Archive for the ‘Knee Arthritis & Cruciate Tear’ Category

Aug 12, 2022

Leo’s Story: VetStem Cell Therapy for Cruciate Ligament Tear

Did you know that cruciate ligament rupture is one of the most common reasons for hind limb lameness, pain, and subsequent knee arthritis in dogs? While there are multiple treatment options available, both surgical and non-surgical, treatment with stem cells may accelerate and improve healing within the joint. Numerous dogs have received VetStem Cell Therapy for cruciate ligament injuries. Generally speaking, stem cells are more effective when the ligament is only partially torn. In many cases, a full tear will still require surgery.

Leo’s Stem Cell Story

Leo is a 92-pound German Shepherd. One day, after jumping out of his owner’s SUV, he yelped and held his right rear leg up. Two veterinarians confirmed that Leo had partially torn his cruciate ligament in his right knee. While dogs of any size can be affected by this injury, large breed dogs tend to be more at risk.

Leo

Initially, Leo’s owners took a conservative approach to manage his condition. Non-surgical treatment usually involves some combination of anti-inflammatory and pain medications, exercise modifications, joint supplements, rehabilitation, and possibly braces/supports. Unfortunately, conservative medical management is not always successful, and after months of leash walks only, Leo’s symptoms worsened.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Cruciate Ligament Tear

After months of research, Leo’s owners elected to try VetStem Cell Therapy as opposed to surgical repair of the injured ligament. Stem cells are regenerative cells that can reduce pain and inflammation, reduce the formation of scar tissue, help to restore range of motion, and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. Additionally, according to surveys answered by owners and veterinarians, greater than 80% of dogs showed an improved quality of life after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for orthopedic conditions.

To begin the process, Leo’s veterinarian, Dr. Chris Forstall of SouthShore Animal Hospital, collected fat tissue from his abdomen during a minimally-invasive anesthetic procedure. The cells were aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem processing laboratory. Lab technicians processed the fat to isolate and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. These cells were packaged into separate stem cell doses, two of which were shipped to Leo’s veterinarian for treatment, while the rest were put into cryopreservation for potential future use.

Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection, Leo received one injection of his own stem cells into each knee. You may be wondering why Leo’s veterinarian injected both knees, as opposed to just his injured knee. According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, 40-60% of dogs who injure one cruciate ligament will go on to injure the other cruciate ligament in the future. Because of this, many veterinarians choose to treat both knees with stem cells, even when there is only one injured knee. This prophylactic approach may reduce or delay the possibility of injuring the second knee.

Leo Improves after VetStem Cell Therapy

According to his owner, Leo showed improvement just one month after treatment. His owner stated, “Leo is improving every day. We are thrilled that VetStem banked Leo’s stem cells for future use. I’m looking forward to him improving even more. Thank you for offering this cutting-edge therapy!”

Leo’s initial stem cell process yielded several additional doses that are currently cryopreserved. Cryopreservation of stem cells allows them to maintain their functional properties so that they can be used in the future should Leo require them.

If your dog has suffered from a partial cruciate ligament tear, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Or contact us to find a VetStem provider near you.

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May 20, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy for Canine Cruciate Ligament Tears

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

Risk Factors for Cruciate Ligament Rupture

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

Treatment Options for Cruciate Ligament Tears

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

VetStem Cell Therapy for Cruciate Ligament Injuries

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

If your dog has experienced a cruciate ligament tear, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Feb 25, 2022

VetStem Helps Dog with Partial Cruciate Ligament Tear

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

Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Dogs

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

VetStem Cell Therapy for Partial Cruciate Ligament Tears

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

Belle Receives Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Belle

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

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

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

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Oct 15, 2021

Agility Dog Returns to Competition after VetStem Cell Therapy

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

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

Charm

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

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

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

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Apr 19, 2019

Great Dane Receives Relief from Platelet Therapy

Pinky

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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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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Jul 27, 2018

Golden Retriever Regains Her Mobility After Stem Cell Therapy

This week’s blog is about a golden retriever named Harley.  Harley, like many golden retrievers, had arthritis and was living a restricted lifestyle.  Harley was treated two years ago with VetStem Cell Therapy and had great results.  Many dog owners think that traditional arthritis medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medications are the only treatment available for canine arthritis.  These success stories can be a good reminder for some pet owners searching for relief for their arthritic canine companion.

Harley was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her carpi (wrists) when she was 5 years old.  Approximately 3 years later, she suffered partial cruciate ligament tears in both of her knees which led to severe thickening and arthritis in both joints.  She was on several pain medications and her exercise was restricted.  She had trouble standing up, lying down, and could barely get into a sit position.  When she would go on walks or go to the beach, she would be stiff and sore for several days following.

Harley’s pain was hard for her owner, Jordan, to watch.  Jordan, a veterinary technician, had heard about stem cell therapy form a friend.  Fortunately, the veterinarian that Jordan worked for was already credentialed to perform VetStem Cell Therapy and thus, Harley was treated in December 2015.

Approximately 8 months after her initial treatment, Jordan felt that Harley could benefit from a second round of injections.  At that time, she was working for a different veterinarian who was not VetStem credentialed, Dr. Sunshine Riehl of Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo.  After completing the VetStem Credentialing Course, Dr. Riehl administered Harley’s second round of stem cell injections in August 2016.

Jordan reported that Harley’s quality of life improved greatly.  Her need for pain medication decreased and she was able to participate in some of her favorite activities like fetch and swimming at the beach.  You can read the rest of Harley’s story here.

If your dog has arthritis, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy may help.  You can discuss the possibility of treatment with your current veterinarian or contact VetStem to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jun 15, 2018

In Loving Memory of Knuckles, The Bubble Chasing Bulldog

It’s always a sad day when we learn of one of our patients passing away.  We recently learned that Knuckles, an English bulldog, passed away suddenly in early April.  This particular passing pulled on our heartstrings a little extra, as some of us were lucky enough to meet Knuckles and witness his success with stem cell therapy and platelet therapy in person.

Knuckles’ case was a bit different than our standard osteoarthritis case in that Knuckles was also dealing with a chronic infection in the affected joint.  This is known as septic arthritis.  His right stifle, or knee, had become badly infected after a failed surgery to repair a torn cruciate ligament and luxating patella.  Knuckles spent 2 years in pain, taking various medications, and going to rehabilitation appointments.  While his rehab helped him regain some muscle mass in his bad leg, he continued to be lame and in pain so his loving owner, Sarah, took him for a consult with Dr. Holly Mullen at VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral.

Dr. Mullen recommended VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy along with the Pall V-PETTM, a platelet enhancement therapy system that is distributed by VetStem.  After a month of antibiotics to clear the infection in his knee, Knuckles received stem cells and platelet therapy.  In his follow up appointments, it was apparent that he had a terrific response to the therapy.  He became more active and was in less pain, so much so that he was able to discontinue his pain medications.  You can read about Knuckles’ experience with stem cells and platelet therapy here.

At first this blog was meant to be our usual “success story” blog.  When I began writing it, I pulled up Knuckles’ record in our database and saw that he was deceased.  It immediately made me sad, as he is well known around the office and has been a VetStem “poster child” so to speak.  That’s when I thought that perhaps a memorial to Knuckles would be nice.  He was certainly a special pup, loved very much by his family and all those who were lucky enough to know him.

One of his favorite activities was chasing bubbles.  Before his stem cell and platelet therapy, his leg kept him from being able to do this.  After the treatment, he was not only back to chasing bubbles, he began chasing lizards and squirrels in his new backyard!  He loved running around the yard and chasing the critters, all the while digging up mom’s plants.  She didn’t mind though.  In fact, when I reached out to Sarah to get her permission to write this blog, she informed me that he passed doing just that.  While sad, I couldn’t help but smile envisioning Knuckles’ big bulldog face covered in dirt with that silly bulldog smile.

Knuckles will be sorely missed, that is for sure.  But perhaps his legacy can live on in his story and his experience with stem cells and platelet therapy.  If his story reaches just one person who is searching for treatment options for their dog with a similar condition, then we’ve succeeded at carrying on his legacy.

Run free big guy!

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