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 6, 2020

Stem Cell Therapy for Wound Healing

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy, Wound Healing

One topic we have not covered is wound healing. Chronic wounds can be a major problem for pets and present many challenges for veterinarians. Some wounds require significant ongoing medical care which can be both stressful and expensive for pet owners.

Stem Cell Therapy for Wound Healing

Stem cells have many potential uses. Veterinarians primarily use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat orthopedic conditions as well as some internal medicine conditions. Stem cells have shown the ability to reduce inflammation and pain and to lead to tissue regeneration. Adipose-derived stem cells can differentiate into multiple tissue types, including skin. Stem cells also release growth factors and cytokines, which the body uses to promote healing.

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the potential efficacy of stem cell therapy for wound healing. That being said, there is still significant research to be done before any claims of definitive treatment can be made. While the research continues, some veterinarians (and human physicians) are using stem cell therapy experimentally to help with wound healing.

Jaguar Receives Stem Cell Therapy for Severe Burns

In September, a story came out about a jaguar who was severely burned in a wildfire in Brazil. Amanaci, whose name means “goddess of the waters”, was found in an abandoned hen house amidst the fires in the Pantanal wetlands. She had third-degree burns on all four paws and on her belly. Her mammary glands were swollen with milk, indicating she recently had cubs. Veterinarians speculated that Amanaci spent considerable time trying to protect and save her cubs, which is why she was burned so badly. Unfortunately, no cubs were found.

Amanaci was transported to the NEX Institute where veterinarian, Daniela Gianni and several others took over her care. Dr. Gianni, who has previous experience using stem cell therapy in large cats, treated Amanaci’s wounds with multiple rounds of stem cell treatments along with other therapies due to the severity of her condition. And though her treatment is progressing well, it is believed she is not capable of surviving in the wild at this point. Amanaci will likely continue living at the institute along with 23 other jaguars. To read more about Amanaci’s story, click here. Or click here to watch a brief video.

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Sep 18, 2020

Stem Cell Therapy May Reduce Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Stem Cell Therapy

As Animal Pain Awareness Month continues, we wanted to share some information about how stem cells may relieve pain in pets. We frequently share stories about dogs with osteoarthritis who regain mobility and a better quality of life after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy. While stem cells utilize multiple mechanisms of action, one primary benefit of stem cells is their ability to reduce inflammation and pain.

Pain in Pets

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, pets can suffer from acute and chronic pain. Pain in pets can result from a variety of causes and there are three primary classifications of pain:

  • Nociceptive – caused by noxious stimulation (injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals or exposure to extreme temperatures)
  • Inflammatory – caused by acute or chronic inflammation
  • Neuropathic – from damage to an element of the nervous system

Stem Cells are Anti-Inflammatory

One major mechanism of action is the ability of stem cells to down regulate inflammation. By reducing inflammation, stem cells promote healing and increase comfort. When used to treat osteoarthritis, stem cells may promote cartilage regrowth and therefore healthier and less painful joints.

Stem Cells Act Directly on Pain

While a reduction in inflammation can lead to increased comfort, current literature supports that stem cells have the ability to address both acute and chronic pain directly. Recently, there have been studies to evaluate stem cells’ direct effects on modulating pain. Stem cells have been shown to secrete pain blocking cytokines (small proteins), which can have opioid-like effects. Stem cells have also shown the ability to reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous tissue).

If you think your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Sep 4, 2020

VetStem Raises the Bar for Veterinary Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy, VetStem Biopharma

As the first company to provide adipose derived stem cell services to veterinarians in the United States and Canada, VetStem has processed nearly 14,000 patient samples resulting in over 30,000 stem cell treatments for animals. VetStem Cell Therapy is primarily used for the treatment of orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis as well as torn tendons and ligaments in dogs, cats, and horses. In addition to domestic animals, VetStem has worked with multiple exotic animal organizations to provide stem cell therapy for several exotic species. (Read last week’s blog about Brody the bear!)

Veterinarians have also used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat several “non-standard” indications. Some of these include feline chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, feline gingivostomatitis, and canine keratoconjunctivitis sicca (“dry eye). While we are still researching the full capabilities of stem cells, veterinarians have seen promising results when treating these and other conditions with VetStem Cell Therapy.

VetStem has been providing stem cell processing services to veterinarians for their patients for over 17 years. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality stem cell processing services for all patient samples. Our laboratory technicians undergo extensive training and dedicate the majority of their workday to stem cell processing. All patient samples are processed in bio-safety cabinets in hepa-filtered cleanrooms. We take sterility and patient safety very seriously.

In addition, VetStem determines the cell yield and viability of each sample to ensure an accurate dose prior to shipment. Using cell counting technology allows us to know the number of cells packaged in each stem cell injection. We continually draw upon existing and new research as well as 17+ years of experience to determine appropriate cell numbers.

If you think your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of using VetStem Cell Therapy. We have provided a letter you can take to your vet to help them get better acquainted with the science behind stem cell therapy and VetStem’s services. Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.  

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May 22, 2020

VetStem CEO Joins ACRM Board of Directors

The American College of Regenerative Medicine (ACRM) has asked VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, to join their board of directors. As the CEO and co-founder of both VetStem and human subsidiary, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc. (PSC), Dr. Harman has nearly two decades of experience working with stem cells and regenerative medicine.

VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman

The first of its kind, the ACRM is a multi-specialty, interdisciplinary medical organization. The ACRM was formed to promote the science and ethical use of regenerative medicine with a strong emphasis on global interdisciplinary collaboration. Board members include medical doctors and surgeons, a dentist, a registered nurse and our very own veterinarian, Dr. Harman.

The ACRM’s mission statement encompasses everything from physician and patient education to safety and scientific advancement. While regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy is not new, there is still much to learn about regenerative cell therapies. The ACRM is fully committed to patient safety and a high standard of care. Like VetStem and PSC, the ACRM advocates for patient safety by following FDA guidelines and maintaining compliance.

The interdisciplinary focus of the ACRM will allow for the amalgamation of knowledge and expertise from doctors across multiple fields. Dr. Harman brings nearly two decades of experience with regenerative medicine in the veterinary field to share. With the launch of PSC in 2018, Dr. Harman can also provide insight into human regenerative medicine and FDA approved stem cell clinical trials. We hope this “One Medicine” approach will ultimately lead to understanding regenerative cell therapies more fully and open the door for additional FDA approved regenerative treatment options.

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May 1, 2020

PSC Prepares to Launch COVID-19 Clinical Trial – You Can Help

Posted by Bob under COVID-19, Stem Cell Therapy

Our human stem cell company, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc. (PSC), recently announced that they filed a request with the FDA for expedited review of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with stem cells. PSC was asked by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to apply for expedited review through a new FDA program called the Coronavirus Therapeutic Accelerator Program (CTAP). CTAP was launched to help expedite the approval process of clinical trials for promising COVID-19 therapies.

Stem Cells for COVID-19

Recent studies evaluating the effects of stem cell therapy in COVID-19 patients have come out of China and Israel showing strikingly positive results. Stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to reduce scar tissue formation. Stem cell therapy has the potential to reduce the serious lung complications that occur as a result of infection with COVID-19. The goal of treatment is to reduce time spent in the ICU, reduce ventilator needs, and increase chances of survival for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

PSC has scaled up production of stem cells in their FDA-inspected facilities to be ready to provide stem cell treatments upon FDA approval. If approved, the initial COVID-19 clinical trial, termed “CoronaStem 1,” will provide treatment for twenty hospitalized COVID-19 patients with serious complications. The first trial will be conducted in a limited number of local San Diego hospitals. PSC anticipates additional approvals and potential compassionate use in the future to allow for many more patients to be treated.

How can you help?

As a small business, PSC is utilizing their own resources to ramp up stem cell production. However, supplies and laboratory technicians are necessary to further increase production of stem cells. PSC plans to provide stem cell treatments to COVID-19 patients at no cost to the patient which requires additional money to pay the doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who will be performing the clinical trial. Thus, PSC is reaching out to the public for donations to help in this fight against COVID-19. Your tax-deductible donation will allow PSC to provide stem cell treatments for as many COVID-19 patients as possible. All donations will go towards increasing stem cell production and paying doctors, nurses, technicians, and all those involved in performing the medical procedures for the clinical trial.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all, many of us are looking for ways in which we can help. PSC has partnered with the San Diego Foundation, a 501c3 organization, to collect tax-deductible donations to further PSC’s efforts. Learn more about how your donation can help PSC fight COVID-19.

You can make a difference! Click here to donate today.

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Nov 22, 2019

Documentary Featuring VetStem Receives Another Award

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

In our blog about translational medicine, we announced that VetStem was featured in an award-winning documentary, Animal Pharm: Where Beasts Meet BiotechThe film was included in the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades International Film Festival in Los Angeles, California where it received the award for Best Nature and Animals Film.

The documentary focuses on regenerative veterinary medicine as a means of improving the quality of life for domestic and wild animals and heavily features VetStem, including an interview with VetStem Founder and CEO Dr. Bob Harman.  Dr. Harman explains that when he first conceived of and formed VetStem, he was called “crazy.” Over time however the thinking has evolved so that regenerative medicine is now regarded as a legitimate and valuable tool for veterinarians.

We recently received the exciting news that the film will be featured in the Palm Beach International Mini Movie and Film Festival on December 9th in Palm Beach, Florida.  Not only will the film be featured, the producers will also be presented with the award for Best Documentary!  Congratulations to everyone involved in the making of the film.

We are proud to be a part of this film and believe that it provides a great service to the public by providing legitimate education about cell therapy in the veterinary field and how this can assist the field of human stem cell therapy.    

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Mar 29, 2019

Stem Cells in Conjunction with Surgery

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, Stem Cell Therapy

We recently posted a blog entitled “Stem Cell Therapy vs. Surgery” but what about stem cells in conjunction with surgery?  Well, stem cells can absolutely be used in conjunction with surgery and may further benefit the healing process and overall patient outcome.

Stem cells are anti-inflammatory and can modulate pain.  They have been shown to have the ability to reduce scar tissue formation, regenerate cartilage tissue, and restore elasticity to injured tendons and ligaments.  When stem cell therapy is combined with a surgery, the animal gets benefit from both treatments.  For instance, if a dog has a torn cruciate ligament that requires surgical repair, performing stem cell therapy in conjunction with the surgery may lead to reduced healing time, less pain/more comfort during recovery, and less scar tissue, which may ultimately lead to less arthritis down the road.  The same goes for arthroscopy, in which a veterinarian clears arthritic joint space of abnormal bone or cartilage.  Injecting stem cells after surgery may lead to healthy cartilage regeneration and ultimately more comfort for the patient.

Cruciate ligament repair and arthroscopy are two common procedures that we see used in conjunction with stem cell therapy.  For instance, Lady received VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with cruciate ligament repair surgery while Pearl received VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with arthroscopy to treat arthritis in her elbows.  Another patient, Sheldon, received VetStem Cell Therapy after arthroscopy to treat arthritis related to Fragmented Coronoid Process (FCP) in his elbows.

If your veterinarian has recommended surgery to repair a torn tendon or ligament or to treat arthritis, ask about adding on VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy to further benefit the healing process.  Or, if you would like a list of VetStem providers in your area, send us a Locate a Vet request.

Sheldon after Arthroscopy and VetStem Cell Therapy
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Mar 8, 2019

Questions from a Recent Veterinary Conference

We recently exhibited at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This veterinary trade show is well attended due to its size, location, and plethora of educational opportunities.  I spent several days in the booth along with the team, meeting and speaking with veterinary professionals from across the globe.  These trade shows are always a good opportunity to connect with our current clients and educate future clients about Regenerative Veterinary Medicine.  Every year, we get a lot of good questions, some of which we think animal owners would like to know about as well.  Below we have answered some of the questions we received while at the conference.

  1. Why do you use fat-derived stem cells rather than bone marrow?

Fat tissue has been shown to have 100 to 500 times the amount of stem cells as bone marrow per amount of tissue collected.  On top of that, fat is generally plentiful and easily collected.  Because of this, culturing, or growing, more doses is usually not necessary and therefore cells can be returned for treatment within 48 hours after collection – a critical time for healing of acute injuries before scar tissue has formed – rather than several weeks.

  1. If stem cells are processed with an in-clinic system, is that more sterile than if the fat is sent to the VetStem laboratory for processing?

Simple answer: No. VetStem uses sterile Bio-Safety cabinets which are inside of hepa-filtered clean rooms.  As clean as your veterinary office may appear, you can’t get any cleaner than a “clean room” that is designed specifically to process stem cells.  We take sterility very seriously at VetStem, to the point that we may recommend delaying treatment if we feel a sample’s sterility has been compromised.

  1. Which is better, Platelet Rich Plasma or Stem Cell Therapy?

When speaking in terms of healing, we believe the “gold standard” is a combination of both stem cell and platelet therapy.  When the two are used together, they have a synergistic effect, meaning they work together to speed healing and reduce pain and inflammation.  Stem cells have a number of jobs including the down-regulation of inflammation and pain as well as tissue regeneration.  Stem cells also have the ability to home to areas of injury/inflammation.  While platelets contain many types of growth factors that help attract additional healing cells, they cannot respond to cellular signals, specific tissue needs, or the severity of the injury.  That being said, platelet therapy has its advantages.  For one, platelets are concentrated in a closed system (unlike the stem cell kits that aren’t a closed system) right in your veterinarian’s office so there is very little wait time between collection and treatment.  Also, platelet therapy is sometimes used when stem cell therapy is not financially possible.

  1. Does adipose-derived stem cell therapy work? How long do the effects last?

VetStem has been providing stem cell treatments for animals since 2004.  With over 17,000 treatments, including for multiple animals from the same veterinarians over the years, many have found benefit in using stem cell therapy.  But we’re going to be honest and say that it doesn’t work for ALL conditions and it doesn’t have the same effects for all patients.  Some patients do better than others and the results depend on a variety of factors including severity of the disease being treated, lifestyle of the animal, and the management of the patient after stem cell injection.  Just like with people, physical therapy is usually part of an orthopedic treatment plan. These same factors can contribute to the longevity of the effects of stem cell therapy.  We see dogs who receive one treatment and experience good results that don’t require another treatment for many years, if at all.  We also see dogs with severe joint disease that benefit from repeat treatments every six month to a year.  So again, it’s very case dependent.  Your veterinarian can help you to determine if your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy.

  1. Why should I choose VetStem instead of other stem cell companies?

There are many reasons why thousands of veterinarians and their pet owners have chosen to use VetStem services over other regenerative medicine companies.  We highlighted some of the important reasons in a previous blog that you can find here.

We hope these questions/answers have provided some insight into why VetStem is a leader in the field of Regenerative Veterinary Medicine.  We enjoy educating our peers, be they veterinarians, technicians or pet owners!  If you have further questions about Regenerative Veterinary Medicine or VetStem, feel free to contact us or speak to your veterinarian.  Or, to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area, submit a Locate a Vet request here.

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Nov 2, 2018

Stem Cell Therapy for Cats Part 2: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Posted by Bob under Cat Stem Cells, Stem Cell Therapy

Last week, we shared part 1 of this blog series regarding stem cells for cats.  While stem cells may be an effective treatment for arthritic felines, there are a few other diseases for which stem cells may be beneficial including Chronic Kidney Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Gingivostomatitis.  In last week’s blog, we discussed Chronic Kidney Disease.  In part 2 of this series, we will look at Inflammatory Bowel Disease and how stem cells may be of benefit.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by inflammation in the gut.  Some of the common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, reduced appetite, and weight loss.  It is important to note however that these symptoms can be indicative of several various ailments such as food allergies, bacterial or viral infections, and intestinal parasites.  Typically, these problems can be resolved with dietary changes and/or antibiotics while IBD is generally responsive to immunosuppressive therapy such as steroids.

Also, when considering stem cell treatment for cats with IBD, it is necessary to rule out Lymphoma as the underlying cause of the symptoms.  VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy is contraindicated in patients with active cancer.

In a case study where a 4-year-old Himalayan cat developed IBD, treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy quickly resolved the cat’s diarrhea and vomiting and led to an increased appetite.  To add to that, in a recently published paper, 5 out of 7 cats that were treated with stem cells were significantly improved or had complete resolution of symptoms whereas the 4 control cats had no improvement.1

If your cat has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, stem cell therapy may provide relief.  Contact us today to locate a VetStem Credentialed veterinarian in your area.  And stay tuned for part 3 of this blog series in which we will discuss stem cells for Gingivostomatitis.

Note: Dogs with IBD may benefit from stem cell therapy as well.

 

1. Webb, TL and Webb, CB (2015) Stem cell therapy in cats with chronic enteropathy: a proof-of-concept study. J Fel Medand Surg(10). 17, 901-908.

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