Archive for the ‘Veterinary Medicine’ Category

Feb 16, 2024

Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

As Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week comes to an end, we would like to recognize the invaluable contributions of these professionals in the world of animal care. Veterinary assistants play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of veterinary clinics and hospitals, providing essential support to veterinarians and technicians. From comforting anxious pets to assisting with surgical procedures, their dedication and compassion are apparent in every aspect of their work.

Beyond their technical skills, veterinary assistants often serve as a reassuring presence for both animals and their people, offering empathy and support during challenging times. This week is an opportunity for us all to express gratitude for their hard work and unwavering commitment to the well-being of animals.

At VetStem, numerous members of our team began their careers as veterinary assistants. This foundational experience facilitated a seamless transition into the field of regenerative veterinary medicine. The dedication and diligence inherent in their roles as veterinary assistants continues to translate into their work at VetStem.

Whether it’s cleaning kennels, administering medications, or assisting veterinarians and owners with stem cell questions, veterinary assistants demonstrate a level of devotion that deserves recognition and appreciation. Let’s celebrate their vital role in the veterinary field and express our heartfelt thanks for the compassion and care they bring to their work every single day.

Dec 8, 2023

International Day of Veterinary Medicine

International Day of Veterinary Medicine is celebrated each year on December 9th. This day was established to bring recognition to the tremendous efforts and impact of veterinary professionals around the world. Most pet owners appreciate the invaluable services veterinarians provide in keeping their pets happy and healthy, but there are additional reasons to recognize this group of dedicated, hard workers.

If you’ve been following along with our blog, then you’ve definitely heard the term “One Health.” In fact, we recently shared a blog recognizing One Health Day. One Health is the idea that veterinary and human health are inextricably linked. For instance, advances made in veterinary medicine have also helped in human healthcare. Examples include vaccines, organ transplants, numerous medications, and even stem cell therapy!

Another example of the link between human health and the health of animals is zoonotic diseases, or diseases that can be passed between animals and humans. There are numerous zoonotic diseases including rabies, intestinal parasites, and multiple viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. By controlling these diseases in animals, veterinary professionals are also helping to ensure a healthy human population.

So while we may appreciate our veterinarians for their tireless work to keep our pets feeling their best, International Day of Veterinary Medicine is a day to recognize the field as a whole. All veterinary professionals from vets to techs to scientists have a hand in keeping animals, and thereby people, healthy.

Oct 20, 2023

VetStem had a busy week attending veterinary conferences!

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine, VetStem

We spent the better part of last week attending two different veterinary conferences. We love attending these shows as they are a great way to meet with existing and potential clients to talk all things regenerative veterinary medicine. They allow us the opportunity to speak to and educate veterinarians and veterinary technicians from all over the country about VetStem Cell Therapy and how they can implement this therapeutic modality in their practice.

The first part of the week was spent in Atlantic City for the Fetch Coastal veterinary conference. This is a smaller group consisting primarily of small animal veterinarians. Many showed interest in regenerative medicine and our platelet-rich plasma options. Fetch hosts multiple shows throughout the U.S. We attended Fetch DVM360 in Kansas City in August and will attend Fetch Long Beach later this year.

Over the weekend, the team was in Memphis for the annual American Association of Feline Practitioners conference. AAFP is a great show with tons of enthusiastic cat vets. Many veterinarians at this conference show interest in our clinical research programs, such as inflammatory bowel disease, gingivostomatitis, and renal disease, as these conditions tend to be prevalent in cats and have limited treatment options.

If you missed us at these shows, don’t worry! Show season is not over yet! You can find VetStem at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) conference and Fetch Long Beach in late November/Early December. And we will of course be back in Las Vegas in February for the Western Veterinary Conference.

Sep 15, 2023

Common Signs of Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Veterinary Medicine

For those who missed our last few blogs, September was declared Animal Pain Awareness Month by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). Animal Pain Awareness Month was established to raise awareness and to help veterinary professionals and pet owners recognize and manage pain in animals.

Unfortunately, recognizing pain in our pets is not always easy. Some instances of acute pain are likely to be more obvious, such as pain from an injury or surgical procedure. However chronic pain tends to come on more slowly and thus, we may not recognize the signs for a while. An example of chronic pain is pain from osteoarthritis.

As part of their efforts to educate pet parents about recognizing pain in pets, the IVAPM has a list of the most common signs of pain. They are:

  • Decreased activity – Take notice if your animal is not playing as much as usual
  • Not going up or down stairs – This could be an early sign of osteoarthritis
  • Reluctance to jump onto surfaces – This especially applies to cats
  • Difficulty standing after laying down – This is a sign of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased appetite – This can signal mouth pain
  • Over grooming or licking a particular area – This can be a sign of referred pain

For a more comprehensive list of the common signs of pain in dogs and cats, visit the IVAPM website.

Additionally, they have put together checklists for dogs and cats that can be used to help determine if your pet is in pain.

While September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these potential signs of pain at all times. If you notice that your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, a trip to your vet may be in order.

Sep 8, 2023

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Veterinary Medicine

As discussed in last week’s blog, September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Animal Pain Awareness Month was created by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) and is dedicated to raising awareness to help veterinary professionals and pet owners recognize and manage pain in animals. But who is IVAPM? In this week’s blog, we will discuss the IVAPM and their important mission in veterinary medicine.

Who is IVAPM?

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) was founded in 2001 by a group of veterinarians, including one of VetStem’s earliest users and collaborators, Dr. Jamie Gaynor. The organization evolved over the years and today, is led by an active board of directors to provide veterinary pain management education as well as a pain management certification program. The current president of IVAPM, Dr. Douglas Stramel, is also an avid VetStem user.

The IVAPM unites veterinary professionals across all disciplines from around the world to advocate for best practices in the treatment of pain in animals. The organization is committed to encouraging pain management for all animal species through education and advocacy. They also encourage various veterinary organizations to raise public awareness about pain and pain management as it pertains to veterinary patients. IVAPM is the leading forum and educational resource for veterinary professionals and pet owners interested in animal pain prevention, management, and treatment.

IVAPM Pain Management Forum

One of the primary goals of IVAPM is to educate the veterinary community to recognize and treat pain in all species of animals. IVAPM provides continuing education on a variety of topics around the world. As mentioned above, they also provide the only interdisciplinary pain management certification program for veterinary professionals.

In addition to these efforts, IVAPM puts on an annual Pain Management Forum to bring together like-minded veterinary professionals who all advocate for the best practices in the treatment of animals in pain. In both 2022 and 2023, VetStem exhibited and sponsored labs at the Forum. 2024 will bring the third annual Pain Management Forum.

Resources for Pet Owners

The IVAPM does not solely focus on educating veterinary professionals. Pet owners play a key role in both recognizing and managing their pet’s pain. Thus, the IVAPM has several resources for pet owners as well. Through their website, pet owners can search for Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioners and also find various resources to help determine if a pet is in pain.

Sep 1, 2023

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Veterinary Medicine

September is here and as some of you may know, this month is very important in the veterinary world. September has been declared as Animal Pain Awareness Month by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). The goal of this month is to raise awareness and to help veterinary professionals and pet owners recognize and manage pain in animals of all species. As such, each year, we dedicate the entire month of VetStem blogs to the topic.

Pain Management in Pets

Just like people, pain in our pets can lead to a decreased quality of life. By managing an animal’s pain, we not only make them feel better, but we also help them live a happier life. IVAPM works to educate veterinary professionals and pet owners to better understand how to recognize and manage pain in pets and, in doing so, has helped the field of veterinary pain management grow tremendously in recent years.

As the field continues to grow, there have been a great many advances for methods to control pain in animals. Pain medications are no longer the only way to control pain. Several newer and more natural alternatives have become more mainstream in veterinary medicine including things like rehabilitation, acupuncture, and even stem cell therapy. With these advances, veterinarians now have the ability to help several different painful conditions that they struggled with in the past.

Types of Pain in Pets

It is important to note that there are multiple types and causes of pain in animals. Pain can be acute such as pain from a recent surgical procedure or injury. Acute pain is characterized by pain that has come on suddenly or has only been present for a short period of time. Alternatively, chronic pain can be more subtle and likely came on slowly over an extended period of time. An example of chronic pain is osteoarthritis pain.

We can further break this down into types of pain. The three primary classifications of pain are nociceptive, inflammatory, and neuropathic. Nociceptive pain is caused by noxious stimulation such as an injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals, or exposure to extreme temperatures. As its name suggests, inflammatory pain is caused by acute or chronic inflammation. And lastly, neuropathic pain comes from damage to an element of the nervous system.

Understanding the types and causes of pain in pets can help pet owners recognize when their pet may be in pain and when to seek help from their veterinarian. Pain management is an invaluable tool in maintaining happy and healthy pets. Stay turned for more pain awareness blogs all month long!

Aug 18, 2023

Osteoarthritis in Cats: Know the Signs

In last week’s blog, we discussed kidney disease in cats and how VetStem Cell Therapy may help. This week, we want to discuss osteoarthritis (OA) in cats so that cat owners know what to watch out for. That’s right, cats get OA too! In fact, a high percentage of cats will get or already have osteoarthritis. According to one study, 91% of cats between 6 months and 20 years old have OA in at least one joint, as proven by X-rays.

National Take your Cat to the Vet Day

But why two cat blogs in a row, you ask? Well August 22nd is National Take your Cat the Vet Day. This day is meant to bring awareness to the fact that the statistics for feline veterinary care are disparagingly low compared to dogs. According to one recent academic survey, only 20% of cat owners said they took their cat to the vet more than once a year, compared to 35% of dog owners. Additionally, 7% of cat owners said they never seek veterinary care, compared to 2% of dog owners. Likewise, in a targeted survey of pet owners conducted by the AVMA, only 48% of cat owners said they sought routine veterinary care for their cat, compared to 79% of dog owners.

Cats are Masters at Hiding Their Pain

There are likely several reasons for this discrepancy, one of which may be the fact that cats tend to be masters at hiding their pain. This tendency is often linked to survival instincts. In the wild, if a cat shows weakness, this may draw unwanted attention from a predator. But in the domestic cat whose only predator is a half empty bowl of food, this tendency to hide pain just means us owners have a hard time knowing when our cat should be taken to the vet.

Preventative Veterinary Care for Cats

Thus, National Take your Cat to the Vet Day promotes the idea of once-to-twice yearly preventative veterinary exams. These types of routine check-ups are important to maintain a cat’s health. Even if nothing appears to be wrong with your cat, routine examinations by your veterinarian may uncover some ailment that your cat has been hiding. In the same way, routine bloodwork can help your veterinarian monitor for diseases such as kidney failure.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis in Cats

But back to OA in cats. For years, osteoarthritis in cats has been underdiagnosed when compared to dogs. One reason for this is that cats with OA present with different symptoms than what we see in dogs. Because of their smaller size and natural agility, cats tend to tolerate bone and joint problems better than dogs. But there are specific symptoms to watch out for.

According to the FDA, “Clinical signs of osteoarthritis in cats include weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects.” Unlike dogs, cats do not commonly present with lameness or limping. Instead, they will be less willing to jump and/or have shorter jumps.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis in Cats

Unfortunately, there are fewer treatment options for cats with OA compared to dogs. Unlike dogs, cats do not tolerate nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medications very well. While there are some NSAIDs approved for short-term post-operative use in cats, there are currently no veterinary NSAIDs approved for safe, long-term use to control osteoarthritis pain in cats. There are some non-drug options including weight loss for overweight cats, increased exercise, as well as environmental accommodations such as elevated food bowls and more easily accessible litter boxes. But these are not the only non-drug treatment options available.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis in Cats

VetStem Cell Therapy is a non-drug treatment option for osteoarthritis in cats, dogs, and horses. It can be particularly beneficial for cats, given that effective treatment options to control osteoarthritis pain are extremely limited. Stem cells have shown the ability to directly modulate pain and down-regulate inflammation. Additionally, stem cells can induce repair and stimulate regeneration of cartilage and other joint tissues. The beauty of VetStem Cell Therapy is that we are harnessing your pet’s own healing power, so it can be considered a natural and holistic approach to managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

If you are interested in having your pet treated with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

Jul 28, 2023

Platelet-Rich Plasma Use in Veterinary Medicine

While we primarily focus on stem cells, another exciting tool in the regenerative medicine bucket is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP is defined as concentrated platelets in plasma. But what does PRP do and what can it be used to treat?

Platelets release chemical messengers to call stem cells and other healing cells to orchestrate repair.

The Healing Properties of Platelets

To understand how PRP works, we first need to understand what platelets do in the body. Platelets are very small cells found in the blood stream of mammals and are best known for their ability to clot the blood. However, there is much more that these tiny but powerful cells can do. A complex signaling system sent out from damaged cells attracts platelets to an injury and tells them to release several healing molecules that they have stored inside of them. In turn, these healing molecules attract a multitude of additional healing cells (including stem cells) to the site of injury or inflammation. Together, these cells have been shown to reduce pain, remove the damaged cells, build new blood vessels, prevent further tissue damage, and generate new healthy cells in place of the injured ones.

What can PRP be Used to Treat?

In veterinary medicine, PRP is most often used for orthopedic problems such as cruciate ligament tears, osteoarthritis, and tendon injuries in dogs, cats, and horses. However, recent research has shown that PRP can also aid in the healing of skin wounds, corneal (eye) ulcers, surgical incision sites, tooth sockets following extraction, and even muscle tears. Platelet therapy can also be used in conjunction with VetStem Cell Therapy to maximize the effect of both treatments.

PRP Kits: How they Work and the Associated Disadvantages

Historically, PRP has been produced using the patient’s blood. The blood is run through a mechanical device, or kit, each of which requires a unique processing method. The end result is concentrated platelets in plasma (PRP), however the exact concentration of platelets in the final product is not usually known.

This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage when using kits to produce PRP. There are several variables that can affect the final platelet concentration such as the current health of the patient, platelet count of the patient, operator handling of the sample, and the effectiveness of the kit used to produce the PRP. In a recent comparison of four PRP kits for the production of equine PRP, these kits demonstrated a lack of uniformity relating to the final platelet count and platelet concentration, and each kit failed to meet their respective platelet concentration claim.

Consistency is Key: PrecisePRP

Fortunately, VetStem found a way to significantly reduce these disadvantages. PrecisePRP™ is a freeze-dried, donor-derived platelet-rich plasma; truly an off-the-shelf PRP. Each vial of PrecisePRP™ is uniform in platelet characteristics and concentration. This eliminates the variability mentioned above so that veterinarians know exactly what they’re injecting every single time, which can increase positive treatment outcomes. Additionally, PrecisePRP™ is not a kit and does not require processing, making it an easy and convenient alternative to currently available PRP kits.

We took the development of this product very seriously to ensure a positive safety profile. All donors are screened according to the FDA CVM guidance 254. Each batch is sterility, endotoxin, and quality tested to meet precise product release specifications. In controlled safety studies of dogs and horses, there were no notable adverse events related to treatment with PrecisePRP™. This unique product is currently available in both dog and horse formats.

Pretty exciting stuff! Want to learn more? Visit for more information.

Feb 24, 2023

VetStem at the 2023 Western Veterinary Conference

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine, VetStem

The VetStem Sales and Marketing team just returned from several days at the 2023 Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) in Las Vegas. These veterinary conferences are a great way to meet with existing and potential clients to talk all things regenerative veterinary medicine. WVC is one of the largest veterinary industry shows in the nation and VetStem has exhibited at this show for over 15 years.

Veterinary trade shows allow us the opportunity to speak to and educate veterinarians and veterinary technicians from all over the country about VetStem Cell Therapy and how they can implement this therapeutic modality in their practice. Many veterinarians show interest in our clinical research programs, such as inflammatory bowel disease and renal disease, as these conditions tend to have limited treatment options.

This year, we were excited to give attendees a sneak peak at an upcoming product. Unfortunately, it’s too early to spill the beans here, but it’s definitely something to get excited about! Follow VetStem on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with our latest news and announcements.

Perhaps most exciting was the fact that Mick, who belongs to VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, made his official trade show debut! He did great and was the perfect gentleman in the booth. Though still a puppy, he is doing wonderfully with his training.

Feb 10, 2023

Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

Next week is Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week! Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week was only recently started by The Stephen & Christine Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in 2022. Since most of our staff are former veterinary assistants, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge these key players in your pet’s veterinary care.

Veterinary assistants are an integral part of the veterinary team. As you may have guessed, their job is to assist veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians in all aspects of patient care. Some of their responsibilities may include ensuring patient comfort, sterilizing and preparing animal care equipment and facilities, animal restraint, as well as patient and client advocacy.

At VetStem, one of our main focuses is on education. We want to ensure that veterinarians and their team are educated and informed about VetStem Cell Therapy so they can answer their clients’ questions about treatment with stem cells. We understand that sometimes veterinary assistants are the messengers when it comes to explaining the VetStem process. As such, we do our best to make sure that all members of the veterinary team are informed about the ins and outs of stem cell therapy.

To do this, we offer online learning modules that are open to veterinarians and their team. We also provide local in-person and remote lunch and learns. This gives us a great opportunity to educate the entire team about VetStem Cell Therapy while also showing our appreciation by providing them with lunch.

We understand the value and knowledge that veterinary assistants bring to the team and know that veterinarians couldn’t do what they do without them! So if you get the chance, consider thanking your veterinary assistants next week.