Archive for the ‘Dog Arthritis’ Category

Mar 3, 2023

Tripawd Dog Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Hip Arthritis

Life for a dog with osteoarthritis can be tough. Pain and inflammation cause a decrease in mobility and quality of life. And those things become much worse when you suddenly lose a limb due to cancer. This is Reggie’s story.

Reggie, a mixed breed dog, lived an active and playful lifestyle. He was accustomed to 20+ mile hikes in the beautiful Colorado mountains and enthusiastically played fetch for hours in his back yard. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his hips and his quality of life quickly began to deteriorate. His 20-mile hikes turned into 5 miles on flat terrain followed by crippling hip pain for the rest of the week. His legs began to slip out from under him while playing fetch and he would be in intense pain afterwards. Because of this, his ball had to be retired.

To make matters worse, Reggie was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his front left leg. He was 11 years old at the time, so his owners initially elected to remove the tumor as opposed to amputating his leg. Despite several surgeries to remove the tumor, it kept recurring. To minimize chances of metastasis, Reggie’s owners eventually opted to amputate his leg at the recommendation of his veterinarian.

Reggie

At the same time, his veterinarian recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy for his remaining arthritic limbs. During his amputation surgery, his veterinarian, Dr. Angie Zinkus of Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital, collected fat tissue for VetStem Cell Therapy. The fat was shipped to and processed at the VetStem processing laboratory, and six stem cell injections were shipped back to Dr. Zinkus. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Reggie received an injection of his own stem cells into both hips, both knees, as well as his remaining elbow and shoulder.

When a dog undergoes leg amputation, the remaining legs must bear the extra weight, which may lead to the development and/or worsening of osteoarthritis. By treating Reggie’s shoulder, elbow, and knees, in addition to his arthritic hips, Dr. Zinkus hoped to mitigate the excess wear and tear on his joints, and potentially delay the onset or reduce the severity of future osteoarthritis in those joints.

In addition to stem cell therapy, Reggie received platelet therapy in each of his treated joints. Platelet therapy and stem cell therapy work synergistically. Concentrated platelets accelerate internal healing processes by attracting stem cells, supporting an anti-inflammatory environment, and stimulating local tissue repair processes.

According to his mom, Reggie had a great response to the stem cell and platelet therapy. She stated, “Once Reggie recovered from the amputation and was solid on his 3 legs, his quality of life has been amazing! His ball has come out of retirement and he is back to chasing it down like a champ without pain! We’ve slowly been increasing his mileage on his daily walks and he hasn’t been in any pain. His hips had been so painful that he no longer wanted to snuggle in bed with us for fear that we would bump his hips, and now we almost can’t get him out of our bed. The stem cell and PRP injections have given us our boy back, and he is living his best senior tripawd life! We celebrated his 13th birthday in February and are grateful to have a few more years with him knowing he will be comfortable.”

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

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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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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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Sep 30, 2022

The Use of VetStem Cell Therapy in Veterinary Pain Practice

Welcome to the final week of Animal Pain Awareness Month and our pain themed blogs. This week, we’d like to introduce you to a veterinary pain specialist and VetStem user, Dr. Douglas Stramel. But first, meet his patient, Koda.

Koda, a Labrador retriever, was approximately nine years old when he began to show signs of slowing down. His owners reported that he was limping and seemed unhappy. His left elbow became swollen and x-rays revealed that he had elbow osteoarthritis. His veterinarian at the time drained his elbow and administered a steroid injection. This same procedure was performed twice in three months with minimal improvement.

Fortunately for Koda, his owners sought out Dr. Douglas Stramel, a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner. This certification is offered through the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians. According to Dr. Stramel, “This certification indicates that someone successfully completed advanced training in pain management. Certification holders demonstrate an advanced knowledge in assessing, diagnosing, and treating painful conditions in animals.”

Koda, getting his PT in an underwater treadmill.

Often, the most effective pain management requires a multimodal approach. For instance, Dr. Stramel’s practice, Advanced Care Veterinary Services, offers numerous services aimed at controlling and correcting pain in pets including surgery, acupuncture, laser therapy, rehabilitation, and regenerative medicine. In Koda’s case, Dr. Stramel utilized medication, shockwave therapy, hyaluronic acid injections, and also recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.

Dr. Stramel has been providing VetStem Cell Therapy for his patients since 2008 and has even treated his own dog. Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types and have demonstrated the ability to reduce pain and inflammation, help to restore range of motion, and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. In a peer-reviewed study of dogs with chronic osteoarthritis of the elbow it was found that stem cells reduced lameness and pain.

To being the process, Dr. Stramel collected fat tissue from Koda’s abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem processing laboratory in Poway, California. Lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. The cells were divided into doses, and two injectable doses were shipped to Dr. Stramel for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Koda received one dose of his own stem cells into his elbow and one dose intravenously.

Koda’s owners were very pleased with the results of his stem cell therapy. His mom stated, “Koda can now go up and down the stairs when he wants to and not struggle. He had been hesitant to go on walks for a period of time prior to the stem cell therapy but now there is no hesitation. Koda’s spirit is uplifted and he seems very cheerful and comfortable.” After Koda’s great response, his owner stated that she would recommend stem cell therapy to other dog owners.


That concludes VetStem’s pain-themed blogs for Animal Pain Awareness Month. We hope you enjoyed this blog series and learned a bit about pain in pets. If you think your pet may be in pain or if you think your pet 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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Jul 1, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy Gets Explosive Detection Dog Back to Work

When our pets are in pain, we will do whatever we can to make them more comfortable. That is why so many pet owners elect to have their pet treated with VetStem Cell Therapy. They all have one primary goal: to improve their pet’s quality of life. Keeping our pets happy and healthy is incredibly important. But when a dog’s pain is not only affecting their quality of life, but also their ability to perform very specialized tasks, getting them back to top shape is crucial.

Jax

That is the case with Jax, a German Shepherd and an explosive detection dog in Florida. Jax seemed to limp ever since he was a puppy. An X-ray revealed that he has bilateral hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. Hip dysplasia is a deformity in the ball and socket joint of the hip that eventually leads to osteoarthritis. It is a painful condition that can greatly reduce a dog’s quality of life. And of course, it affected Jax’s ability to perform on the job.

Fortunately, Jax’s veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions, recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Dr. Christiansen has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy for over a decade and has previously provided stem cells for working police dogs.

To begin the process, fat was collected from Jax’s abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was processed at the VetStem processing laboratory to extract and concentrate the cells contained therein. Three injectable doses of Jax’s own stem cells were shipped to Dr. Christiansen for treatment. Jax received one injection into each hip and one intravenous dose.

According to his owner and handler, Jax responded well to the treatment. He stated, “Jax is a year and a half and, well, to say he’s a fantastic pup is an understatement. His limping is gone and he’s a typical GSD.” Jax received a follow up treatment with one IV dose approximately nine months after his initial treatment using some of his stored stem cells. Approximately two months after his second treatment, Jax’s owner said he is rocking the bomb work!

We love hearing stem cell success stories, especially when the treatment helps animals return to their important jobs like Jax! Keep up the good work, Jax!  

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May 27, 2022

Therapeutic Massage for Arthritis in Pets

As most of you know by now, arthritis is one of the most common diseases that afflicts pets. In fact, according to most estimates, 1 in 5 dogs is affected by osteoarthritis. Additionally, it is estimated that 40-92% of cats are affected by arthritis. There are numerous potential treatment modalities for arthritis including medications, rehabilitation, and even VetStem Cell Therapy. Another emerging treatment option is therapeutic massage.

Complementary Arthritis Treatments

When it comes to treating arthritis, a multimodal approach may be best. For instance, some pets may benefit from treatments such as rehabilitation or acupuncture, in addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medications. The goal is for these treatments to complement one another to help make the animal more comfortable. One such treatment that is arguably underutilized is therapeutic massage.

Massage Therapy for Arthritis in Pets

Though it has been used for some time in human medical conditions, massage therapy is still an emerging field in the veterinary world. Unfortunately, studies of effectiveness are severely lacking. That being said, some human data, in addition to anecdotal evidence, suggests that massage therapy may be useful to improve the quality of life in pets suffering from arthritis pain.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Arthritis in Pets

Massage therapy has multiple benefits that may lead to a reduction in arthritis symptoms. Most notably, massage promotes healthy blood flow to muscles throughout the body. This is particularly helpful to animals that have reduced activity and movement due to arthritis pain. By keeping muscles healthy and reducing atrophy, massage helps to facilitate healthy use of the body by maintaining muscle and joint function for as long as possible.

That being said, this field of therapy is still emerging so you likely won’t find it at every veterinary hospital. Additionally, the laws vary by state regarding who can legally practice massage therapy. As with any new treatment option, it is wise to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian to help make the most informed decisions for your pets.

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May 13, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy Helps Senior Lab Walk Again

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

Molly

Osteoarthritis and Neurological Issue?

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

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

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

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

Molly Regains Her Ability to Walk!

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

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

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

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Jan 21, 2022

How Obesity Affects Osteoarthritis in Pets

This week is Healthy Weight Week. And while this is technically a human “holiday,” it can certainly be applied to pets as well! It should come as no surprise that keeping our pets at a healthy weight comes with multiple health benefits. One of these benefits is the potential to reduce the symptoms or delay the onset of osteoarthritis. A healthy weight may lead to healthier joints!

A Rise in Obesity Rates

Just like people, pets have seen a significant increase in obesity rates in the past 10 years. According to a report conducted by Banfield, 1 out of 3 cats and dogs in the United States is overweight. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise in pet obesity rates. These include lack of exercise, genetics, misconceptions about what is considered overweight, specific diseases, as well as overfeeding.

Obesity and Osteoarthritis

As you probably know, obesity increases the risk of developing or exacerbating several serious diseases. One of these diseases is osteoarthritis (OA). Unfortunately, the number of pets with OA is increasing right along with the obesity rates. Joint discomfort from OA can lead to a reduction in activity levels, which can then lead to weight gain and more stress on the joints. It’s a vicious cycle!

Help your Pet Lose Weight to Reduce the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis  

The good news is weight loss may contribute to a reduction in osteoarthritis symptoms. There are several ways you can help your pet lose weight. One method is physical activity. As we discussed in a previous blog, regular exercise comes with a number of benefits including weight loss. A simple exercise like walking can also strengthen muscles and support joint health by improving joint fluid circulation. Your veterinarian is a key resource to help get your pet to a healthy weight.

As always, if your pet has osteoarthritis and you’re curious about treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Jan 7, 2022

January is Walk Your Dog Month: Benefits of Regular Exercise

Welcome back! We hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season. It is officially January- one of our favorite months! Did you know that January is recognized as Walk Your Dog Month? This is a great time to discuss the importance of regular, low-impact exercise for our four-legged companions.

Health Benefits of Walking

Walking is a relatively easy, low-impact exercise that comes with several health benefits. Some of the benefits of walking include stopping the loss of bone mass, losing weight, strengthening muscles, and supporting joints by improving joint fluid circulation. Though this is not a comprehensive list of the many benefits of walking, these specific benefits can potentially improve joint health.

Exercising Your Dog

It is safe to assume that these benefits are not only true for people, but for our pets as well. And given that 1 in 5 dogs is diagnosed with osteoarthritis in their lifetime, it is extra important to do everything we can to support their joint health. Fortunately, regular, low-impact exercise, such as walking, has been found to delay the onset of and/or reduce the symptoms of OA in dogs.

When it comes to exercise, each dog has unique needs and capabilities. It is best to speak with your veterinarian, who can help tailor an exercise regimen specific to your dog. That being said, it is generally true that regular, moderate exercise is favored over intermittent, intense exercise. According to Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, “Regular physical activity is paramount in the treatment of osteoarthritis both in humans and animals. A lifestyle of regular activity that is moderated away from intermittent extremes of exercise (such as long hikes on the weekends) and activities to which the pet is not conditioned is essential. Ideally, multiple shorter walks are better than one long one. The same activity every day (or slightly increasing if tolerated) is ideal.” 

Now that you know the scoop, let’s all take our dogs for a walk this January for Walk Your Dog Month!

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