Archive for the ‘Stem Cell Therapy’ Category

Dec 4, 2020

VetStem Cell Therapy Success Story: Feline Kidney Disease

It is officially December and we all know what that means: it’s National Cat Lovers’ Month! To celebrate, we have a special feline success story to share. You may remember from previous blogs such as this one, that many veterinarians use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat a number of internal medicine conditions in cats including kidney disease. One such patient is Kitters, who received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease over seven years ago!

Symptoms and Diagnosis

At the age of 15, Kitters was diagnosed with kidney disease. He exhibited many of the common symptoms of renal failure such as lack of appetite, excessive thirst, nausea, lethargy, and weight loss. He was prescribed a typical protocol for kidney disease which included a prescription, low protein diet and subcutaneous fluids. While these treatments can potentially slow the progression of the disease, they will not reverse it.

Kitters receiving an IV dose of his own stem cells

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Fortunately for Kitters, his owner found a veterinarian who was willing to try VetStem Cell Therapy to potentially help him feel better. She drove Kitters from Los Angeles to Oakland, California to visit Dr. Gary Richter of Montclair Veterinary Hospital. Kitters underwent a fat tissue collection procedure to begin the VetStem process. His fat was processed at our laboratory where his stem and regenerative cells were extracted and concentrated. An injectable dose of Kitters’ stem cells was shipped back to Dr. Richter for intravenous injection back into Kitters. Two weeks later, he received a follow up intravenous injection.

Feeling Like Himself Again

Approximately 35 days after treatment with stem cells, Kitters was clearly feeling better. He was eating more, his energy was up, and he began putting on the weight he previously lost. His blood kidney values also went down after treatment. His mom made a great and very informative video documenting Kitters’ journey. You can watch it here.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Feline Kidney Disease

Kitters was originally treated back in 2013, and though he was not the first cat to receive VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease, many veterinarians were not aware of this potential treatment option back then. In recent years however, more and more veterinarians are beginning to offer VetStem Cell Therapy for both cats and dogs with kidney disease. As of December 2020, nearly 200 cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease and the outcome data collected from these cases appears promising.

If your cat has kidney disease, speak to your veterinarian to see if VetStem Cell Therapy may help. You can also contact us to find a VetStem provider near you.

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Nov 20, 2020

VetStem Cell Therapy for Horses: Suspensory Ligament Injury

Over 7,000 horses have had their fat tissue processed at VetStem. Like dogs, horses primarily receive VetStem Cell Therapy for orthopedic conditions such as injured tendons, ligaments, and joints. One common condition in sport horses is an injured suspensory ligament.

What is the suspensory ligament and how is it injured?

The suspensory ligament supports a horse’s fetlock joint in all four limbs. While the ligament is strong, it is only slightly elastic. Stress on the ligament can lead to injury and may occur from various activities such as running fast or landing a jump. The injury can be chronic in nature, where repetitive stress leads to tearing of fibers. In an acute injury, numerous fibers can rupture all at once.

What are the symptoms of an injured suspensory ligament?

Symptoms of an injured suspensory ligament vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Some horses will show only subtle or inconsistent lameness while others may show no obvious lameness. However,  the horse’s performance will often suffer. For those horses with more obvious lameness, symptoms may worsen with exercise and improve with rest. With injury to the branches, the affected area may be thickened, warm, and tender. In the case of a rupture, the fetlock will sink toward the ground.

Atlas “never took a lame step” after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for a partially torn suspensory ligament.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Suspensory Ligament Injuries

VetStem Cell Therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment option for some suspensory ligament injuries. Treatment with stem cells may reduce inflammation and scar tissue and may also lead to tissue regeneration. In a retrospective review of 62 cases of suspensory ligament injury in sport horses treated with VetStem Cell Therapy, nearly 76% of treated horses returned to full work at their prior level of performance. Additionally, another 16% returned to full work at a lower level of performance. Furthermore, 92% of the horses with acute injuries and over 71% of the horses with chronic injuries returned to their prior level of performance after treatment.

It is important to remember that outcomes vary and not all horses will respond to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. In the aforementioned retrospective review, 5 of the 62 treated horses were non-responsive.

If your horse has an injured suspensory ligament and you are curious about whether he/she may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian. You can also contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Nov 13, 2020

VetStem Cell Therapy for Senior Pets with Osteoarthritis

Posted by Bob under osteoarthritis, VetStem Cell Therapy

November is National Senior Pet Month, and we want to show those frosted-faces some extra special attention in this week’s blog! Like people, increased age is a risk factor associated with osteoarthritis. One study conducted in the UK indicated that dogs over eight years old were most frequently diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The same study found that dogs over twelve years had the greatest odds of being diagnosed with osteoarthritis compared to other age groups. These findings support the notion that osteoarthritis is predominantly a disease of aging.

Senior Golden Retriever, Maverick, Received VetStem Cell Therapy for Hip Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the Number 2 Reason for Euthanasia

Given that approximately 1 in 5 dogs in the United States are affected by osteoarthritis, it comes as no surprise that the disease has previously been labeled as the second most common reason for euthanasia. Though there are several treatment options available to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, many of them come along with unpleasant side effects and/or begin to lose efficacy after prolonged use.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis

While it is not a cure for osteoarthritis, as there is no cure for this progressive disease, many arthritic pets have benefited from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Based on information obtained from veterinarians and dog owners, 81% of arthritic older dogs who were treated with VetStem Cell Therapy experienced an improved quality of life. In addition, 63% were not re-treated in the first year, meaning the benefits of stem cell therapy lasted longer than a year. Below are some additional numbers regarding older dogs who received VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis.

*Clinical data obtained from veterinarian laboratory submission forms and voluntary owner surveys.

Is VetStem Cell Therapy Right for your Senior Pet?

Though stem cell therapy may lead to a better quality of life in some pets, it may not be the best option for your pet if they do not tolerate anesthesia well or if they have active cancer, which is more prevalent in older pets and is contraindicated with VetStem Cell Therapy. Thus, if you think your pet may benefit from treatment with stem cells, the first place to start is talking with your veterinarian. He/She can perform a comprehensive exam to determine if your pet may be a good candidate for stem cell therapy.


Need to find a vet who provides VetStem Cell Therapy? Click here.

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Nov 6, 2020

Stem Cell Therapy for Wound Healing

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy, Wound Healing

One topic we have not covered is wound healing. Chronic wounds can be a major problem for pets and present many challenges for veterinarians. Some wounds require significant ongoing medical care which can be both stressful and expensive for pet owners.

Stem Cell Therapy for Wound Healing

Stem cells have many potential uses. Veterinarians primarily use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat orthopedic conditions as well as some internal medicine conditions. Stem cells have shown the ability to reduce inflammation and pain and to lead to tissue regeneration. Adipose-derived stem cells can differentiate into multiple tissue types, including skin. Stem cells also release growth factors and cytokines, which the body uses to promote healing.

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the potential efficacy of stem cell therapy for wound healing. That being said, there is still significant research to be done before any claims of definitive treatment can be made. While the research continues, some veterinarians (and human physicians) are using stem cell therapy experimentally to help with wound healing.

Jaguar Receives Stem Cell Therapy for Severe Burns

In September, a story came out about a jaguar who was severely burned in a wildfire in Brazil. Amanaci, whose name means “goddess of the waters”, was found in an abandoned hen house amidst the fires in the Pantanal wetlands. She had third-degree burns on all four paws and on her belly. Her mammary glands were swollen with milk, indicating she recently had cubs. Veterinarians speculated that Amanaci spent considerable time trying to protect and save her cubs, which is why she was burned so badly. Unfortunately, no cubs were found.

Amanaci was transported to the NEX Institute where veterinarian, Daniela Gianni and several others took over her care. Dr. Gianni, who has previous experience using stem cell therapy in large cats, treated Amanaci’s wounds with multiple rounds of stem cell treatments along with other therapies due to the severity of her condition. And though her treatment is progressing well, it is believed she is not capable of surviving in the wild at this point. Amanaci will likely continue living at the institute along with 23 other jaguars. To read more about Amanaci’s story, click here. Or click here to watch a brief video.

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Oct 16, 2020

Guest Blog: VetStem Cell Therapy for My New Puppy!

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Hi everybody! Kristi Hauta here, Director of Commercial Operations. I hijacked Dr Harman’s blog this week to give you a little update on my newest furry family member!

Little Miss Elphie!

Like many people, the social distancing and stay at home orders over the past 7 months has caused stress and anxiety for me and my family. All the uncertainty about what was going to happen next had us in a funk. So, like many others, we decided to get a puppy to brighten up our lives! Granted, it wasn’t entirely spontaneous. We have been contemplating a new dog for several years, we just hadn’t decided on one yet.

At the beginning, we were considering several small breeds. But in the end, we decided that a Newfoundland was the right choice for us. And so…Meet Elphie: the 8-month-old, 80-pound, Goofy Newfie! Now, I will tell you, the biggest dog I have ever owned was a beagle, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect with Elphie. But, even with her lumbering size, she is by far the sweetest and most gentle dog I have ever had the pleasure of owning.

Well, this past week, it was time to get Elphie spayed. Because of her size and the breed’s disposition, I also elected to have a gastropexy done, a surgical procedure to help prevent bloat. Since she was already going to be anesthetized, I asked her veterinary surgeon, Dr. Holly Mullen, to collect some of Elphie’s fat for stem cell therapy. The fat was processed by our wonderful and experienced lab techs here at VetStem, and Elphie’s stem cells were extracted and concentrated.

Cone of Shame

Because she had just undergone multiple abdominal surgeries, I felt Elphie could benefit from a dose of her stem cells to help with post-surgical healing. The day after her procedure, Elphie received one intravenous dose of her own stem cells. These cells, when introduced into the body, have the ability to home to areas where inflammation is present and to down-regulate inflammation and pain. Furthermore, stem cells may improve the quality of healing with the ability to regenerate tissue and reduce scar tissue formation.

In addition to her single IV dose, Elphie has numerous stem cell doses cryopreserved at VetStem. Due to her large size, she is likely to experience osteoarthritis as she ages. Knowing I have cells stored for Elphie for potential future use is priceless to me. Not only can these cells be used for arthritis, but we are always investigating new diseases that stem cells can be used to treat. Some of our current “Clinical Research Programs” include inflammatory bowel disease (canine and feline), canine back pain, and canine dry eye. While I hope Elphie remains healthy and never has a need for her stem cells, it does make me feel better knowing that option is available.

Though I elected to treat Elphie with one stem cell dose to aid her post-surgical healing, we also offer a process called StemInsure. Similar to storing your (human) baby’s stem cells at birth, the canine StemInsure process provides peace of mind with banked stem cells that can be used later in life. The StemInsure is similar to our standard stem cell process in which we extract stem cells out of your dog’s own fat, however doses are not prepared for immediate treatment. Instead, the cells are placed into cryopreservation and can be cultured to grow usable stem cell doses in the future. The great thing about the canine StemInsure is the fat can be collected in conjunction with an already scheduled, routine procedure such as a spay or neuter.

If you are interested in stem cell therapy for your dog, cat, or horse, speak to your veterinarian or contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Oct 2, 2020

Dog Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for IVDD

Posted by Bob under IVDD, VetStem Cell Therapy

We frequently share stories about dogs that received VetStem Cell Therapy for orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and injured cruciate ligaments. But stem cell therapy may potentially help a number of other conditions. Veterinarians have used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat various diseases including renal failure, inflammatory bowel disease, gingivostomatitis, and dry eye.

VetStem Clinical Research Programs

All of the above diseases fall under our Clinical Research Programs. These programs are designed to evaluate the safety and possible effectiveness of stem cell therapy for specific conditions before we move on to performing a clinical trial. Another current Clinical Research Program is for Canine Back Pain. This is obviously a broad condition so feel free to read our blog about this particular program. One condition that falls under the Canine Back Pain program is Intervertebral Disc Disease.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a condition in which one or several intervertebral discs in the spine bulge, resulting in pressure on the spinal cord. This pressure may result in extreme pain and possibly loss of limb function. IVDD can be a result of chronic disc degeneration or from an acute injury. Conservative treatment with pain medications and anti-inflammatories may help patients who have a gradual onset of symptoms or whose symptoms are mild. In severe cases or when there are repeated episodes, surgery may be recommended.

Bailee

Bailee Received VetStem Cell Therapy for IVDD

Bailee, an English Springer Spaniel, was approximately fourteen years old when he injured his neck. He jumped off a deck that was about four feet off the ground and yelped in pain. He was diagnosed with IVDD and was prescribed pain medications. Unfortunately, the medications made him very lethargic and did not help his pain so his owner sought a second opinion.    

Dr. Susan Burkhart of Animal Medical Center of Ontario examined Bailee and recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Within one week after his stem cell therapy, Bailee’s owner reported that she noticed a huge difference. She stated, “He was once again smiling, and out of pain. It has been 2.5 years since then, and Bailee is one happy pup, once again, and able to live many more years pain free. I am so grateful and would do again for any of my pets.”

While stem cells have demonstrated the ability to reduce pain and inflammation, there is limited data to support the use of stem cell therapy for the treatment of IVDD. Since this condition develops for different reasons, the stem cell protocol and outcome can vary for each dog. Any inquiries regarding treatment of similar conditions or other non-standard indications should be directed to VetStem personnel.

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Sep 18, 2020

Stem Cell Therapy May Reduce Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Stem Cell Therapy

As Animal Pain Awareness Month continues, we wanted to share some information about how stem cells may relieve pain in pets. We frequently share stories about dogs with osteoarthritis who regain mobility and a better quality of life after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy. While stem cells utilize multiple mechanisms of action, one primary benefit of stem cells is their ability to reduce inflammation and pain.

Pain in Pets

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, pets can suffer from acute and chronic pain. Pain in pets can result from a variety of causes and there are three primary classifications of pain:

  • Nociceptive – caused by noxious stimulation (injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals or exposure to extreme temperatures)
  • Inflammatory – caused by acute or chronic inflammation
  • Neuropathic – from damage to an element of the nervous system

Stem Cells are Anti-Inflammatory

One major mechanism of action is the ability of stem cells to down regulate inflammation. By reducing inflammation, stem cells promote healing and increase comfort. When used to treat osteoarthritis, stem cells may promote cartilage regrowth and therefore healthier and less painful joints.

Stem Cells Act Directly on Pain

While a reduction in inflammation can lead to increased comfort, current literature supports that stem cells have the ability to address both acute and chronic pain directly. Recently, there have been studies to evaluate stem cells’ direct effects on modulating pain. Stem cells have been shown to secrete pain blocking cytokines (small proteins), which can have opioid-like effects. Stem cells have also shown the ability to reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous tissue).

If you think your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Sep 4, 2020

VetStem Raises the Bar for Veterinary Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy, VetStem Biopharma

As the first company to provide adipose derived stem cell services to veterinarians in the United States and Canada, VetStem has processed nearly 14,000 patient samples resulting in over 30,000 stem cell treatments for animals. VetStem Cell Therapy is primarily used for the treatment of orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis as well as torn tendons and ligaments in dogs, cats, and horses. In addition to domestic animals, VetStem has worked with multiple exotic animal organizations to provide stem cell therapy for several exotic species. (Read last week’s blog about Brody the bear!)

Veterinarians have also used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat several “non-standard” indications. Some of these include feline chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, feline gingivostomatitis, and canine keratoconjunctivitis sicca (“dry eye). While we are still researching the full capabilities of stem cells, veterinarians have seen promising results when treating these and other conditions with VetStem Cell Therapy.

VetStem has been providing stem cell processing services to veterinarians for their patients for over 17 years. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality stem cell processing services for all patient samples. Our laboratory technicians undergo extensive training and dedicate the majority of their workday to stem cell processing. All patient samples are processed in bio-safety cabinets in hepa-filtered cleanrooms. We take sterility and patient safety very seriously.

In addition, VetStem determines the cell yield and viability of each sample to ensure an accurate dose prior to shipment. Using cell counting technology allows us to know the number of cells packaged in each stem cell injection. We continually draw upon existing and new research as well as 17+ years of experience to determine appropriate cell numbers.

If you think your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of using VetStem Cell Therapy. We have provided a letter you can take to your vet to help them get better acquainted with the science behind stem cell therapy and VetStem’s services. Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.  

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Aug 28, 2020

Brody the Bear Receives VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Brody is a Florida black bear that had a pretty rough start in life. He was found abandoned at approximately 3 weeks of age in Ocala National Forest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were unsuccessful in finding his mother and determined he had severe respiratory issues and a weak suckling response. Because he was abandoned at such a young age, he was not a candidate for release. Thus, he was transferred to the Brevard Zoo for long-term care. Fortunately for Brody, Zoo team members nursed him back to health and continue to give him hours of exercise and socialization.

Not Out of the Woods Yet

In May, when Brody was approximately 4 months old, caregivers noticed that Brody’s abdomen was sensitive and that he was repeatedly licking the area. He was anesthetized for an examination and it was determined that Brody has a condition similar to hip dysplasia in dogs. His hip joints are malformed and, if left untreated, will lead to severe pain and osteoarthritis. In an effort to avoid this fate, it was determined that Brody would undergo a corrective surgery known as juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS).

Dr. Christiansen injecting Brody’s own stem cells into his hip

A Skilled Surgeon Steps Up to the Plate

As luck would have it, Dr. Jeff Christiansen, board-certified surgeon and avid stem cell user, was contacted to perform Brody’s surgery. Dr. Christiansen has performed JPS on puppies with great success and felt that Brody would be a good candidate for the procedure. While he had Brody on the operating table, he collected some fat for stem cell processing.

Brody’s fat was received at the VetStem laboratory where his stem cells were extracted and put into culture to grow stem cell doses. Once complete, three stem cell doses were shipped back to Dr. Christiansen. Brody received one injection in each hip as well as one intravenous injection.

A Happy Ending

According to the Brevard Zoo, Brody is recovering well. It will be quite some time before they can evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the surgery but the good news is, Brody has 15 stem cell doses banked for potential future use. When VetStem Cell Therapy is used in conjunction with surgery, the stem cells act to reduce pain and inflammation and to promote healing.

Brody is not the first bear that VetStem has helped. In 2018, Francis, a sun bear at the San Diego Zoo, received VetStem Cell Therapy for arthritis, using his own stem cells. You can read Francis’ stem cell story here.

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Aug 14, 2020

Golden Retriever Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Hip Arthritis

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, VetStem Cell Therapy

When Daisey was approximately six years old, she began showing symptoms of osteoarthritis in her hips. A typical fun-loving Golden, Daisey enjoys fetch, running at the dog park, and playing with her canine sibling. When she began to limp after her favorite activities, her owners knew there was a problem.  She started having trouble walking up stairs and would occasionally yelp in pain.

Daisey

A trip to the veterinarian revealed Daisey has osteoarthritis in her hips as a result of bilateral hip dysplasia. Her owners decided against surgery and instead looked into stem cell therapy. Her veterinarian, Dr. Rob Landry of Colorado Center for Animal Pain Management, has extensive experience with VetStem Cell Therapy and determined Daisey was a good candidate for the procedure.

Dr. Landry collected fat tissue from Daisey’s abdomen, which was shipped to the VetStem laboratory in California. VetStem lab technicians processed the tissue to extract and concentrate Daisey’s stem and regenerative cells. Three injectable stem cell doses were shipped back to Dr. Landry. Approximately 48 hours after the fat tissue collection, Daisey received injections of her own stem cells into each hip and intravenously.

After the procedure, Daisey’s owners noticed improvement. First, they noticed that Daisey was able to rise from lying down with less difficulty. Additionally, climbing stairs became less of a challenge for Daisey. Eventually, she began to play more and is now able to take long walks with her owners. Her owner stated, “There is a contented look on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. So far life is good.”

Unfortunately, Daisey’s story is not uncommon. Approximately 1 in 5 adult dogs are affected by arthritis. OA can be caused by a number of factors including abnormal joint conformation or development, injury, and obesity. In addition, some dog breeds, like Golden Retrievers, are predisposed to the disease. Fortunately, stem cells have shown the ability to down-regulate inflammation and pain, which can lead to an increase in an arthritic dog’s quality of life. If you think your dog may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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