Archive for the ‘VetStem Cell Therapy’ Category

Apr 12, 2024

What happens after VetStem Cell Therapy injections?

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

On last week’s VetStem blog, we shared what happens to your pet’s fat after it is collected for stem cell therapy. This week, we’ll go into some detail about what to expect after your pet receives their stem cell injections.

The standard VetStem process takes place in approximately 48 hours. On day 1, your veterinarian collects fat from your pet. On day 2, the fat is processed at the VetStem laboratory to extract and concentrate your pet’s stem cells. And on day 3, your pet receives their stem cell injections. But what happens after they are injected? Well, each veterinarian has different protocols. For instance, some pets may stay overnight for monitoring, while other pets may go home the same day. After that, your vet may recommend various rehabilitation exercises at home or back at the hospital, depending on what was treated.

Many owners want to know when they should expect to see results. While we can give basic expectations based on 20 years of experience, every pet is different, and some pets require longer or even additional treatments before they experience noticeable results. We generally say to wait for about 90 days after treatment. If there are no noticeable results after 90 days, this can be due to several reasons. We will usually recommend that your veterinarian do a full work up on your pet (if not already done) to make sure that there are no additional problems that may be inhibiting your pet’s healing. We also offer vet-to-vet consults with VetStem’s staff veterinarians to go over your pet’s case and help to determine if another round of stem cell doses may help.

Here are some statistics we have gathered over the years to help give you a better picture of how VetStem Cell Therapy has helped dogs and horses who were treated for orthopedic conditions:

Dog Stats:

Horse Stats:

As we discussed in last week’s blog, after sending the initial stem cell injections to your veterinarian, all of your pet’s additional stem cells are put into cryopreservation. This essentially means that the stem cell will be “asleep” in sub-zero temperatures and ready to “wake up” should your pet require an additional treatment. One of the many benefits of VetStem Cell Therapy is our ability to store and also grow more of your pet’s stem cells so that one fat collection procedure provides a lifetime supply of doses.

Apr 5, 2024

What happens to my pet’s fat at VetStem?

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Have you ever wondered what happens after your pet has fat collected for treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy? If so, we have some good news for you: we’re going to break down the steps in between fat extraction and stem cell injection in this week’s blog!

VetStem Cell Therapy begins the same for every pet. First, your pet must have fat extracted during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. For dogs and cats, the fat tissue is most commonly taken from their abdomen while horses tend to have fat taken from their tailhead. Once extracted, the fat is aseptically packaged by your pet’s veterinary team and shipped overnight to VetStem in a temperature-controlled container.

a VetStem laboratory technician processing stem cells.

Once VetStem receives the fat tissue, our laboratory team processes the package to ensure there are no potential sterility issues and that the temperature is at or below the maximum acceptable temperature. They also confirm that the pet’s name matches what we have in our database to ensure patient identity. If there are any issues with identity or sterility, processes are delayed until we can rectify the issues.

The fat then goes into process in our laboratory. Lab technicians follow strict protocols using VetStem’s patented technology to process each pet’s fat in sterile hoods in our GMP compliant facility. Stem cells are extracted from each sample and counted using an extremely accurate cell counter so we know exactly how many stem cells we get from each fat sample we process. We also confirm the viability of the cells. This allows us to ensure we provide what are considered to be therapeutic doses.

Meanwhile, our customer service team is busy on the administrative side entering data for each pet who is having fat processed that day. We record everything from breed, sex, age of the pet to injury/condition being treated, concurrent treatments, fat collection site and so much more. Customer Service also generates shipping labels so that doses for each patient can be shipped back to your veterinary team via priority overnight.

Stem cell doses are prepared for your pet based on the specific injection requests from your veterinarian. These doses, like the fat tissue, are packaged carefully in a temperature-controlled container and shipped out the same day for receipt at your veterinary clinic the following morning. Most of the time, your pet will receive their stem cell injections the day the doses are received at the clinic, which is approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure.

But the fun doesn’t end there! Our lab technicians also store any remaining cells for your pet, which are carefully labeled in one of several cryotanks. The storage location of extra cells is noted in your pet’s file so we can easily locate them for future stem cell recoveries. This means your pet can receive future stem cell treatments as needed without having to undergo another fat collection procedure.

And there you have it: a day in the life of a fat tissue sample at VetStem. If you’re curious about VetStem Cell Therapy, visit our FAQs page for more information.

Mar 15, 2024

VetStem Provider Surpasses 300 Stem Cell Cases

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy
Yana, a search and rescue K9 that was able to return to work after Dr. Kim Carlson treated her with VetStem Cell Therapy for a muscle injury

We always get excited when one of our clients reaches a stem cell milestone and we recently announced that Dr. Kim Carlson, a small animal surgeon based in the Bay Area of Northern California, surpassed 300 stem cell processes! She is the first small animal veterinarian to achieve this number of VetStem patients.

Dr. Carlson is a board-certified surgeon who has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since 2007. As one of VetStem’s most prolific users, Dr. Carlson consistently advocates for the integration of stem cell therapy in conjunction with orthopedic surgeries such as cruciate ligament repairs, luxating patella surgery, and fracture repairs.

Many of Dr. Carlson’s patient’s experience great success after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, including Oliver, a young Shih Tzu who was successfully treated with stem cells in conjunction with surgery for arthritis in his elbows. One of Dr. Carlson’s most memorable stem cell success stories was that of a search and rescue K9, Yana, who was able to return to work after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for a partial iliopsoas tear.

Stem cells, with their regenerative capabilities and ability to differentiate into various tissue types, play a pivotal role in reducing pain, inflammation, and the formation of scar tissue. Additionally, they aid in restoring range of motion and stimulating the regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. VetStem is proud to partner with veterinarians like Dr. Kim Carlson to provide solutions for animals facing degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis and traumatic injuries such as torn ligaments and injured tendons.

Mar 8, 2024

Akita Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Arthritis

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, VetStem Cell Therapy

Last Friday was National Welsh Corgi Day and today is International Akita Day! We of course have to pay tribute by sharing a VetStem success story about an Akita named Yoshio!


Yoshio faced significant challenges due to bilateral hock dysplasia and osteoarthritis in his joints. By the age of 9.5, he struggled to perform basic activities, like jumping on the bed, and could not stand comfortably. His condition caused discomfort and limited his mobility, leading to lower back spasms and difficulty walking. Determined to alleviate Yoshio’s suffering, his owner followed an extensive physical therapy regimen, including underwater treadmill exercises and cold laser therapy. Despite these efforts and weight loss to ease joint stress, Yoshio found only minimal relief after four months.

In pursuit of a more effective solution, Yoshio’s owner turned to VetStem Cell Therapy. Under the care of veterinary surgeon and longtime VetStem user, Dr. Kim Carlson, Yoshio underwent a minimally invasive procedure to collect fat tissue from his abdomen. The fat was processed at the VetStem lab to extract Yoshio’s stem and regenerative cells. Within 48 hours of the initial fat collection, Yoshio received stem cell injections into both hocks and his right carpus, along with an IV injection.

Yoshio’s owner noticed a significant improvement in his condition within just one week of the procedure. With renewed strength and mobility, Yoshio could run, jump onto beds, and stand comfortably following treatment with stem cells.

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments that affects dogs today. While all dogs can develop arthritis, large breed dogs like Akitas are at a higher risk due to the increased wear and tear on their joints. 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 providers near you.

Sep 29, 2023

Pain Practitioner Treats Agility Dog with VetStem Cell Therapy

As we wrap up Animal Pain Awareness Month, we wanted to share a VetStem Cell Therapy success story. As you may remember from last week’s blog, stem cells have the ability to directly modulate pain, thereby leading to increased comfort and an improved quality of life. This particular patient was treated by the President-Elect of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, Dr. Douglas Stramel. Dr. Stramel, who owns and practices at Advanced Care Veterinary Services, is the first and only Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.


As the President of IVAPM, Dr. Stramel takes pain management very seriously and has made it a primary focus of his veterinary practice. He employs advanced multi-modal pain management protocols including physical therapy, acupuncture, shock wave, laser therapy, and, you guessed it, regenerative medicine. Dr. Stramel has been a longtime user of VetStem Cell Therapy and has treated nearly 50 patients. Thus, when Kim, a German Shepherd and trained agility dog, presented with a partially torn cruciate ligament, he recommended treatment with stem cells.

To begin the VetStem process, Dr. Stramel collected a sample of fat tissue from Kim’s abdomen during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was shipped to the VetStem laboratory where technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Three doses were prepared and shipped to Dr. Stramel for injection and the rest of Kim’s cells were put into cryopreservation for potential future use. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Kim received an injection of her own stem cells into each knee as well as an intravenous injection.

According to her owner, Kim had a great response to stem cell therapy and her knee is still doing well. She was even able to return to competition! Her owner stated, “Kim’s stem cell injection has provided her an opportunity to live her best life. We decided to change sports, so she now does AKC Rally and UKC Nosework. She continues with rehab to keep her knee in the best possible shape. Her rehab includes cold laser, underwater treadmill, and acupuncture therapy every 2-3 months.”

While stem cells have many mechanisms of action, studies focusing on the ability to directly affect acute and chronic pain have been relatively recent. Stem cells can also down-regulate inflammation and contribute to tissue regeneration, all of which helped to get Kim feeling better.

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.

Aug 11, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy for Feline Kidney Disease

VetStem Cell Therapy, while commonly used to treat orthopedic conditions in dogs and horses, has also been successfully used to treat a number of other diseases. One such disease is kidney disease in cats. Nearly 250 cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease.

Kidney disease is one of the most common causes of sickness and death in cats. Common symptoms can include weight loss, lethargy, variable appetite, and poor coat quality. Some cats may also drink and urinate more, vomit, or have diarrhea.

Unfortunately, treatment options for cats with kidney disease are limited and can be costly. The good news is, based upon our own data as well as the data of others, we believe that stem cells may help improve the symptoms and quality of life in some cats with kidney disease. In fact, a review of a small number of feline patients treated with VetStem Cell Therapy showed that blood kidney values were slightly to moderately improved after treatment.

Anecdotal data from pet owners and veterinarians suggests that treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy helps to improve symptoms associated with kidney disease. Owners have reported improved appetites, weight gain, and increased energy. That being said, more data is necessary regarding the use of VetStem Cell Therapy for cats with kidney disease. Thus, we continue to research the use of stem cells for this condition under one of VetStem’s clinical research programs.

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

Aug 4, 2023

Assistance Dog Day: Max’s VetStem Cell Therapy Success Story

August 4th is Assistance Dog Day and next week is International Assistance Dog Week. This is a time to recognize and honor the hard work and selfless love that assistance dogs provide day in and day out. As you probably know, assistance dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities. These disabilities can be physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental. There are many types of assistance dogs including guide dogs for the blind, medical and hearing alert dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and more. In this week’s blog, we are going to share a special story about a psychiatric service dog named Max.


Max has been a trained companion for U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Edward Johnson since 2014. Sgt. Johnson, a purple heart recipient, was shot in the head during combat in Iraq in 2006 and was left with a traumatic brain injury. Max helps Sgt. Johnson cope with PTSD and other debilitating ailments related to his injuries.

Unfortunately, Max tore his cruciate ligament in his knee. As a common injury in large breed dogs, cruciate ligament tear is one of the biggest 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.

Max was obviously in pain and in need of surgery and other medical procedures. Fortunately, his story made the news and through donations and good will, Max was able to have surgery and treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. His surgeon, Dr. Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions, donated his services and organized donations from several others as well. As an experienced VetStem provider, Dr. Christiansen recommended stem cell and platelet therapy in conjunction with the surgery to aid Max’s healing. VetStem provided a free platelet therapy kit as well as discounted stem cell processing services.

According to Dr. Christiansen, Max recovered completely. But as is common, Max suffered a second cruciate ligament rupture in his other leg just over two years after his first surgery. Once again, Dr. Christiansen and several companies, including VetStem, stepped up to provide this dog with top-notch care. Max received surgery on his other knee in addition to stem cells and platelet therapy. Max once again recovered well and hasn’t required a repeat stem cell treatment since.

Jul 14, 2023

VetStem CEO Featured on Fuzzybutts and Friends Podcast

Posted by Bob under Stem Cells, VetStem Cell Therapy

VetStem founder and CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, recently joined Fuzzybutts and Friends on a podcast to discuss VetStem Cell Therapy and the science of stem cells. Joining him is Dr. Angie Zinkus, veterinarian and VetStem enthusiast at Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital. This podcast really gets down to the nitty gritty about stem cells and the various diseases that have been treated with VetStem Cell Therapy. Some of the big questions that are addressed are:

What are stem cells? Where do they come from? What are the mechanisms of action/how do they work? What CAN’T be treated with stem cells? And more!! You don’t want to miss this one!

Click the image below to check out the podcast:

Jun 16, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy for Fragmented Coronoid Process

As you probably know, much of the VetStem blog is spent discussing the treatment of arthritis with stem cells. We talk about things like joint dysplasia and cruciate ligament tears as catalysts for the development of arthritis. In today’s blog, we are discussing Fragmented Coronoid Process, or FCP, a developmental defect that causes arthritis in the elbows.

Nikolai Augustus, a Labrador retriever, was 2 years old when he began limping. X-rays revealed he had broken bone fragments in both of his elbows as a result of fragmented coronoid process, or FCP. FCP is one of the main diseases associated with elbow dysplasia. It is a developmental defect of the two small bony protrusions on the end of the ulna, known as the coronoid processes, within the elbow joint. In this condition, one of the bony protrusions develops a fissure or crack and separates from the ulna. FCP may result in instability and pain as well as decreased mobility and swelling.

The treatment of choice for FCP is surgical removal of the bone fragments and any abnormal cartilage. This procedure can be performed arthroscopically by an orthopedic surgeon, which results in a smaller incision and less damage to the supporting elbow structures. In all cases however, regardless of surgical repair, the patient will develop some degree of arthritis. That’s where VetStem comes in!


Niko’s veterinarian recommended arthroscopy in addition to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. 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. By using VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with surgery, Niko’s vet hoped to delay the progression and reduce the severity of degenerative joint disease in his elbows.

To begin the process, Niko’s vet collected fat tissue from his 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 Niko’s vet for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Niko received one dose of his own stem cells into each elbow.

According to Niko’s owner, he had a great response to the treatment. His owner stated, “One year after surgery and stem cell therapy and Niko is running and playing with the energy of a 3-year-old. We are thankful our vet recommended stem cell therapy for Niko and that he has the bank of stem cells to help treat Niko in the future.”

In addition to the two stem cell doses that were shipped for immediate treatment, several doses of Niko’s stem cells were put into cryopreservation. This is particularly valuable for a patient like Niko who will never have perfect, arthritis-free elbows. In fact, approximately 15 months after his initial treatment, Niko received a follow up treatment identical to his first using some of his banked stem cell doses. Niko’s additional cells will remain in cryopreservation and can be accessed for treatment as needed for the remainder of his life.

If you think your pet may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, contact us to receive a list of providers in your area.

Jun 2, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy for Dog with Arthritis and Torn Ligament

Yesterday, June 1st, was International Sheltie Day. To celebrate, we have a blog for you all about Lady, a Sheltie who received VetStem Cell Therapy for arthritis and a cruciate ligament tear.

Lady suffered with arthritis since she was two years old for which she received various medications at different times. When she was eight years old, she tore the cruciate ligament in her left knee. Though her injury required surgical repair, her veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions, recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy in addition to surgery.


During her knee surgery, Dr. Christiansen collected a sample of fat tissue from her abdomen. The tissue was sent to the VetStem laboratory where it was processed to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Five stem cells doses were prepared and shipped to Dr. Christiansen while the rest of Lady’s stem cells were put into cryopreservation for future use.

In addition to her injured knee, Dr. Christiansen planned to treat Lady’s arthritic joints. Approximately 48 hours after her surgery, Lady received a dose of her own stem cells into her left knee, left hip, and both carpi (wrists), as well as an intravenous dose.

Lady’s owner was very happy with the results of her treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. She stated, “Prior to the stem cell treatments, Lady had a hard time going from a sit-to-stand position and would go outside for no more than 10 minutes at a time. Now she goes on 30-50 minute walks. She is far more playful than she was before the stem cell treatment. The stem cell treatment has been life changing for my fur baby. I would highly recommend stem cell therapy!”

Lady’s initial treatment was back in 2015. In the following years, she received additional treatments utilizing her stored stem cells to help her maintain a good quality of life. She initially received one intravenous dose roughly every 9-13 months. Approximately two years after her last intravenous dose, she received a round of joint injections in addition to an intravenous dose.

This treatment schedule is not uncommon for a dog with arthritis. Because arthritis is a degenerative disease, stem cells can slow the progression of the disease but ultimately will not cure the condition. This is important to note because many pets will require repeat or routine treatments as they continue to age. Fortunately, VetStem has the ability to both store stem cells and produce more stem cells, should your pet require them in the future. This means that just one fat collection can provide a lifetime supply of stem cells for your pet. Stem cells have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain and to contribute to the regeneration of damaged tissues such as cartilage and tendon/ligament. Interested in VetStem Cell Therapy for your pet? Speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.