Archive for the ‘VetStem 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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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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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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Jul 17, 2020

Horse Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Ligament Injuries

Posted by Bob under Horse Injuries, VetStem Cell Therapy

Heartbeat is a 22-year-old Oldenberg gelding. When he was 16, he started to show signs of lameness in his left front leg. Extensive examinations and diagnostics revealed his lameness was due to injuries to his lateral collateral and impar ligaments in his left front hoof.

Heartbeat in the Jumper Ring

His veterinarian, Dr. Patricia Doyle of Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy and began the process by collecting fat from Heartbeat’s tailhead. The fat was processed at the VetStem laboratory and 3 syringes of Heartbeat’s own stem cells were shipped back to Dr. Doyle for injection into his injured leg.

In addition to VetStem Cell Therapy, Dr. Doyle recommended a slow, regimented rehabilitation program for approximately 8-12 months following Heartbeat’s stem cell treatment. Veterinarian’s may or may not recommend rehabilitation in conjunction with VetStem Cell Therapy depending on several factors such as the condition being treated and the severity of the condition. Some other horses that benefited from rehab after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy are Jesse, Atlas, and Woody.

Following stem cell therapy and one full year of rehab, Heartbeat returned to the jumper ring and has competed successfully at the lower levels for the past 6 years. Now, at age 22, his owner reports, “He remains sound working six days a week on average and still winning in the show ring.” If your horse has suffered an injury or is suddenly lame, speak to your veterinarian about whether or not VetStem Cell Therapy may help. Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Jul 10, 2020

Vet has Own Dog Treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for Arthritis

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, VetStem Cell Therapy

Emma is a 12-year-old Australian cattle dog. She has arthritis in her elbows and carpus (wrist) and also has spondylosis, a spinal condition in which bony spurs form along the vertebrae. Fortunately for Emma, her mom is a veterinarian and elected to have Emma treated with VetStem Cell Therapy.

In 2018, Emma had her fat collected to begin the process for stem cell therapy. Her initial treatment consisted of three joint injections for her elbows and right carpus, one intravenous injection, and one injection that was given along the muscles of her spine. She responded well to treatment.

After approximately one year, Emma began to slow down again. Her veterinarian requested that Emma’s stem cells be put into culture to grow more stem cell doses for treatment. Once the culture process was complete, Emma received a second round of stem cell injections just over one year after her first treatment.

Again, Emma responded well to the stem cell treatment but, according to her mom, began to show signs of discomfort approximately one year after her second stem cell treatment. Her mom stated, “What we notice is weakness to her back legs and mild limping on her front legs. She will also lick at her carpi and elbows when her pain is acting up. When her rear legs are weak, we notice she has trouble jumping onto the couch. She also needs to stop and rest frequently when we take her on walks.” Emma received a third stem cell treatment in June of this year. Her mom stated, “I know she would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the stem cell treatment.”

Emma’s story is not uncommon. Many VetStem patients have undergone repeat injections when their symptoms start to flare up again. One such patient is Bodie, the champion Bird Dog with hip dysplasia. Fortunately, VetStem offers stem cell storage for patients who receive VetStem Cell Therapy. If available, the stored stem cells can be used for future treatments as needed. For more information about cell storage, read our recent blog on the subject.

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May 29, 2020

VetStem Biopharma Centennial Club

As the first company in the United States to provide adipose-derived stem cell processing services to veterinarians and their patients, VetStem pioneered the use of regenerative stem cells in veterinary medicine. Since 2003, VetStem has trained nearly 5,000 veterinarians across the United States and Canada to perform VetStem Cell Therapy. We have processed fat samples for over 14,000 patients and 30 different species of animals.

Twelve of our VetStem trained veterinarians have provided VetStem services for over 100 of their patients. The “Centennial Club,” as we like to call them, are among the most experienced adipose-derived stem cell providers in the country. Seven of the Centennial Club members are small animal veterinarians while the other five are equine veterinarians. The Centennial Club members are:

Small Animal
Dr. Kim Carlson of North Peninsula Veterinary Surgical Group
Dr. Jamie Gaynor of Peak Performance Veterinary Group
Dr. Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions
Dr. Allyson Berent of Animal Medical Center of New York
Dr. Adam Gassel of Blue Pearl Pet Hospital of Irvine
Dr. Keith Clement of Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Tim McCarthy formerly of Cascade Veterinary Referral Center

Equine
Dr. Ross Rich of Regenerative Therapy Consulting
Dr. Martin Gardner of Western Performance Equine
Dr. John McCarroll of Equine Medical Associates
Dr. Bill Hay of Tryon Equine Hospital
Dr. Scott Reiners of Mountain View Equine Hospital

Each of the above veterinarians has made VetStem Cell Therapy an integral part of their veterinary practice. They are all experienced in case selection and have seen many positive outcomes. We think it’s worth mentioning that two of the above veterinarians have reached even bigger milestones. Dr. Martin Gardner has surpassed 500 stem cell cases and Dr. John McCarroll has over 250 stem cell cases. Additionally, there are four more veterinarians who are approaching 100 stem cell cases.

Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types. In both small animals and horses, stem cell therapy is most often used to treat orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and injured tendons and ligaments. VetStem Cell Therapy has shown to reduce pain and lameness and improve quality of life and return to work for horses. If you would like to locate a VetStem provider near you, please contact us.

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