to have Charm treated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) and VetStem Cell Therapy.

To begin the process, fat tissue was collected from Charm’s inguinal area during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. Once collected, the fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem laboratory in Poway, California. VetStem lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. One stem cell injection was shipped to her veterinarian for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Charm received one dose of her own stem cells and PRP into her injured knee.

Charm

According to her owner, Charm recovered well and returned to agility five months later. Unfortunately, this then four-year-old active dog, continued to show signs of intermittent lameness and stiffness. Though her X-rays showed no arthritis, further testing revealed that Charm had Lyme disease. This helped to explain her lameness as a few of the common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are painful or swollen joints and lameness that comes and goes. Though there is limited data regarding stem cell therapy for Lyme disease, Charm’s owner elected to have her retreated with stem cells in an attempt to manage her symptoms.

Charm received a second round of stem cell injections approximately one year after her initial treatment. This time, she received one dose into her left knee and one intravenous dose in conjunction with PRP. She was also treated with homeopathic remedies, hydrotherapy, and strength training. According to her owner, Charm bounced back and returned to master level agility trials. Her owner stated, “She feels great, her quantitative Lyme levels are subclinical, and she is running, jumping, and playing like a puppy again.” She later went on to win Agility Champion of Canada Awards, 5th place at Agility Association Canada Nationals plus a Distance Log from the Dalmatian Club of Canada. Charm received a third round of stem cell injections, both in her left knee and intravenously, approximately two years later.

Fast forward another few years and Charm, being the active athlete that she is, injured the cruciate ligament in her right knee. Fortunately, she still had multiple stem cell doses cryopreserved. So, in January of this year, Charm received a stem cell injection into her right knee. Once again, her owner noticed marked improvement. She stated, “This now nine-year-old girl is feeling wonderful just 5 weeks after her stem cell injection and no signs of any arthritic pain!”

Share
Sep 24, 2021

Veterinary Pain Practitioner Uses VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, VetStem Cell Therapy

As we wrap up Animal Pain Awareness Month, we wanted to share a success story from an experienced VetStem user and animal pain specialist. In case you missed our last few blogs about pain in pets, here is a brief recap:

  • September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, which was created by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) in an effort to raise awareness and to help pet owners recognize and manage their pet’s pain.
  • Recognizing pain in pets – When it comes to pain in pets, it’s not always easy to tell that our animals are hurting. Some pets are masters at hiding their pain. But there are some tips and tricks to help determine if your pet might be in pain.
  • VetStem Cell Therapy for pain – Stem cells have shown the ability to directly modulate acute and chronic pain.

Veterinary Pain Specialists

Just like there are specialists for specific branches of medicine such as surgery and internal medicine, there are also specialists in veterinary pain management. The IVAPM offers a certification in pain management for veterinarians who have practiced and studied animal pain management. Below, we will introduce you to Dr. Jamie Gaynor, a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) and avid VetStem user.

Dr. Jamie Gaynor, DVM, DACVA, DACVPM

Dr. Gaynor is one of the first veterinarians to utilize VetStem Cell Therapy in dogs. He has been working with VetStem since 2006 and has provided VetStem cell processing services for nearly 200 patients. One of his patients, a Great Dane with a partially torn cruciate ligament, experienced great relief after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy. Read his story below:

Frank Experiences an Improved Quality of Life after Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Frank is an albino, deaf Great Dane. His owners rescued him when he was four months old from a breeder who did not want him due to his health issues. Despite his hearing impairment, he was always an active and playful pup. Frank bonded with his brother, another Great Dane named Tom, and the two would play all day, every day. As the two grew, playtime became rougher, and Frank ended up injuring his right rear leg.

Frank

Once diagnosed with a partially torn cruciate ligament, Frank underwent two years of physical rehabilitation. Though he showed a lot of improvement, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy came up as a potential option to treat the arthritis that formed in Frank’s stifle as a result of his injury. Frank was referred to Dr. Gaynor and his owner elected to move forward with the stem cell procedure.

In a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure, fat was collected from Frank’s abdomen and shipped off to the VetStem laboratory in San Diego, California. Upon receipt, the fat was aseptically processed to extract the stem cells and injectable doses of Frank’s own stem and regenerative cells were created. Three doses were shipped back to Dr. Gaynor and Frank received one injection into each knee and one intravenous injection.

According to Frank’s owner, Frank showed major improvement less than three months after receiving stem cells. His owner stated, “Actually, Frank was acting like a puppy again. His energy level went up, he became more involved and interested in daily activities. He started playing with his brothers again, he rebuilt his confidence with stairs and jumping into the car and on the couch. Most of all, we have not seen him limp once since his stem cell treatment…He truly is back to his old self again.”

Share
Aug 27, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy for Dogs on National Dog Day

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, VetStem Cell Therapy

August 26th is National Dog Day. This day was founded in 2004 and celebrates dogs of all breeds. The stated mission is to bring attention to all the dogs that need rescuing as well as honor both family dogs and working dogs. For our own celebration, we would like to discuss the various uses of VetStem Cell Therapy in dogs!

VetStem Cell Therapy for Dogs

Though the first patient to be treated with VetStem Cell Therapy was a horse, dogs followed closely behind. Initially, we worked with select veterinary clinics to evaluate the use of VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis (OA) and orthopedic soft tissue injures such as cruciate ligament tears. After several years of collecting and analyzing data, we published two peer-reviewed studies. The first, in 2007, evaluated the use of stem cells for chronic hip OA. The second was published in 2008 and looked at stem cells for chronic elbow OA. Both studies concluded that treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy led to reduced lameness and pain as well as increased range of motion in the affected dogs.

VetStem Cell Therapy for More than OA

Though dogs were initially treated primarily for orthopedic conditions, we eventually broadened our research interests. Veterinarians have now used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat a wide array of conditions in dogs including organ failure, inflammatory bowel disease, back pain, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or “Dry Eye”). Though we do not have any completed peer-review studies for these conditions, some dogs have experienced good results!

VetStem Cell Therapy for Canine Back Pain and IVDD

Canine back pain is one of VetStem’s current clinical research programs. A clinical research program is designed to evaluate the safety and possible effectiveness of VetStem Cell Therapy for specific conditions. One condition that falls under our back pain clinical research program is intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This is a condition in which one or several intervertebral discs in the spine bulge, resulting in pressure on the spinal cord and leading to pain and possibly the loss of limb function. While IVDD can potentially be a devastating disease, several owners have reported improvement in their dog after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy including Bella and Bailee.

If you think your dog may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, even if he/she is not suffering form an orthopedic condition, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian or contacting us to find VetStem providers near you.

Share
Jun 4, 2021

Tripod Dog Receives VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Jackson is an approximately 5-year-old tripod, meaning he only has 3 legs. His right rear leg was amputated when he was only four months old, just before he was adopted from an animal shelter. Jackson got around just fine for a while, as many rear leg amputees tend to do. But when he was around 2.5 years old, he injured his left knee while playing. This was bad news for Jackson.

A picture of Jackson, three-legged dog and VetStem Cell Therapy recipient.

According to Jackson’s mom, he could barely walk after he injured his only rear leg. His owner had to help him get around by using a lift harness. His veterinarian, Dr. Nick Vitale of Heritage Animal Hospital, diagnosed him with a partially torn cruciate ligament in that left knee. Additionally, he was also diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in his left hip and both of his elbows.

Fortunately, Dr. Vitale is an experienced VetStem user, and recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Jackson had fat tissue collected from his abdomen and sent to the VetStem laboratory for processing. After his stem and regenerative cells were extracted and concentrated, 5 stem cell doses were shipped back to Dr. Vitale. Jackson received one injection of his own stem cells into each elbow, his left hip, his left knee, and an intravenous injection.

According to Jackson’s mom, he had a great response to the stem cell therapy. She stated, “After the therapy, he is completely back to full functioning!” It is just over three years since Jackson’s initial stem cell treatment and he has not required a retreatment. Fortunately, he still has multiple stem cell doses stored, should he need them in the future.

Jackson’s story is unfortunately not uncommon among tripods. Osteoarthritis is common in tripod dogs because their remaining limbs endure added weight and stress to make up for the missing leg. Jackson is also not the only tripod dog to benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy. Mandy is a front leg amputee who received stem cell therapy for arthritis in her hips and hocks (ankles). You can read Mandy’s story here.

Of course, we never want any dog to be in pain or lose mobility. But when it comes to tripods, keeping them “on all threes” is extra important. We are so happy VetStem Cell Therapy helped Jackson and Mandy return to their own version of normal mobility. If you think your dog may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

Share
Apr 16, 2021

Agility Dog Successfully Treated with VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Kirby is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who has been competing in agility since he was just one and a half years old. Several years ago, he began experiencing intermittent lameness in his hind end, most notably in his hips and left knee. He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and cruciate ligament injuries.

A corgi dog jumping over a bar during an agility competition
Kirby

Because he is such an active dog, his owner pursued several treatment options to help him feel more comfortable. Initially, he was treated with cold laser therapy, underwater treadmill, and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. This combination would help Kirby for a little while and then he would go back to being lame. Next, his mom pursued treatment with platelet therapy. Kirby received concentrated platelet injections into both hips and both knees. His mom reported that he responded well, and the results lasted for a year after the platelet injections.

But after that year, Kirby was sore again. That is when his mom elected to have Kirby treated with VetStem Cell Therapy. His veterinarian collected fat tissue from his abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. His mom described the procedure as such, “The minor surgery to harvest the fat was easy and he recovered quickly.” VetStem laboratory technicians processed Kirby’s fat to concentrate and extract his stem and regenerative cells. Kirby’s stem cell injections were sent back to his veterinarian for treatment. He received one injection into each hip, each knee, and also intravenously.

Approximately two months after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, Kirby was doing much better. According to his mom, he was able to return to agility, competing about once a month with an 80% qualifying rate. In addition, he hikes 12-15 miles with his mom each week. She stated, “I’m so grateful to VetStem for their help and that they have his cells in storage so we can give him more injections in the future if needed!!”

Kirby’s treatment was nearly two years ago and according to his mom, he was still doing well and competing in agility trials as of late 2020. He has not required a repeat injection of stem cells to date!

If you think your dog may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

Share
Apr 2, 2021

Walking to Reduce Your Dog’s Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Posted by Bob under Dog Osteoarthritis

Next Wednesday, April 7th, is National Walking Day! Did you know walking can help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs? Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in dogs (and people!) and affects approximately one quarter of the canine population. It is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage within a joint breaks down, causing changes in the surrounding bone. Common symptoms of OA include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. In dogs, the majority of OA cases stem from a developmental orthopedic disease such as joint dysplasia. It can also develop as a result of an injury such as a cruciate ligament tear.

And older woman walking a beagle dog on a leash in a grassy pasture

Exercise Reduces Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

While some may believe that reduced usage of the affected joint will lead to improvement of symptoms, it appears the opposite is true. Studies have found that regular physical activity can actually benefit dogs with OA and lead to an improvement in symptoms.

The type of exercise is very important, however. For instance, high impact exercises such as running and jumping may lead to increased inflammation and pain and therefore should be limited. On the other hand, regular joint-friendly exercises are ideal for dogs with OA. These are low-impact and put less stress on the body, thereby reducing the risk of injury. Some joint-friendly exercises include swimming and leash walks.

Benefits of Walking for Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Walking can be a great way to keep dogs physically active. It is easy on their joints and comes with a number of benefits that can lead to healthier, less painful joints. Walking regularly can help dogs lose weight, thereby causing less stress on the joints. It can also help strengthen the muscles and supporting soft tissue structures around the joints, promoting increased joint stability. In addition, it increases joint fluid circulation which is beneficial to maintaining healthy joint cartilage.

Of course, every dog is different. So as always, it is best to check with your veterinarian to determine the best exercise routine for your dog.

Share
Feb 12, 2021

Platelet Therapy in Veterinary Medicine

This week, we have a special guest blog about platelet therapy use in veterinary medicine from Dr. Amber Vibert. Dr. Vibert is VetStem’s Safety and Technical Services Veterinarian and has extensive experience in both general and emergency veterinary medicine.

Platelet Therapy in Veterinary Medicine

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to our blog today! As VetStem’s new clinical veterinarian, I’m here to give you an added layer of information from a medical perspective. Today I’d like to share with you the capabilities of wonderous cells called platelets. You may have heard the term “Platelet Rich Plasma” (PRP) or “Platelet Enhancement Therapy” (PET) and wondered, “What are platelets and how does this treatment work, exactly?” We have showcased several success stories of pets who have received platelet therapy and now it’s time to look at the science behind the medicine and applications for which they can be used.

Activated platelets releasing their healing molecules

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Platelets are very small cells found in the blood stream of mammals and are best known for their ability to clot the blood. However, there is SO MUCH MORE these tiny but powerful cells can do! A complex signaling system sent out from damaged cells attracts platelets to an injury and tells them to release several healing molecules that they have stored inside of them. In turn, these healing molecules attract a multitude of additional healing cells (including stem cells) to the site of injury or inflammation. Together, these cells have been shown to reduce pain, remove the damaged cells, build new blood vessels, prevent further tissue damage, and generate new healthy cells in place of the injured ones. Amazing!

What Can These Heroes of Healing Be Used For?

In veterinary medicine, platelet therapy is most often used for treatment of joint-related problems such as cruciate ligament tears, osteoarthritis and tendon injuries in dogs, cats, and horses. However, recent research has shown that PRP/PET can also aid in the healing of skin wounds, corneal (eye) ulcers, surgical incision sites, tooth sockets following extraction, and even muscle tears. And the use of platelet therapy is not just limited to our animal companions. You may have heard of NFL players who have received PRP/PET for tendon/ligament injuries and muscle tears. Platelet therapy can also be used in conjunction with stem cell therapy to maximize the effect of both treatments.

A dog receives an injection of platelet therapy into her injured knee
A canine patient receives an injection of platelet therapy into her injured knee

Harnessing the Power of Platelets

The functions of platelets may be complex, but their collection and administration is quite simple. A calculated amount of blood is drawn based on the patient’s size/weight. The blood sample is then either spun in a machine called a centrifuge or injected through a special filter such as VetStem’s V-PET™ gravitational filter system in order to separate the platelets from other blood cells. The final product is a highly concentrated number of platelets suspended in the protein-rich fluid component of the blood called plasma. This solution is then injected (or topically applied as with skin wounds or surgical incisions) to the injury site. And voila! There you have platelet therapy- another way to enhance the body’s own power to heal.

Share