Archive for the ‘VetStem Cell Therapy’ Category

Nov 18, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy for Horses: Orthopedics and More

It’s been a while since we’ve done a good overview blog on the various uses of VetStem Cell Therapy in horses. The VetStem Sales and Marketing team is currently heading to San Antonio, TX to exhibit at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) conference so we figured no better time than the present!

Some of you may not know this but VetStem’s very first patient was a horse that was treated way back in early 2004 for a tendon injury that would have normally been career-ending. As in dogs, veterinarians most frequently use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat orthopedic conditions in horses. Though their anatomy and injuries are different than our canine friends, the treatment methods are very similar.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Tendon and Ligament Injuries

In performance horses, tendon and ligament injuries are a leading cause of decreased performance. These injuries often require prolonged healing times and can be the source of reinjury. While soft tissue injuries can take many months to heal, VetStem Cell Therapy may speed up the healing process. Stem cells can reduce pain and inflammation and regenerate tendon and ligament tissues, thereby reducing the formation of scar tissue. When paired with a good rehabilitation routine, stem cell therapy may help horses get back to work faster.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Joint Conditions

As with tendon and ligament injuries, VetStem Cell Therapy can be beneficial for joint conditions in horses. Horses have been treated for a wide array of conditions including osteoarthritis (OA), osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), subchondral bone cysts, and meniscal tears. In one study utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy for the above conditions, there were several important findings:

  1. 80% (8/10) of cyst-only cases returned to their prior level of activity
  2. 95.2% (20/21) of OA cases in the study returned to prior level or lower level of work
  3. The average time for horses in the study from treatment to return-to-full work at prior level of performance was 6.2 months or 5.8 months for those horses returning to a lower level of work
  4. 83.3% (50/60) with joint injuries returned to prior level of performance or at least to a reduced performance level, with only 16.7% (10/60) being non-responsive to treatment.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Alternative Conditions in Horses

There’s plenty of data out there that stem cells can benefit soft tissue injuries and joint disease, but there are a few other conditions that VetStem may help as well. One of these conditions is Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). EIPH is characterized by the presence of blood in the lungs of performance horses following strenuous exercise. Traditional therapy includes medications that can reduce the amount of hemorrhaging but don’t actually treat or cure the disease. In a clinical research program conducted by VetStem, it was determined that the majority of horses treated with VetStem Cell Therapy experienced significant improvement with little to no bleeding post racing.

Another condition that VetStem may help is uveitis. Uveitis is characterized by inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye and can be a one-time episode or recurrent. Recurrent uveitis can lead to permanent damage and even blindness. Though the cause of recurrent uveitis is unclear, there is evidence to suggest it may be immune-mediated. Stem cells have demonstrated the ability to reduce inflammation and to modulate the immune system. Preliminary in-vitro and clinical case series results demonstrate safety and that stem cells may be effective in controlling recurrent uveitis.

Veterinarians have treated horses for numerous conditions that we have not mentioned here, some with favorable results, others not. If you think your horse may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, whether it’s for an orthopedic condition or something else, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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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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Nov 4, 2022

The Power of Stem Cell Therapy Part 1: Meet Dr. John Hutchens

We have a special veterinarian highlight this week. This will actually be a two-part blog series in which we will learn about Dr. John Hutchens of Westmoreland and Slappey Animal Hospital this week and his patient, Holly, next week.

According to his bio on the hospital website, Dr. John Hutchens received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Georgia and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. He has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since 2013. We recently caught up with Dr. Hutchens to ask him some questions about his use of stem cells.

Why do you find VetStem Cell Therapy to be a valuable addition to your practice?

VetStem Cell Therapy adds value to my practice by significantly improving my patient’s quality of life. Each of my patients have a special relationship with their human counterparts. That relationship can be greatly impacted by the pain associated with degenerative joint disease, arthritis, or injury. VetStem Cell Therapy helps to restore my patient’s ability to move comfortably, restoring their ability to enjoy life and interact with the family they love. There is HUGE value in providing relief of pain and suffering. You cannot put a monetary value on improving a pet’s quality of life and the relationship they have with their family. PRICELESS. 

What injuries/ailments do you typically treat with VetStem Cell Therapy?

I have used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat dogs with hip dysplasia and chronic arthritis of the knees and hips. I have treated the average family pet that couldn’t get up the stairs due to severe hip pain. I have also treated the working dog that was diagnosed with hip dysplasia whose human was told by a veterinarian he would no longer be able to do the job he loved. Guess what, after stem cell therapy he continued doing what he loved to do with comfort.

Please describe your ideal stem cell patient- what criteria must they meet in order to recommend stem cell therapy?

My ideal stem cell patient is a dog whose mind is ready and willing to go, but their joints tell them “NO”. This is a patient that wants to interact with the world around them, but because of pain, they just lie around watching the world go by. These are the patients that wag their tail when you walk in the door, but don’t get up because it just hurts too bad to move.

The things I want to know before deciding if a patient is a good candidate for stem cell therapy:

#1 Does the patient have cancer or a history of cancer?

#2 What therapeutics have they tried prior to stem cell therapy and what were the results?

#3 Are the clients willing to bring the patient back for follow up visits to assess progress?

What advice can you offer pet owners considering stem cell therapy for their pet?

Stem cell therapy sounds too good to be true, but in reality, it works! Stem cell therapy is safe, it’s effective, and it’s life changing. With stem cell therapy, you are utilizing your dog’s own naturally occurring healing properties, stem cells, to provide relief from joint pain. It’s not magic, it’s biology and amazing medical advancement.

We hear your patient, Holly, had a great response to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Can you tell us a bit about her treatment and outcome?

Dr. John Hutchens with his VetStem Cell Therapy patient, Holly

I’ve seen Holly many times over the years and watched as her body began to suffer from the impact of degenerative joint disease. She is one of the absolute sweetest patients I see, but because of joint pain, Holly could not comfortably get up to greet me when I walked into the room. Holly had previously been prescribed Rimadyl, Gabapentin, and Adequan at different times to treat her pain and inflammation with mixed results. Ultimately, the discomfort seemed to overwhelm the therapeutics. During one of Holly’s appointments, I discussed the success I had with other patients, similar to Holly, that had experienced dramatic improvement using stem cell therapy. It didn’t take much to convince the Cooks that Holly needed stem cell therapy.

The VetStem Process

We obtained the fat necessary to harvest Holly’s stem cells from a small incision in her abdomen. Holly did fantastic through the collection procedure! The collected fat was then shipped overnight to VetStem for processing. Within 48 hours I was holding the healing power of Holly’s stem cells in my hands! AMAZING!

Holly was brought back into the office to receive her stem cell therapy two days after the collection procedure. Holly’s stem cells were injected in both of her hips, both knees, and given to her intravenously. She was sent home the same day for monitoring and recovery.

Holly returned seven days later to have the sutures from her abdominal incision removed. The response to treatment was AMAZING. I knew that stem cell therapy was effective, but what I saw that day was miraculous. Holly, the dog that could barely get up without help, was bouncing around the exam room like a brand new dog. I watched as a previously lame dog walked without assistance. Seeing her improvement brought tears to my eyes and a HUGE smile to my face.  I would say Holly is a tremendous stem cell success story.


We would like to thank Dr. Hutchens for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to answer all of our questions. Hopefully his answers help you to make informed decisions about potentially treating your pet with stem cell therapy. Or, if you are in the Perry, GA area and are curious about VetStem Cell Therapy for your pet, Dr. Hutchens is a great resource. Also, follow him on Instagram @johnhutchensdvm for super cute and educational veterinary content!

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Oct 28, 2022

The Future is Now: VetStem Cell Therapy for Cats

Tomorrow is National Cat Day and what perfect timing since our sales and marketing team is currently at the annual American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) conference! For the past few years, VetStem has been a bronze sponsor at this conference and has delivered a talk on the topic of VetStem Cell Therapy for cats to veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

This year, VetStem’s very own Dr. Anne Hale will be delivering a talk entitled Evidence Based Medicine Supporting Stem Cell Therapy in the Feline Patient. In her talk, Dr. Hale will discuss the potential uses of VetStem Cell Therapy in cats. As many of you know, veterinarians have used stem cells to treat renal disease, both acute and chronic, inflammatory bowel disease, gingivostomatitis, and more in cats. This year, Dr. Hale will also introduce a few feline clinical trials that VetStem will be enrolling for soon.

We find AAFP to be one of our favorite shows. From the attendees to the educational offerings, this show has a lot to offer. Feline medicine is unique in the field of veterinary medicine. For a long time, cats were often treated like small dogs. However, there are several physical and physiological differences between cats and dogs that are important to understand from a caregiving standpoint.

One major difference is that cats metabolize drugs very differently than dogs. This is why there are limited treatment options when it comes to pain in cats. While dogs tend to tolerate NSAIDs and other pain medications relatively well, cats do not. There are some NSAIDs approved for short-term post-operative use in cats, but there are currently no veterinary NSAIDs approved for safe, long-term use to control osteoarthritis pain in cats.

This is one of the reasons that technologies such as VetStem Cell Therapy are so important in feline medicine. Stem cells can help control pain and inflammation, can regulate the immune system, and can help regenerate damaged tissues. This makes stem cell therapy a potential treatment option for a wide array of diseases that are lacking effective treatment protocols in cats.

If you think your cat may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to find a VetStem provider near you.

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Oct 21, 2022

Equine Veterinarian Reaches 500 VetStem Cases

Though we frequently talk about VetStem Cell Therapy for dogs and cats on this blog, the first patient to receive VetStem Cell Therapy was actually a horse way back in 2004. This horse was treated for a tendon injury that would have normally been career-ending. By 2007, the number of horses treated reached 2,000, with a high return to performance rate.

One of VetStem’s earliest providers, Dr. Martin Gardner, began providing VetStem Cell Therapy to his equine patients back in 2005. Dr. Gardner is a well-known equine lameness practitioner and VetStem Cell Therapy proponent. He is the owner of Western Performance Equine based in Ione, California, where he works with associate veterinarians Dr. Dylan Costello and Dr. Colton Ramstrom.

As one of VetStem’s most dedicated proponents, Dr. Gardner recently reached 500 VetStem cases. This is a major milestone that only one other vet has reached thus far. The majority of his patients are performance horses that receive stem cell therapy for orthopedic injuries. His use of VetStem’s adipose derived stem cells has been primarily in soft tissue injuries (ligament and tendon issues) and, according to Dr. Gardner, has resulted in a higher than average return to full/previous exercise levels for the horses treated.

Numerous horse owners have reported that VetStem Cell Therapy helped get their horse back to work. In fact, based on survey results from horse owners, 76% of horses returned to full work at their prior level after treatment for suspensory ligament injuries, 77% returned to full work after treatment for tendon injuries, and 57% returned to full work after treatment for joint disease.

If you think your horse may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us for 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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Sep 16, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy for Pain Management in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, VetStem Cell Therapy

Animal Pain Awareness Month continues and this week we are discussing stem cell therapy for pain management in pets. As most of our readers know, thousands of animals have experienced an improved quality of life as a result of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. While stem cells have many mechanisms of action including the ability to differentiate into many tissue types and stimulate the regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues, they also have the ability to reduce pain and inflammation.

Stem Cells Can Reduce Inflammation

The ability of stem cells to regulate inflammation is important when it comes to pain management. Through cellular communication, stem cells are able to limit inflammatory responses and actually shift from a pro-inflammatory environment to an anti-inflammatory environment. By reducing inflammation, stem cells promote healing and increased comfort.

Stem Cells Directly Modulate Pain

While a reduction in inflammation can lead to increased comfort, current literature supports that stem cells also have the ability to address both acute and chronic pain directly. Initial impressions about the functions of stem cell therapy have focused on healing, regeneration, and reduced inflammation, while more recent studies have looked at the ability of stem cells to directly modulate pain. The recent literature demonstrates that stem cells secrete pain blocking cytokines (small proteins), which can have opioid-like effects. Interestingly enough, these effects can actually be reversed by Naloxone, an opioid antagonist.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Pain Management

Veterinarians see and treat pain in their patients every day. There are numerous treatment options available including medications, devices, and surgery. Stem cells are another tool veterinarians can employ to treat pain in pets. VetStem Cell Therapy has the advantage of being a readily available, natural source of anti-inflammatory and pain blocking cells. This can be especially beneficial for cats and some dogs who do not tolerate anti-inflammatories well.

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

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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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Aug 5, 2022

Veterinary Care for Retired Police Dogs

Recently, an article was published that described a new bill that was signed into law in Florida. Bill 226 established the Care for Retired Police Dogs program to create a $300,000 recurring funds program under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to provide subsidized veterinary care for retired law enforcement dogs.

Police dogs are often worked hard and can occasionally become injured on the job. According to the article, “The Care for Retired Police Dogs Program will provide a reimbursement of up to $1,500 of the annual veterinary costs associated with caring for a retired police dog. This includes annual wellness checks, vaccinations, parasite prevention treatments, medications, and emergency care for the animals.”

At VetStem, we have a tender spot for police dogs. We have actually provided cell therapy services for a number of police dogs throughout the years. One common injury among working dogs occurs in the semitendinosus muscle, which is part of the hamstring muscle group. Injury to this muscle can result in a buildup of fibrosis, or scar tissue, which causes the muscle to contract and shorten. This contracture leads to lameness and an abnormal gait in the affected dog.

This condition, known as semitendinosus myopathy, can be career-ending for working dogs. Traditional treatments include rest, medication, rehabilitation, and surgery. Unfortunately, none of these methods have been fully successful, and many dogs do not return to their full activity.

That’s where VetStem comes in! We contributed to a study to evaluate the use of stem cells to treat semitendinosus myopathy and the results were incredibly promising. The study included eight working police K-9s that were diagnosed with semitendinosus myopathy. Each dog was treated with VetStem Cell Therapy and all eight dogs returned to active police work. In addition, each dog’s gait returned to normal.

We recognize the importance of the work that these dogs do, and the fact that many of them risk injury and even put their lives on the line. The new bill in Florida is just a small step to show our gratitude for the sacrifices these hard-working dogs make. At VetStem, we are pleased to contribute what we can to help keep police and other working dogs happy and healthy long into their retirement years.

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Jul 22, 2022

Back to the Basics: What Are Stem Cells?

Much of our blog is dedicated to the various disease processes that can potentially be treated with VetStem Cell Therapy. But it’s been a while since we’ve discussed the basics of stem cells. What are stem cells? What purpose do they serve? We will answer these questions and more in this week’s blog.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are specialized cells that have the ability to differentiate into over 200 types of known cells in the human body. Some of these cells include tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, cardiac, nerve, muscle, blood vessels, fat, and liver tissue. Because of this, some have referred to stem cells as “the building blocks of life.”

When we think of stem cells as building blocks, we are most likely thinking of embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells exist only at the earliest stages of development. They are pluripotent, meaning they can differentiate into any cell type. The function of embryonic stem cells is to form whole organs and organisms.

Alternatively, adult stem cells include multiple types of stem cells that are present in almost all tissues of the adult body. They can be multipotent or unipotent, meaning they can only differentiate into one type of cell. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells that have demonstrated the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types. When used for VetStem Cell Therapy, adult MSCs are extracted from fat tissue, one of the richest sources of MSCs in the body.

What purpose do stem cells serve?

As mentioned above, embryonic stem cells serve one purpose: to form whole organs and organisms. Adult stem cells on the other hand, are utilized by the body to replenish dying cells and to repair damaged tissues. This discovery is what led to multiple studies to help determine the full therapeutic benefits of adult stem cells.

VetStem Cell Therapy: A Therapeutic Application of Stem Cells

VetStem uses adult MSCs in an effort to repair damaged tissues in animals with various injuries and diseases. But this is not the only mechanism of action that stem cells utilize in the healing process. Stem cells have also been shown to down-regulate inflammation, reduce pain, and modulate the immune system. All of these mechanisms, and more that we’re still learning about, make stem cell therapy a multimodal approach to healing.

If you think your pet 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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