Archive for the ‘Dog Stem Cells’ Category

Aug 30, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Kim Carlson, DVM, DACVS

Posted by Bob under Cat Stem Cells, Dog Stem Cells

This week, we would like to introduce you to one of VetStem’s most prolific users: Dr. Kim Carlson. Dr. Carlson practices in the Bay Area of California and recently opened her new surgical practice North Peninsula Veterinary Surgical Group in San Mateo, CA.  Dr. Carlson is a board-certified surgeon with a special interest in orthopedic surgery, oncologic surgery, trauma and wound management.

Dr. Carlson became credentialed to perform VetStem Cell Therapy in 2007 and has provided VetStem services for over 200 patients since!  Dr. Carlson also uses the Pall Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy kit.  We asked Dr. Carlson a few questions about her use of VetStem Cell Therapy.  See her answers below.

Many of your stem cell patients receive VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with orthopedic surgery.  Do you recommend stem cell therapy with all of your orthopedic surgeries?  If so, why? 

Yes, I do.  Because of the regenerative power of stem cells.  Most patients having orthopedic surgery have some degree of OA or soft tissue injury.  The benefit of stem cell therapy is faster healing, more normal healing, decreased pain, reduced development of OA.  Stem cells have the ability to treat injuries and return patients to full function that didn’t have a good prognosis with traditional options.  Not only do I recommend stem cell therapy for my orthopedic patients but I also recommend stem cell therapy for my patients who are being treated with skin grafts or other wound treatments.

Please explain why VetStem is your go-to stem cell provider. 

Simple.  Quality control.

You have provided VetStem services for well over 200 patients.  What advice can you offer to pet parents who are considering stem cell therapy for their pet? 

It’s a great option.  I’ve treated two of my own pets.  If you don’t have pet insurance look into obtaining pet insurance that will cover stem cell therapy should you need it for your pet.  Not only can stem cells help your pet with their current injury but their cells will be banked for any potential future treatments.

If you’re located in the Bay Area and are considering stem cell therapy for your pet, Dr. Kim Carlson is a very experienced and knowledgeable surgeon and VetStem provider.

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Aug 16, 2019

Stem Cells for Immune Mediated Polyarthritis

In previous blogs, we have discussed stem cell therapy for non-standard indications, or what we call “compassionate use” cases.  These are cases where there is limited data to show that stem cell therapy is effective however what results we do have, may look promising.  Examples include kidney disease, canine back pain, as well as several other diseases/conditions for which stem cells may be beneficial.  One such indication is Immune Mediated Polyarthritis, or IMPA for short. 

While IMPA is a form of arthritis, it is not the typical osteoarthritis that stem cells are used for regularly.  Rather than being caused by a malformed joint, wear and tear or trauma, IMPA is caused by the patient’s own immune system.  It is important to note that polyarthritis can be caused by an infection in the patient’s body.  Distinguishing between an infection and IMPA is imperative because treatment options are very different.  In this blog, we will discuss stem cell therapy for the treatment of IMPA.

In patients with IMPA, the immune system creates an inflammatory response and inappropriately sends white blood cells to the joints.  This in turn causes inflammation, pain, swelling, and difficulty waking.  The reason it is called “Polyarthritis” is because many of the joints may be affected in patients with IMPA.  While this condition is more common in dogs, it can affect cats as well.  IMPA is similar to Rheumatoid arthritis in humans.

Immune mediated diseases can be some of the most challenging cases for veterinarians to treat.  There are few therapeutic options when it comes to regulating an aberrant immune system.  Common treatment options include immunosuppression, often with steroids.  As most of you know, steroid use comes with several negative side effects and is not ideal for long-term use in dogs and cats.

So how may VetStem Cell Therapy help?  Well, we know that stem cells play a key role in not only managing pain but also in down-regulating inflammation.  Perhaps most importantly for these cases, stem cells have demonstrated immunomodulatory characteristics and the ability to help balance a patient’s immune system.  The study of stem cells for immune mediated diseases in both animals and humans is ongoing. 

IMPA is not the only immune mediated disease being treated with stem cells, however.  Veterinarians have utilized VetStem Cell Therapy to treat an array of immune mediated diseases, and we continue to gather data and monitor patient outcomes.  Some additional examples of immune mediated diseases that veterinarians are treating with VetStem Cell Therapy include canine dry eye, inflammatory bowel disease in dogs and cats, as well as feline chronic gingivostomatitis.

If your dog or cat is suffering from IMPA or another immune mediated disease, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.  Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Jul 19, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Cindy Echevarria, DVM

This week we would like to introduce you to VetStem proponent, Dr. Cindy Echevarria of VCA University Animal Hospital in Dallas.  Dr. Echevarria has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since early 2015 and has treated nearly 40 patients, including her own dog, Bella.  Dr. Echevarria also treated Stuart, the Lab with a soft tissue injury and Seve, a Golden Retriever with osteoarthritis in his hips.

We recently caught up with Dr. Echevarria to ask her some questions about how she utilizes VetStem Cell Therapy.  See her answers below.

At what point in the process do you recommend stem cell therapy for your patients (ie, when the injury/ailment is first diagnosed, after meds have proven unsuccessful/detrimental, etc.)

I usually recommend stem cell for all orthopedic injury cases, particularly ACL tears, and arthritic cases.  For cruciate injuries I find combining the TPLO or repair surgery with the collection part of the stem cell process to be easy on the pet and the owner since the recovery process goes unchanged.  Anything that does not inconvenience the owner further but helps the pet makes it easier to relay the benefits to the owner.  Since aftercare alone is a lot to take on for each procedure alone, being able to manage both at the same time saves the owner time and stress (versus doing the procedures independently).  Also, as discussed at the time of injury, once one ACL tears it is very common for the other to tear in the future.  Having the stem cells available in the future allows for re-infusion into originally affected limb and new limb if needed without having to collect additional cells.  Some owners do not have the funds to do all at once, but at least discussing the options with them helps them narrow down where their funds would be best utilized.

I also commonly bring it up for owners who are tired of what they perceive as over-medicating or “nothing works” idea.  Many of the cases I have done that were on medications have been able to be reduced significantly to none in some cases.  Although it can be mentioned as last resort if nothing else works, I feel like the sooner stem cell is used on the pet, the higher chances of success.  Including offering StemInsure when they are young (at time of spay or neuter) for those breeds that are prone to arthritis or those dogs (hunting, agility, etc) that are at higher risk of needing stem cell in their future.

I had a Newfoundland puppy that I did StemInsure on for her potential bilateral elbow dysplasia that her predecessor had and the fact of her size/breed overall.  2.5 years later she tore her ACL.  Her cells were already stored at that time and only had to be processed at the time of her knee repair.  Worked really well and the owners were pleased that that had even been offered back when she was a puppy.  It has been about 1.5 years since her TPLO/stem cell infusion and she continues to not need pain management.  She only takes Dasuquin (which I advise for all my patients with injuries or arthritis), regardless of stem cell.

What parameters make a patient a good candidate for stem cell therapy?

*are we on pain management and only minimal improvement?

*has the pet been on long term meds and liver/kidney values now an issue?  medications are more limited now

*are their neurologic deficits?   If yes, I generally do not proceed with stem cell.  I always offer a free initial assessment to see if stem cell would even be an option for the pet.

*does the pet have or has had cancer?  I usually do not proceed with stem cell.

*what other conditions might the pet have that would compromise the effectiveness of the stem cells or are they higher risk for anesthesia for the collection process? 

Advice for pet owners considering stem cell therapy for their pet.

There is so much benefit from stem cell aside from joint related ailments, that just reading about it and asking for testimonials goes a long way.  I am always open to calls for those interested or just want to know more about it.  I am also very real about the fact that it is intense and probably inconvenient for most the following 8 weeks after infusion, but it does get results.    

If you’re located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and are interested in VetStem Cell Therapy for your dog or cat, we recommend a visit with Dr. Echevarria.

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Jun 28, 2019

Translational Medicine: How Animals Are Helping Humans

VetStem was recently featured in a documentary about Regenerative Veterinary Medicine called Animal Pharm: Where Beasts Meet Biotech.  We’ll share more about this soon, but one interesting aspect of the film is the commentary on how advances made in veterinary medicine are translating into the human medical field.

It’s not an uncommon narrative: a new medial technology or drug emerges in the veterinary field and after research and outcome data are compiled, scientists and doctors begin to wonder how humans may benefit from the same technology.  Known as translational medicine, Animal Pharm takes a look at how we’ve begun to apply what we know about stem cell therapy for animals to human medicine.

As a leader in the field of Regenerative Veterinary Medicine, VetStem strives to remain one step ahead and we recently announced the launch of our human stem cell company, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc. (PSC).  PSC was launched to advance and legitimize human regenerative medicine, which until recently, has been largely unregulated.  Recent regulatory action by the FDA, FTC, and the Federation of State Medical Boards has made it clear however that the only allowed use of stem cells will be through legitimate FDA clinical trials.

As such, PSC plans to launch FDA approved human stem cell clinical trials later this year.  The company recently announced their first Investigational New Drug application to the FDA for the treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee.  If you are interested in more information, you can contact PSC here.

These are exciting times we’re living in.  Though our primary goal has been to improve the lives of animals, it was always in the back of our minds that the technology we’ve worked so hard to develop and advance might one day be able to help humans also.  We are excited to see this dream becoming a reality.

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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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May 10, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Dr. Nick Vitale, DVM

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, Platelet Therapy

For this week’s Veterinarian Highlight, we would like to introduce you to Dr. Nick Vitale of Heritage Animal Hospital in Dundee, MI.  Dr. Vitale received his BS in Zoology and his DVM from Michigan State University.  Though a relatively recent adopter of VetStem Cell Therapy, Dr. Vitale hit the ground running and has treated over 40 patients with stem cell therapy in less than a year and half.  And that doesn’t include the patients he has treated with Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy (V-PET™)!

Though stem cells are primarily used to treat orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and injured tendons or ligaments, Dr. Vitale has treated his patients for several “non-standard” indications as well including feline kidney disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

We spoke with Dr. Vitale to ask a few questions about how he uses regenerative medicine in his practice.

Why do you like stem cell therapy and what do you commonly use it for?

I like it for many reasons. I can help reduce a patient’s need for medicines that have bad secondary side effects. I can help multiple issues at once, vs an owner having to perform multiple orthopedic surgeries which can be very, very expensive when the owner only has so much to work with.

Ideally, I would love to perform stem cell therapy on each orthopedic patient I take care of from ACL injuries to OCD issues to medial coronoid disease, etc. If my own lab needed ACL surgery, I would automatically perform stem cells to help the surgery even more. My normal surgical discussions, especially for ACL injuries, is to discuss standard of care surgery such as MRIT or TPLO and then I say, ‘we can make it even better with doing this.’ I also bring up that when we bank these doses, we can use them later in life for other problems such as autoimmune disease or liver or kidney problems, as this is most likely going to be a treatment very commonly done in the future. 

What injuries/ailments do you commonly treat with Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy (V-PET™)?

I use V-PET for chronic non-healing injuries and for use on ligamentous and tendon injury. For very early ACL strains and tears, less than 25%, I have performed V-PET and have had good outcomes so far. I also will do this for a last resort when a patient has a less than 50% tear of an ACL and there are no other options as far as surgery, which is too expensive for the owner. Older patients, especially those with cancers, I will do V-PET on for arthritis vs doing stem cells. In very, very old patients, V-PET is easy to do and apply and it will keep them mobile longer and I have seen very good results with this modality. 

If you are located in the Dundee, MI area and are interested in having your dog or cat treated with VetStem Cell Therapy and/or Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy, we recommend a visit with Dr. Nick Vitale.

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Apr 26, 2019

VetStem Cell Therapy for Canine Dry Eye

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells

As most of you know, stem cell therapy is most commonly used to treat orthopedic conditions  such as osteoarthritis and injured ligaments.  In previous blogs, we’ve shared that VetStem Cell Therapy may help other conditions such as canine back pain, inflammatory bowel disease, feline kidney disease, and feline gingivostomatitis.  VetStem continues to evaluate the use of stem cells for these disease processes with some favorable results being seen.  Another condition that VetStem is evaluating is canine Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, otherwise known as KCS and commonly referred to as “dry eye.”

This disease of the eye is found in an estimated 35% of dogs.  Symptoms include decreased tear production, discomfort, and potential vision problems.  Studies suggest KCS may be caused by an inflammatory process that leads to the destruction of the tear production glands.  Unfortunately, most dogs with KCS will require lifelong treatment with medications to relieve the symptoms associated with the condition.

The good news is, two recent studies found that symptoms of KCS in dogs were reduced or, in some cases, completely resolved after treatment with adipose-derived stem cells.  To receive treatment, your dog would first undergo a minimally-invasive fat collection procedure.  From the fat, VetStem laboratory technicians will isolate your dog’s stem and regenerative cells to create injectable stem cell doses.  Your veterinarian would then inject the stem cell doses following a protocol that VetStem has established.

If your dog has KCS, speak to your veterinarian to determine if he/she may be eligible for this clinical research program using VetStem Cell Therapy.  You can also contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Mar 29, 2019

Stem Cells in Conjunction with Surgery

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, Stem Cell Therapy

We recently posted a blog entitled “Stem Cell Therapy vs. Surgery” but what about stem cells in conjunction with surgery?  Well, stem cells can absolutely be used in conjunction with surgery and may further benefit the healing process and overall patient outcome.

Stem cells are anti-inflammatory and can modulate pain.  They have been shown to have the ability to reduce scar tissue formation, regenerate cartilage tissue, and restore elasticity to injured tendons and ligaments.  When stem cell therapy is combined with a surgery, the animal gets benefit from both treatments.  For instance, if a dog has a torn cruciate ligament that requires surgical repair, performing stem cell therapy in conjunction with the surgery may lead to reduced healing time, less pain/more comfort during recovery, and less scar tissue, which may ultimately lead to less arthritis down the road.  The same goes for arthroscopy, in which a veterinarian clears arthritic joint space of abnormal bone or cartilage.  Injecting stem cells after surgery may lead to healthy cartilage regeneration and ultimately more comfort for the patient.

Cruciate ligament repair and arthroscopy are two common procedures that we see used in conjunction with stem cell therapy.  For instance, Lady received VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with cruciate ligament repair surgery while Pearl received VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with arthroscopy to treat arthritis in her elbows.  Another patient, Sheldon, received VetStem Cell Therapy after arthroscopy to treat arthritis related to Fragmented Coronoid Process (FCP) in his elbows.

If your veterinarian has recommended surgery to repair a torn tendon or ligament or to treat arthritis, ask about adding on VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy to further benefit the healing process.  Or, if you would like a list of VetStem providers in your area, send us a Locate a Vet request.

Sheldon after Arthroscopy and VetStem Cell Therapy

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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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