Dec 1, 2023

Meet VetStem’s Newest Cats for National Cat Lovers’ Month

Posted by Bob under Cats

Today officially kicks off National Cat Lovers’ Month and we want to introduce you to the newest members of the VetStem Clowder! But first, if you’re curious about how VetStem Cell Therapy can be used in cats, check out our recent blog.

This sweet orange boy is Rusty. His favorite activities include causing trouble and stealing the dog’s bed. Additionally, he has a hankering for food that rivals a teenage boy. It’s been reported that he has already figured out how to open the pantry door. He’s also been known to jump on the dining room table and climb legs to access the food that should surely be shared with him. His mom is excited (or not…) to see how he reacts to the Christmas tree. Who wants to take bets on how that goes?


Our newest addition doesn’t have an official name yet, though he has earned a few nicknames including “Mako” (as in the shark…) or just simply, “Crazy.” He’s a rescue Siamese who was found in a box at just a week old. He was nursed back to health and is now lovingly described as “AWFUL but cute.” As you can see from his picture below, he loves to play with (read: torment) his dog sister, Darby. We know it’s not a great picture, but we feel it captures his personality perfectly. Darby wants to know if anyone would like a free Siamese kitten?

Mako “playing” with Darby
Nov 17, 2023

Exercise as Medicine for Dogs: National Take a Hike Day

Posted by Bob under Exercise For Pets

Happy National Take a Hike Day! As you have probably heard us say before, hiking can be a great exercise for both people and dogs to help control symptoms of osteoarthritis.

We frequently discuss the benefits of regular, low-impact exercise for dogs. Walking can be very beneficial when it comes to joint health. Low-impact exercise can lubricate joints and strengthen muscles, two benefits that may delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Hiking can be a good way to mix up your regular walks around the neighborhood.

While hiking can be fun and beneficial for both dog and owner, it is best to check with your veterinarian before embarking on any major hikes. Experts agree that regular, short-interval exercise is key, as opposed to doing one big activity on the weekends, such as a long or strenuous hike. That being said, there are many hiking trails that are shorter and less strenuous. It’s a good idea to do your research to find a hike suited to your dog’s athletic ability.

Mick, Dr. Harman’s dog, on a hike with a view!

Our very own founder and CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, spends his spare time hiking with his border collie, Mick. As an avid hiker, Dr. Harman sometimes spends several days hiking and camping in the mountains in and around California. With his experience and passion for the sport, Dr. Harman offers advice for hikers of all levels: Choose your trail and map out your hike before you leave the house. This will ensure you know what to expect on your hike so you can prepare yourself and your dog accordingly. Always make sure to pack enough water and a snack or two for both yourself and your canine companion. Keep an eye out for signs of fatigue, dehydration, or discomfort in your dog. If you notice any concerning signs, it may be best to turn back before finishing the hike. You can always try again another day!

Happy trails, my friends!

Nov 10, 2023

VetStem Sponsored Wildlife Conservation Stem Cell Workshop

Posted by Bob under Exotic Animals, VetStem

As you may know, VetStem has worked with multiple exotic animal organizations to provide stem cell therapy to several exotic species including elephants, bears, numerous aquatic animals, and big cats, just to name a few. These animals have been treated for everything from orthopedic conditions to viral diseases to organ failure to traumatic injuries and more. Given our great deal of experience, it’s no wonder that VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, was recently invited to participate in the first of its kind stem cell workshop supporting wildlife conservation.

VetStem user, Dr. Jeff Christiansen, treating Brody, a black bear at the Brevard Zoo

The Stem Cell Technology for Genetic Rescue Workshop was held on September 17-20, 2023, in La Jolla, California. The workshop brought together 45 global leaders in stem cell science to share their experience and expertise and to discuss how stem cell technology can further wildlife conservation efforts. Not only did Dr. Harman bring real life experiences to the discussion, VetStem was also a sponsor of the workshop.

At VetStem, we take our job very seriously when it comes to the research and development of innovative regenerative medicine treatments for animals and diseases that have minimal treatment options. Maintaining the health and well-being of endangered exotic animals is particularly crucial and has become a community effort.

While our primary goal is to bring relief to the animals that need it, there is potential that stored stem cells may aid in wildlife conservation efforts down the line. VetStem has the ability to cryopreserve stem cells and currently has a bank of stem cells from over 40 different exotic animal species. We are happy to contribute to the mission and will continue our own research to develop potentially life-saving stem cell treatments for these animals.

Nov 3, 2023

One Health Day: Animals Helping People

Posted by Bob under Translational Medicine

Today, November 3rd, is One Health Day. According to the One Health Commission, “One Health Day answers the urgent need for a One Health trans-disciplinary approach towards solving today’s critical global health challenges.” At VetStem, we have seen this idea of “one health” in action with the creation of our human company, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc.

Personalized Stem Cells (PSC) was formed in 2018 to bring legitimate stem cell therapies to people. PSC used all of VetStem’s animal data to receive approval for two FDA approved stem cell clinical trials. The first clinical trial was for knee osteoarthritis in people, a condition that numerous dogs have received VetStem Cell Therapy for. The second clinical trial utilized VetStem’s intravenous injection data to receive approval to treat COVID-19 patients. Both clinical trials demonstrated solid safety and preliminary efficacy.

Moving forward, PSC plans to pursue an additional clinical trial for knee osteoarthritis, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) trial, and more! Additionally, PSC has the ability to bank stem cells for potential future use, much like VetStem’s StemInsure program. There are a few different programs through the FDA that may allow patients to access their stem cells.

But One Health has worked both ways for us. Interestingly enough, the success of the COVID-19 trial gave us the idea to use stem cells in the treatment of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV). EEHV is a lethal viral infection that can cause a highly fatal hemorrhagic disease in elephants. VetStem has provided stem cell doses to several zoos in the United States who had elephants with EEHV and has gathered some promising data.

All of that is to say that at VetStem, we know a thing or two about One Health and we’re happy to bring awareness to this cause.  

Oct 27, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy for Cats: Three Common Uses

National Cat Day is fast approaching, and we never miss an opportunity to talk about VetStem Cell Therapy for cats. While stem cells are primarily used for orthopedic conditions, many veterinarians have used VetStem Cell Therapy to help treat and control symptoms associated with diseases such as kidney disease, gingivostomatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
All three of these diseases are prevalent in cats and have limited treatment options.

Stem Cells 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. Owners and veterinarians have also reported improved appetites, weight gain, and increased energy in cats treated with VetStem Cell Therapy.

Stem Cells for Gingivostomatitis

Gingivostomatitis is another debilitating condition found in cats. It is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gums, which can lead to inappetence, reduce grooming, and weight loss. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. Common treatments include lifelong medical management with antibiotics, steroids, and pain medications and/or full mouth teeth extractions.

A recent clinical study demonstrated that intravenous administration of adipose (fat) derived stem cells could ameliorate the clinical signs of gingivostomatitis. Additionally, veterinarians and cat owners have reported an improvement in symptoms and quality of life in cats treated with VetStem Cell Therapy.

Stem Cells for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an intestinal disorder that affects both cats and dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the intestines and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and weight loss. It is important to note however, that these symptoms can be indicative of several conditions including feline lymphoma. Since VetStem Cell Therapy is contraindicated in pets with cancer, it is essential to rule this out before pursuing treatment with stem cells.

Multiple cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for IBD (dogs too!). And we have had reports from veterinarians and owners regarding the improvement of their patients and pets after treatment with stem cells. Additionally, in a recently published paper, 5 out of 7 IBD cats that were treated with stem cells significantly improved or had complete resolution of symptoms, whereas the 4 control cats had no improvement.

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 VetStem providers near you.

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.

Oct 13, 2023

World Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Posted by Bob under Pet Obesity

October 11th was World Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Obesity is a preventable disease that can cause or exacerbate serious health conditions in pets. Unfortunately, in recent years, pet obesity has been declared an epidemic.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2022 59% of dogs and 61% of cats were classified as overweight or obese. In a similar report from Banfield, 1 out of every 3 dogs and cats are overweight and the numbers have continued to go up over the last decade. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise in pet obesity rates. These include lack of exercise, genetics, misconceptions about what is considered overweight, specific diseases, as well as overfeeding.

Unfortunately, obesity can cause or exacerbate several serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis. A separate report from Banfield concluded that osteoarthritis (OA) has been on the rise over the past ten years with a 66% increase in dogs and a150% increase in cats. These statistics make sense given that obesity has also been on the rise.

The link between obesity and osteoarthritis is an unfortunate vicious cycle: Weight gain causes more wear and tear on your pet’s joints, leading them to be less active and potentially gain more weight. If weight is not lost, the cycle will continue. Furthermore, reduced activity often leads to more stiffness and pain. As we discussed in last week’s blog, regular, low-impact exercise tailored to your dog’s breed and physical abilities may reduce the severity or even delay the onset of osteoarthritis.

If you are unsure if your pet is overweight, it may be a good idea to speak with your veterinarian. Veterinarians are trained to assess your pet’s Body Condition Score or “BCS” (see BCS charts for Dogs and Cats to learn more). In addition to increasing controlled exercise, calorie control is also essential. Your veterinarian can help create a diet plan specific to your pet’s needs. Maintaining an ideal body weight is crucial in minimizing discomfort related to osteoarthritis.

Oct 6, 2023

Walking to Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Exercise For Pets

The first week of October is National Walk Your Dog Week and we’ll take every opportunity to share the benefits of walking! According to the website, “Walk Your Dog Week aims to improve the health and wellbeing of America’s dogs.” Walking has many benefits for our canine friends such as providing mental stimulation and an outlet for their energy. Perhaps more importantly, walking can benefit a dog’s joint health as well.

If you follow our blog, you’re probably familiar with the statistic that approximately 1 out of every 5 dogs is diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) in their lifetime. Thus, it’s important that we take care of our dogs’ joints from an early age. While there are several ways to support a dog’s joints, studies have found that regular, low-impact exercise, such as walking, can support joint health in dogs with and without OA.

There are several ways in which walking benefits a dog’s joints. One benefit of walking is weight loss or maintaining an ideal weight. Like with people, regular physical exercise can contribute to reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. When dog’s are at an ideal weight, there is less stress on their joints and therefore less wear and tear.

Additionally, walking can help to strengthen the muscles and supporting soft tissue structures around the joints to promote increased joint stability. This kind of movement can also improve joint fluid circulation, which is beneficial to maintaining healthy joint cartilage. With all of these benefits combined, walking has shown to delay the onset and/or reduce the symptoms of OA in dogs.

Of course walking is not a foolproof method to stopping or curing OA altogether. Your veterinarian can offer advice in terms of supplements and other ways to support your dog’s joint health. Additionally, VetStem Cell Therapy has shown to reduce pain and lameness associated with arthritis in dogs, thereby leading to a better quality of life.

If you think your pet may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area. And in the meantime, how about going for a walk to celebrate National Walk Your Dog Week!

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.

Sep 22, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy for Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

We’re back with another pain-themed blog for Animal Pain Awareness Month. This week, we are discussing VetStem Cell Therapy as a means to control pain in pets. 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.

The ability of stem cells to down-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.

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. Stem cells have shown to 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.

This helps to explain why we consistently hear from pet owners and veterinarians alike that patients treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for things like osteoarthritis or injured cruciate ligaments, experience increased comfort within just days of receiving treatment. By directly decreasing the pet’s pain, their comfort level goes up while the stem cells continue to perform their healing duties.

Thousands of animals have experienced a better quality of life as a result of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Stem cells have 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 pain medications 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.