Archive for the ‘Dog Arthritis’ Category

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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Jan 4, 2019

Shar-Pei Receives Stem Cells for Arthritic Knees

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Gracie-Allen is a nine-year-old Shar-Pei.  Over the years, her knees developed arthritis that eventually began to slow her down.  In late 2017, Gracie was taken to her veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Hampel of VCA Animal Medical Center of El Cajon, who determined that Gracie had mild arthritis in her knees and recommended stem cell therapy.

Gracie was scheduled to have an anesthetic dental cleaning the following March, so her owners elected to wait until then to have the fat collected for stem cell therapy.  Scheduling your dog’s stem cell procedure at the same time as another routine procedure can be a good idea for dogs that are older or otherwise not great candidates for anesthesia.  Collecting the fat for stem cell therapy is a relatively quick and minimally invasive procedure that can potentially be done at the same time as a dental cleaning, spay/neuter, etc.  Speak to your veterinarian about your options for stem cell therapy.

Within 48 hours of the fat collection, Gracie received three stem cell injections: one in each knee and one intravenously.  It only took a few days for Gracie’s owners to notice a difference in her behavior and activity.  You can catch up on Gracie’s story here.

We recently checked in with Gracie’s owner and got a shining report!  Here is what Gracie’s mom said:

“Gracie is doing great.  She now stands on her hind legs to look over fences.  It was something she used to do and it hadn’t dawned on me that she had stopped until she started looking over a wood fence for Annie (Bulldog) when we go on our walks.  She sometimes jumps off our front porch and back on instead of using the step and she flies up and down stairs in the house.  She will stand on her hind legs and does a dog paddle when I ask her ‘what do horses do’ and sits on her bottom (with front legs off the ground) and dog paddles when I ask her to ‘sit pretty’ and ‘sit pretty patty cakes’.  I had stopped asking her to do these tricks since it became obvious that she didn’t want to do them, but now she will start the trick before I finish the question.  She oozes happy . . . which makes us very happy.”

Arthritis is a common problem that can affect all breeds of dogs.  If your dog is slowing down, limping, or less active than they were before, check with your veterinarian to determine if your dog has arthritis.  You can also contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Dec 14, 2018

Large Breed Dogs and Arthritis: VetStem May Be the Answer

Jack is a Great Pyrenees.  As the name of the breed suggests, he is a great big boy.  Unfortunately, large breed dogs tend to develop orthopedic issues such as arthritis as they age.  Unfortunately, Jack was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at a very young age.  He wasn’t even a year old when he began showing symptoms of arthritis. 

His mom, Rebecca, acted swiftly and visited veterinary surgeon Dr. Andrea Hayes of Boone Animal Hospital.  Dr. Hayes gave Rebecca a few options including total hip replacement and treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.  After much deliberation, Rebecca selected the least invasive option: stem cell therapy.

Jack received his first round of injections in 2014 and improved greatly!  Approximately four years later, Jack received a second round of stem cell injections and again had a great response.  You can read more details about Jack’s stem cell treatment and results here.

Unfortunately, Jack’s story is not uncommon.  Large breed dogs tend to develop orthopedic issues such as arthritis as they age, that is, if they’re lucky enough to not be born with a condition such as hip dysplasia that can lead to arthritis while they are still young.  Fortunately, stem cell therapy may help to relieve symptoms of arthritis and can potentially help dog’s avoid invasive and costly major surgeries.  Keep in mind, StemInsure is a great option for large breed puppies that will likely develop arthritis down the road.

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Nov 16, 2018

VetStem Patient, Argo, Featured on Local News (Again!)

Remember our friend, Argo, the chocolate Labrador that was featured on the local news for his treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy?  He just had his second cameo on a longer news segment that discussed his stem cell and platelet therapy treatments for arthritis.  You can watch the new video and read his story here.

Both Dr. Angie Zinkus and Dr. Kathy Mitchener have been credentialed to perform VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy for over a decade.

One thing we would like to point out: the article states that Argo’s platelet therapy required a 48-hour processing period.  While this is true of stem cell therapy, platelet therapy is an in-clinic procedure that can be done in a matter of a few hours.  VetStem is the distributor of the Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy kit (V-PET™) but your veterinarian will perform the blood collection, processing, and injection.  For more information on Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy, click here.  Or you can read V-PET™ success stories here and here.

If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian today.  Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem Credentialed veterinarians in your area.

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Oct 19, 2018

Stem Cells Helped Pearl Retrieve her Frisbee

Pearl is a 10-year-old black lab who loves retrieving her Frisbee. When Pearl developed a persistent limp, her concerned owners took her to be examined by her veterinarian. Pearl was referred to Dr. Amie Csiszer at Oregon Veterinary Referral Associates who determined that Pearl had elbow dysplasia, which caused osteoarthritis in her elbows. Dr. Csiszer recommended elbow arthroscopy along with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

Pearl had her procedures done in September 2017. After her recovery, Pearl’s pain and lameness improved and by the third month after the procedure, Pearl was back to chasing her Frisbee.

Pearl’s owner, Norm, began an almost daily ritual of taking Pearl to play fetch in the local pond. This allowed her to exercise without hard impact on her joints. Pearl was placed on a diet to lose some weight, which also helped relieve the arthritis in her joints. You can catch up on Pearl’s story here.

We recently checked in with Norm and he reported that Pearl is still chasing her Frisbee in the pond. He even sent us some new action shots (see below). He stated, “she is doing wonderfully and shows no evidence of her past lameness.” Great news for Pearl and her family!

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Oct 5, 2018

Mandy, the Tripod Mini Aussie, Experiences Improved Mobility

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Mandy’s mobility issues began when she was around four years old.  She broke her right front leg in three places and after several failed surgeries, she ended up having the leg amputated.  Not long after, she began showing symptoms of arthritis in her rear end.  Mandy’s mom, Susan, took her for a consult with Dr. Jerrold Bausman of VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley.  Dr. Bausman confirmed that Mandy had arthritis in her hips and ankles and recommended treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

Mandy received her stem cell treatment in December 2017 and Susan noticed improvement in her mobility shortly after.  You can read the rest of Mandy’s story here.

We recently checked in with Susan and Mandy is still doing great!  Mandy is eight years old now and has stem cell doses stored at VetStem should she require future treatments.

If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, visit your veterinarian to determine if stem cell therapy may help.  Or you can contact us for a list of stem cell providers in your area.

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Sep 21, 2018

VetStem Patient, Argo, on Local News!

It was recently brought to our attention that a VetStem patient named Argo was featured on the local news for his stem cell treatment.  Argo is a 5-year-old chocolate Labrador with arthritis in several joints.  He received stem cell injections in his shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees by Dr. Angie Zinkus of Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital.  He also received platelet therapy injections in each joint utilizing Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy (V-PET), to further stimulate the natural healing process.

Click on the picture below to watch Argo’s 15 minutes of fame! (scroll down to the second video)

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Sep 7, 2018

Doberman With Bad Knees Experiences Relief After Stem Cells

This week’s blog is about Gabby, a ten-year-old Doberman pinscher.  Gabby had a string of bad luck beginning in August 2016 when she tore the cruciate ligament in her left knee.  Though she had surgery to repair the torn ligament, she ended up suffering a partial tear to her right cruciate ligament during her recovery.  Approximately one year later, she stopped using her right rear leg, which was likely due to the arthritis and scar tissue that formed in the joint after she partially tore her cruciate ligament.

Due to the severity of her arthritis and joint swelling, her veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Tate of Sylvania Veterinary Hospital, did not feel she would be a good candidate for surgical repair and instead recommended treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

Gabby was treated with stem cell therapy in November 2017 and quickly showed signs of improvement.  Her owner, Ann, stated that she felt like Gabby was five years younger and that she would bark at her to get up in the morning to play (we’re sorry about that, Ann!).  You can read the rest of Gabby’s story here.

We recently checked in to see how Gabby is doing and according to Ann, “Grabby is still doing great! She hasn’t slowed down at all. She runs zoomies, jumps over the couch, and jumps to greet me when I come home. You would never know she’s 10 years old, and I’m so thankful we did the stem cell treatment!”  Yay, Gabby!!

If your dog has arthritis, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy may provide some relief.  You can speak to your veterinarian about the treatment or you can request a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area here.

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Aug 31, 2018

Advice for Those Considering Stem Cells for Their Dog

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Has your dog been diagnosed with osteoarthritis?  Are you considering stem cell therapy?  In an effort to help you make your decision, we reached out to a few of our stem cell advocates to inquire about their decision-making process.  Below you will find some words of advice from actual VetStem customers that may help you with your decision to move forward with stem cell therapy.

After researching the various options to help Maverick and trying acupuncture and aqua therapy, we were willing to invest in Stem Cell Therapy.  Our only hope was that he remained at the same stage he was at before the treatment.  We wanted to stop the progression and if he received any other benefits, that would be a bonus.”

 “I recommend people do the research, speak to the experts, listen to first hand experiences and make an informed decision. I will never regret having gone down this path. The end result was more quality time and improved quality of life for my girl.” 

 Yes, the cost was also a factor, but we found that CARECREDIT can be used for this treatment and it’s interest free for 12 months.” (Side note: several pet insurance companies also cover all or a portion of stem cell therapy!)

I think that we didn’t have high expectations for a drastic change or a specific timeline or benchmarks for progress.  We just didn’t want him to get worse.  But after 6 to 7 weeks, the improvement in his mobility and stamina was significant.  We couldn’t believe the change from a slow-moving senior to very active younger dog.”   

Any time a senior dog has surgery, it’s always a concern.  The procedure was shorter than we anticipated, and his recovery was very quick with no side effects.”

“The post-op physical therapy which we did faithfully for 2 weeks, really was one of the things that we found most important for a successful treatment.  Also, we continued with acupuncture and aqua therapy after the two weeks.  Maverick still goes for aqua therapy (swimming) once a week and acupuncture once a month.”

There are some key points that stand out from the above advice.

  • Do your research. Speak with your veterinarian, have him/her do an in-depth lameness exam and X-rays if not already done. Determine where the arthritis is located, how severe it is, and if your dog is a good candidate for the procedure.  Keep in mind VetStem veterinarians are available to consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s case if needed.  If your veterinarian is not VetStem Credentialed, you can take this letter to help him/her understand more about VetStem Cell Therapy.
  • Look into financial coverage options such as CareCredit and pet insurance. Some veterinary hospitals even have internal payment plans.
  • Work with your veterinarian to set realistic expectations. What do we mean by this?  Let’s say you have a 12-year-old Labrador with severe arthritis in several joints.  An unrealistic expectation would be for him to return to bouncy, puppy-like behavior.  A realistic expectation would be for him to move around more comfortably and be in less pain thus having a better quality of life.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s advice for post-treatment physical rehab. Routine rehabilitation exercises may enhance your dog’s recovery.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue stem cell therapy is yours and yours alone.  But you’re not alone in the decision-making process.  Your veterinarian, along with VetStem experts, can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have regarding stem cell therapy for your dog.  You can email us or call 858-748-2004 (Toll Free: 1-88-VETSTEM1) and we would be happy to speak with you about your dog’s specific case.

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