Oct 5, 2011

First Stem Cells for a Panther with Arthritis

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy

Vet-Stem has teamed up with Dr. Norm Griggs of Shepherds Spring Animal Hospital and the Cat Life Foundation in order to help a panther with arthritis.  The Tallahassee Museum’s male Florida panther recently underwent a stem cell procedure that could potentially help heal a problem in his leg. 

“This treatment is the first known attempt of its kind in a panther in the United States and the gradual results are closely being monitored by the panther’s vet and Museum staff,” said Tallahassee Museum Animal Curator Mike Jones. “The Museum is appreciative of the opportunity to participate in this cutting edge process that will hopefully help our panther as well as help pave the way for this technique to help other large cats.”

During the treatment, Dr. Norm Griggs of Shepherds Spring Animal Hospital, the consulting veterinarian, removed about two ounces of belly fat from the cat. The fat was then air shipped to a firm in California where it was broken down and approximately 33 million stem cells were isolated and saved. The stem cells were then flown back to Tallahassee where Dr. Griggs carefully injected about eight million cells directly into the panther’s front right elbow. The remaining cells are being stored in California for backup procedures, if needed. The entire process took 72 hours to complete.

The goal of the stem cell transplant is to grow cartilage in the panther’s leg in order to provide relief. The two-year-old cat arrived at the Museum last April with preexisting arthritis in his right elbow and a stick fracture caused by an injury when he was a year old. When veterinarian Dr. Griggs recommended looking into a stem cell transplant to possibly provide relief to the cat, a stem cell therapy company called Vet-Stem was contacted. After reviewing the panther’s information, Vet-Stem felt he was such a good fit for this procedure that they agreed to waive most of the costs and proceed. Cat Life Foundation is providing the remaining funds to cover the cost. This procedure has mostly been used on horses and dogs in the past.

Information for this post provided by: http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Panther_From_Tallahassee_Museum_Undergoes_Groundbreaking_Procedure_129899958.html

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