Archive for the ‘Dog Arthritis’ Category

Nov 8, 2019

November is Senior Pet Month

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

It is officially November, which happens to be Senior Pet Month!  We wanted to highlight senior pets in this week’s blog as we all know that senior pets may be more at risk of developing osteoarthritis.  While dogs and cats of all ages may develop osteoarthritis, studies have indicated that senior dogs are more often diagnosed with osteoarthritis, in part due to the age-related break down of joint tissues such as cartilage, ligaments, and bone.

There is also speculation that senior pets are more often diagnosed with osteoarthritis because symptoms become more prevalent as the disease worsens.  Therefore, owners are more likely to notice symptoms such as limping and stiffness as their pet ages, which often leads to a trip to the veterinarian for diagnosis/treatment.

Maverick, a Golden Retriever, was adopted at 8 years old with osteoarthritis.  Fortunately, his new parents sought VetStem Cell Therapy for his condition and he experienced an improved quality of life.

VetStem Cell Therapy Recipient Maverick

It is important to note however that dogs and cats may develop osteoarthritis at any age.  For instance, if a dog is born with joint dysplasia (malformed joints), he is more likely to develop osteoarthritis at a younger age than a dog born with properly formed joints.  One example is Jack who was showing symptoms of osteoarthritis before he was even a year old.

VetStem Cell Therapy Recipient Jack

The good news is, VetStem Cell Therapy has shown to help pets, both young and old, with osteoarthritis.  Stem cells have been demonstrated to regenerate joint tissues and reduce inflammation.  They also have pain blocking mechanisms that may lead to increased comfort for painful pets.  If your pet, no matter their age, has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or is showing signs of the disease, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.  Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Oct 11, 2019

Golden Retriever Gets Relief from VetStem Cell Therapy

Seve is a senior Golden Retriever who, earlier this year, was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in his hips.  His owners noticed that his back legs would go out from under him and he seemed to be a little “gimpy.” 

After the diagnosis, his veterinarian, Dr. Cindy Echevarria of VCA University Animal Hospital recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.  Seve initially received three stem cell injections: one into each hip and one intravenously in January 2019.

Seve had a great response to his initial treatment and his mom was very pleased.  You can catch up on Seve’s story here.

When we reached out to Seve’s mom in July, she reported that he was showing symptoms of discomfort again.  His back legs became a bit less stable and started to go out from under him again.  Fortunately, Seve still had several stem cell doses banked from his initial fat collection procedure.  The doses Seve had banked were available for treatment at the request of Dr. Echevarria.

In August of 2019, Seve received his second treatment utilizing his banked stem cells.  The same injection protocol was followed: one in each hip and one intravenously.  We recently spoke with Seve’s owner and once again he had a great response to the therapy.  His owner reported that he’s feeling much better.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, so Seve’s story is a good example to point out that it is not uncommon for arthritic dogs to require additional treatments to keep them feeling comfortable.  We emphasize that every patient is different in so many ways: from severity of the disease being treated, to lifestyle, to how they handle and show pain.  Thus, it is impossible to predict how each patient will respond and we think it is important that pet owners have the proper expectations when it comes to stem cell therapy. 

What we do know is that stem cells have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, and to regenerate joint tissues, all of which may improve the quality of life for an arthritic dog like Seve.  If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

Seve
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Sep 6, 2019

Newfie Avoids Elbow Surgery with VetStem Cell Therapy

Harper is a four-year-old Landseer Newfoundland.  When she started limping at around three years of age, her owners became concerned and took her to the veterinarian.  It was determined that Harper had severe elbow dysplasia, which caused painful osteoarthritis in her elbows.  Harper’s veterinarian recommend surgery and referred her to a specialist.

Fortunately for Harper and her parents, that specialist was VetStem proponent Dr. Christopher Eich of Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital.  Dr. Eich recommended VetStem Cell Therapy in lieu of surgery.

Harper received stem cell injections in both of her elbows in October 2018.  Her owners reported that within three months, she was back to her daily walks and was even running around on the grass and at the beach!  You can read the rest of Harper’s story here.

We recently checked in on Harper and her owner reported that Harper is still doing great!  He stated, “She has had a busy Summer of road trips and making appearances at various festivals and events.  Attached is a photo of her from Special Olympics So Cal, where she greeted the athletes and took photos with them for a book.  Everyone we meet that we share her stem cell story with have all been amazed with how well she is doing!”  You can keep up with Harper and her buddies on their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/ventures.of.harper.finn.bodhi/

If your dog has osteoarthritis caused by joint dysplasia, VetStem Cell Therapy may be a treatment option.  Speak to your veterinarian to determine if your dog is a candidate for stem cell therapy.  Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem credentialed veterinarians in your area.

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Aug 23, 2019

Is Your Pet Overweight?

Posted by Bob under Cat Arthritis, Dog Arthritis, Pet Obesity

In previous blog posts, we discussed risk factors for osteoarthritis and how to reduce or delay the onset of osteoarthritis.  In both of those posts, we mentioned that a pet being overweight may contribute to his/her development of osteoarthritis. 

Unfortunately, it is estimated that approximately 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese.  But how can you tell if your pet is overweight?  Below are some tools to help you determine if your pet is overweight.

One way to tell if your pet is overweight is to determine your pet’s body condition score.  You can look this up online and find pictures of what your pet’s ideal body should look like.  Below is an example of a body score chart for dogs and cats.  What score does your pet receive?  If you’re not sure, your veterinarian can help to determine your pet’s body condition score.

Notice in the chart above, the pictures show the view of dogs and cats from the top.  Looking at your pet from above can be a helpful way to determine if your pet is overweight.  Like the chart above says, you should be able to feel your pet’s ribs but not see them.  There should be a slight layer of fat over your pet’s ribs.  Your pet should also taper at their waist- a bit like an hourglass shape.

Another sign that your pet is overweight is reduced stamina or increased lethargy.  Is your dog panting more or not able to walk as far?  Is your cat unable to jump up on furniture?  Note that these signs can also indicate other, more serious conditions so if you’re concerned about your pet’s behavior, take him/her to the vet.

Nobody wants to be told that their pet is overweight.  But it puts your pet at risk of many diseases so it should not be ignored.  In addition to osteoarthritis, obesity can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Alternatively, your pet may be obese as a result of a health problem such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. 

If you believe your pet may be overweight, a visit to the veterinarian is probably in order.  Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure your pet maintains an ideal weight or to help your pet lose weight.  Your vet can rule out underlying diseases and also help you establish a nutritionally sound diet as well as an exercise routine that is appropriate for your buddy.

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Aug 2, 2019

Tips to Help Reduce or Delay Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects approximately one quarter of the dog population.  OA is a chronic disease that is characterized by cartilage loss and bone changes in the affected joint(s).  Symptoms include painful joints and decreased or limited mobility.  While certain breeds of dogs, usually larger breed dogs, may be predisposed to developing OA, all dogs are at risk for developing this chronic condition.

Developing good habits early on may help to delay the onset of OA or may reduce the severity of the disease.  Below we have highlighted some general steps you can take to help prevent OA in your dog.  But remember, we advise that you first consult with your veterinarian to get a preventative plan tailored specifically to your dog.

Which brings us to our first step: regular veterinary visits.  Taking your dog to your vet for regular checkups may help to identify conditions that could lead to arthritis as well as identify arthritis early on in the disease process.  Your vet may be able to spot some of the earliest signs of OA even if your dog has not shown any typical symptoms such as limping or decreased mobility.  Early detection and treatment may help reduce the severity of damage to the joint(s).

Your veterinarian may also recommend a nutritionally sound diet for a slower rate of growth and joint supplements.  Joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can help to slow the loss of cartilage, the tissue that cushions your dog’s joints.  Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation in the body.  It is best to speak to your veterinarian to determine which supplements and/or diet will be best for your dog. 

Exercise can also play an important role in reducing wear and tear on your dog’s joints.  Various breeds of dogs require different amounts and different types of exercise.  Work with your veterinarian to develop an exercise routine that is tailored to your dog.  By exercising your dog in the appropriate manner, you may be keeping them lean and building muscle which can help support their joints.

Keeping your dog at an ideal weight is essential in minimizing the wear and tear on your dog’s joints.  Like people, a dog’s body is not designed to carry too much extra weight.  When a dog is overweight, they are more likely to develop OA.  Speak with your veterinarian to develop a good nutritional plan for your dog to help maintain a healthy weight. If your dog has already been diagnosed with OA, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of VetStem Cell Therapy.  Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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May 24, 2019

Bodie Benefits from Routine Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Bodie is a beautiful Springer Spaniel who, according to his owner, is a natural hunter “gifted with an uncanny sense of smell, unmatched drive and very strong muscle structure” making him hard to beat in competition.  At an early age, Bodie began showing signs of discomfort and his owners noticed he had trouble getting up.  X-rays confirmed that Bodie had hip dysplasia, a condition that leads to osteoarthritis in the hip joints.

When Bodie was around three years old, he had his hips treated with VetStem Cell Therapy by Dr. Mitch Luce, owner of Live Oak Veterinary Hospital in Sonora, CA.  Later that year, he went back into tournament hunting and, after winning the majority of his tournaments, Bodie won the US Bird Dog Association Western States Nationals at four years of age.

After his big win, Bodie’s owners elected to retire him from competition and restricted his hunting activities in an effort to reduce his risk of injury.  Bodie began hydrotherapy and continued with stem cell therapy, receiving treatment once to twice per year.  Bodie’s dad, Charlie, was so committed to Bodie’s well-being that he built him an at-home underwater treadmill, which he still uses.  In the summer months, Bodie also swims in the pool for exercise.  Charlie stated that, “Exercise is key to dealing with his condition. We would walk every morning.”

Now nine years old, Bodie has started to refuse his morning walks.  His owner noted, “Hills are painful for him so we don’t force it.  Although his condition was first noticed in his hips, his right elbow and left front foot are now noticeably arthritic.”  Fortunately for Bodie, his owners continue to have him treated with his banked stem cells every year.  He also receives Adequan injections and a low dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug once or twice per week.

Despite his arthritis, Bodie is still full of life.  His owner tells us about his daily routine: “Bodie has a built-in clock and enjoys a sense of purpose.  He starts our day at 5:30 when he wakes us to feed his yard birds.  Breakfast quickly follows then exercise at 9.  He fills his day checking on his pen birds, playing with his brother and following in the garden, helping himself to carrots when they are in season.  Promptly at 2:30 he reminds us to feed his yard birds again.  Dinner is at 4:20, again promptly.  By 5 he’s collected the collars to be put away on the hall rack.  He then settles in for the evening.”

His owner also shared this video of Bodie (liver and white) “lecturing the fish at the hatchery.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY1hvlw5Ryk&feature=youtu.be

Bodie’s case is a good example of an osteoarthritic dog who benefits from continued stem cell treatment.  While some dogs with osteoarthritis have one stem cell treatment and do not require another treatment for several years, it is also the case that some dogs will require routine treatment for the rest of their lives.  This is important to note when considering stem cell therapy for your arthritic pet.  Each animal responds differently to stem cell therapy and we want pet owners to have the proper expectations.  If you are considering stem cell therapy for your pet, speak to your veterinarian or contact VetStem for a list of stem cell providers in your area.

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May 17, 2019

Arthritic Bogey Resumes His Daily Walks

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Bogey, a Labrador who is now ten years old, injured his cruciate ligaments in both knees when he was nine.  On top of that, he also has advanced arthritis in his left hip.  His mobility was so limited that he could barely walk and required assistance to do things like jump in the car and onto the couch.

According to Bogey’s mom, when he was first injured, they thought they might lose him.  Fortunately, Bogey’s veterinarian, Dr. Ava DeCozio of VCA Apache Junction Animal Hospital, recommended treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

Just three months after treatment, Bogey was back to his old self and was able to resume his daily walks to the park with mom.  You can read the rest of Bogey’s story here.

We recently checked in on Bogey and his mom reported that he continues to do well and is still going on his daily walks.  We’re so happy for Bogey and his family!

Though Bogey was facing multiple painful joints and limited mobility, stem cell therapy improved his quality of life.  According to his owner he got his energy and personality back and was like his old self again.  If you think your dog may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak to your veterinarian for more information.  Or you can contact us to locate a stem cell provider near you.

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Apr 19, 2019

Great Dane Receives Relief from Platelet Therapy

In January, we reported about a Great Dane that was suffering from an injury to her cruciate ligament.  Pinky, who is seven years old and approximately 170 pounds, slipped on a wet driveway and tore her right rear cruciate ligament.  She was non-weight bearing on her injured leg and was unable to go on her daily walks and struggled with her normal activities such as getting in and out of the car and going up the stairs.

Pinky’s owner, Rebecca, was initially told surgery was Pinky’s only option.  Rebecca decided to seek a second opinion with Dr. Douglas Stramel of Advanced Care Veterinary Services.  Dr. Stramel is a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and offers advanced pain management techniques including VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy and Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy (V-PET™), which he recommended to aid Pinky’s ailing knee.

After a simple blood collection, Pinky’s blood was run through the V-PET™ system to create an injectable platelet concentrate rich in natural healing cells.  The concentrate was injected into Pinky’s injured knee and the healing cells began their work.

Pinky had a fabulous response to platelet therapy and was able to resume her daily walks and regular activities!  You can read the rest of Pinky’s journey here.

We recently checked in with Dr. Stramel and Rebecca to see how Pinky is doing.  Pinky is over 8 months out since her last treatment with platelet therapy and according to her mom she is doing great!  She walks a total of about 1.5-2 miles per day and Rebecca stated, “she is full of energy and gets very excited when I ask if she wants to go for a walk.  At night when she sees the motion detection lights in the backyard, she runs out the door to go chase opossums.  She has no trouble going up and down stairs and does so easily.”  While Pinky continues to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, Dr. Stramel pointed out that she takes a dose that is about 75mg lower than a typical dose for a dog her size.  Way to go Pinky!

If your dog has injured a tendon or ligament or suffers from osteoarthritis, speak to your veterinarian about V-PET™ and VetStem Cell Therapy to determine which may help your dog.

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Mar 15, 2019

Rascal has a Renewed Interest in Life After Stem Cell Therapy

Rascal, a mixed-breed rescue dog with one eye, suffered a cruciate ligament tear just six weeks after he was adopted.  Though the ligament was surgically repaired, he developed arthritis in the joint that caused problems with his mobility as he aged.

When he was around nine years old, he began walking stiffly and was having trouble jumping into the van.  Rascal’s veterinarian, Dr. Deborah Fegan of Big Creek Pet Hospital, determined that he had arthritis in both knees and both hips as well.  She recommended treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

After stem cell therapy, Rascal had a ‘renewed interest in life’ according to his mom.  His mobility improved along with his energy level and he began playing with his newly adopted Lab brother.  You can read the rest of Rascal’s story here.

It has been almost one year since Rascal received stem cell therapy and his mom reported that he’s still doing very well!  She stated, “He is coming upstairs more than ever and with no discomfort.  He goes on his daily walks, and there is no need to shorten them in any way.  Rascal continues to play with his brother.  At this point, he is showing no signs of limping, discomfort or lack of interest in daily activities.  Quite the opposite, he is having an active senior life and enjoying every minute of it.”  Yay, Rascal!

It is not uncommon for arthritis to develop in joints after traumatic injuries, even when surgical repair is performed.  Stem cell therapy may provide long-term anti-inflammatory effects, decrease pain, and stimulate regeneration of cartilage tissue that slows the degenerative process of arthritis.

If your dog has suffered a tendon or ligament injury or has arthritis, contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Feb 22, 2019

Stem Cell Therapy vs Surgery

Time and again, dog owners have told us that stem cells helped their arthritic dog avoid costly and invasive surgeries.  While stem cells may help to regenerate damaged soft tissue and reduce scar tissue formation, is it always a better option than surgery?  The answer largely depends on the situation at hand.

First and foremost, let us be clear that stem cells will not cure conditions such as hip dysplasia or degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis).  Joint dysplasia is a congenital disorder of a malformation of the joint.  This malformation will cause osteoarthritis which can be treated, but stem cell therapy will not realign or tighten the joint.  As for degenerative joint disease, because of the ongoing nature of changes in the joint(s) due to arthritis, stem cell therapy may not stop the degenerative process.  Stem cell administration may however provide pain relief due to the anti-inflammatory properties of stem cells and may also slow the degenerative process by stimulating cartilage repair/regeneration.

That being said, there are some surgical options that can cure joint dysplasia.  When it comes to the hips, the primary options are surgical procedures known as FHO (Femoral Head Ostectomy) and total hip replacement.  With an FHO, the veterinary surgeon will remove the head and neck from the femur (the ‘ball’ of the ball-and-socket joint).  As you can imagine, this procedure is invasive and not always successful, particularly in larger breed dogs.  A more modern approach is total hip replacement, which is similar to the human equivalent of joint replacement where an artificial joint replaces the damaged joint.  This procedure is not only invasive and costly, there are also a number of potential difficulties that may occur, which may lead to additional surgeries.

Sometimes however, surgery really is the better option.  Keep in mind, VetStem Cell Therapy can be used in conjunction with surgery.  Administering stem cells after a surgical procedure may help to reduce pain and improve healing. Oftentimes, we hear of dog owners who were told surgery was the only option, so they sought a second opinion.  Second opinions are rarely a bad idea when it comes to major health decisions.  Another option is to have your veterinarian consult with a VetStem staff veterinarian.  This can be arranged by having your veterinary office get in touch with our customer service team, who will set up a good time to speak with a VetStem veterinarian.  Your vet can discuss your dog’s specific case and what options may best help your companion.

Like you, we want what is best for your dog.  If we think that surgery is your dog’s best option, we will tell your vet that.  Ultimately, the decision to pursue stem cell therapy instead of, or in conjunction with, surgery is one you should make with your veterinarian.  We advise you to do your research, ask questions, and seek a second or even a third opinion if you still aren’t sure.  VetStem is here to help in any way that we can.  If you’d like a list of stem cell providers in your area, please contact us here.

Ruby received VetStem Cell Therapy and avoided total hip replacement.

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