Feb 3, 2023

Golden Retriever Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Arthritis

In honor of National Golden Retriever Day, we are sharing a VetStem success story about a Golden Retriever named Makalia. At a young age, Makalia was diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia. At approximately two-years-old, Makalia underwent elbow arthroscopy in her left leg, which was the worst of the two. Despite the procedure, Makalia would limp on and off. Her owners managed her pain with medication for several years.

When Makalia was eight years old, she began limping on her right front leg more. The limp got progressively worse and eventually she became completely lame on that leg. After laser therapy didn’t help, Makalia’s veterinarian, Dr. Adam Gassel, recommended arthroscopy on the right elbow in addition to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy on both elbows.

Makalia

To begin the process, Dr. Gassel collected fat tissue from Makalia’s abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. At the same time, he performed arthroscopy on her right elbow. Her fat tissue was shipped to the VetStem processing lab where it was processed to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Three injectable doses of Makalia’s stem cells were shipped back to Dr. Gassel. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Makalia received an injection of her own stem cells into each elbow as well as intravenously.

In a 90 day follow up evlauation, Makalia’s owners noted that she was no longer lame. Her stiffness, pain, and energy level had improved and she was no longer having problems walking or jumping. Her owner stated, “I didn’t realize how much pain she was in because now she is a new dog. Happier and playful again.”

Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers are among the breeds that have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with joint dysplasia and osteoarthritis. The good news is, VetStem Cell Therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with OA and can even lead to the regeneration of healthy cartilage tissue.

If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or click here to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Oct 7, 2022

Walk Your Dog to Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis

Happy National Walk Your Dog Week! Each year, we like to bring attention to this very important topic. Walking your dog has many health benefits, both for you and your pup. Walking is a low impact exercise that can provide mental stimulation and also improve joint health. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the benefits of walking to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Approximately 1 in 5 dogs is diagnosed with osteoarthritis. OA is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage within a joint breaks down, causing changes in the surrounding bone. Common symptoms of OA include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. In dogs, the majority of OA cases stem from a developmental orthopedic disease such as joint dysplasia. It can also develop as a result of an injury such as a cruciate ligament tear.

Walking to Improve Joint Health

Since so many dogs develop OA, it is important to take care of their joint health from an early age. One way to do this is by taking regular walks. Though every pet is different, most dogs can handle at least some amount of regular walking. Walking is a relatively easy and low-impact exercise that can help to support joint health in dogs with and without OA.

Walking May Improve OA Symptoms

Like in people, walking can help to reduce the symptoms or delay the onset of osteoarthritis in dogs. Walking regularly can help dogs lose weight, thereby causing less stress on the joints. It can also help strengthen the muscles and supporting soft tissue structures around the joints, promoting increased joint stability. In addition, walking increases joint fluid circulation which is beneficial to maintaining healthy joint cartilage.

It is important to remember that every pet has different capabilities. For instance, some dogs may not be able to handle one long walk per day and instead may benefit from shorter, more frequent walks. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian about your dog so that they recommend an exercise plan tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

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May 27, 2022

Therapeutic Massage for Arthritis in Pets

As most of you know by now, arthritis is one of the most common diseases that afflicts pets. In fact, according to most estimates, 1 in 5 dogs is affected by osteoarthritis. Additionally, it is estimated that 40-92% of cats are affected by arthritis. There are numerous potential treatment modalities for arthritis including medications, rehabilitation, and even VetStem Cell Therapy. Another emerging treatment option is therapeutic massage.

Complementary Arthritis Treatments

When it comes to treating arthritis, a multimodal approach may be best. For instance, some pets may benefit from treatments such as rehabilitation or acupuncture, in addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medications. The goal is for these treatments to complement one another to help make the animal more comfortable. One such treatment that is arguably underutilized is therapeutic massage.

Massage Therapy for Arthritis in Pets

Though it has been used for some time in human medical conditions, massage therapy is still an emerging field in the veterinary world. Unfortunately, studies of effectiveness are severely lacking. That being said, some human data, in addition to anecdotal evidence, suggests that massage therapy may be useful to improve the quality of life in pets suffering from arthritis pain.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Arthritis in Pets

Massage therapy has multiple benefits that may lead to a reduction in arthritis symptoms. Most notably, massage promotes healthy blood flow to muscles throughout the body. This is particularly helpful to animals that have reduced activity and movement due to arthritis pain. By keeping muscles healthy and reducing atrophy, massage helps to facilitate healthy use of the body by maintaining muscle and joint function for as long as possible.

That being said, this field of therapy is still emerging so you likely won’t find it at every veterinary hospital. Additionally, the laws vary by state regarding who can legally practice massage therapy. As with any new treatment option, it is wise to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian to help make the most informed decisions for your pets.

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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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Nov 19, 2009

Stem cells relieve arthritis pain in Barney

These are the great stories I love to come across. Sarah Perham had her dog Barney treated with stem cells, and the results were so amazing to her, she started a website and blog about her dog’s stem cell procedure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 6, 2009

How do you tell if your pet has OA?

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis
  • Do they limp?
  • Are they less active, sleeping more often, not interested in normal routines?
  • Are they reluctant to jump up on the bed or into the car?
  • Do they sleep less and circle a lot to get comfortable when lying down?
  • Do they have difficulty getting up from a “sit” or a “lie down”?
  • Do they have muscle atrophy?
  • Stand over your dog looking down on his spine- do you see the front end of your dog well developed while the back end has gotten skinny?
  • Do they lick the top of their paws?
  • Do they lack stamina on walks? i.e Used to walk a mile every night, now 3 blocks is their limit
  • Do you feel and hear crackling and popping in your dog’s joints?

These signs could mean that your dog has arthritis. Your veterinarian can confirm a diagnosis of OA with a good physical examination, a good lameness examination and x-rays. Note I separated out the physical exam from the lameness. The physical exam encompasses the total animal, but the lameness is about their gait, stride, range
of motion, and joint pain tolerance.

Have you discussed options for treating arthritis with your veterinarian?

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