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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Sep 28, 2018

Feline Arthritis: It’s Not Just a Dog Problem

Posted by Bob under Cat Arthritis, Stem Cell Therapy

As you may know, the majority of our blogs focus on canine arthritis.  But let’s not forget about our feline friends.  Like dogs, cats are living longer, healthier lives and also suffer from common “old age” problems such as osteoarthritis. In fact, in a retrospective study conducted at a major veterinary school, radiographs from 100 cats that were presented to the teaching hospital for illnesses unrelated to arthritis were re-evaluated.  90% of the cats had radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease.

How do you know if your cat has arthritis?  Well, first of all, they may not show the same
signs of arthritis that dogs do.  For instance, they may not noticeably limp the way dogs do.  Cats generally hide their pain very well.  Listed below are some questions you can ask yourself to see if your cat may have osteoarthritis.

  1. Is your cat less active than he/she used to be?  While cats are not known to be high performance athletes, a change in activity level may indicate pain associated with arthritis and not necessarily just normal ‘lazy’ cat behavior.
  2. Is your cat missing the litterbox? While this could be a behavioral issue or the sign of a kidney or bladder issue, also consider OA. Some cats may be too painful to want to step into and out of a litterbox.
  3. Does your cat take longer to get up from lying down or have difficulty moving around?  If your cat no longer jumps on that high ledge like he/she used to, your cat may have arthritis.

Did you answer yes to one or more of the above questions?  If so, you should consult with your veterinarian to determine if your cat has arthritis.  While there are not a lot of safe options for controlling pain in cats, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy has been shown to be a low-risk and effective treatment for osteoarthritis.  If you are interested in consulting with a credentialed VetStem provider, contact us to receive a list of providers in your area.

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Aug 17, 2018

Does it matter where the fat for stem cell therapy comes from?

A very common question from veterinarians and dog owners is, “Does it matter where you take the fat from for stem cell therapy?”  The simple answer is “No” but let me explain.  (Actually, if you were the dog, you might object to my statement…)  First, why are we interested in fat anyway? This is because, of all the tissues in the body, the fat tissue is the easiest to collect (we all have extra) and it is the most rich in stem cells.  Yes, even more than bone marrow by a factor of 500X!  The fat in our bodies, and of our pets, is the richest and easiest source of these incredible regenerative cells.

So, where to take a little nip and tuck?  A very well done scientific paper analyzed the VetStem database to see if the collection location made a difference (Astor, 2013).  First, let’s define “difference.”  Scientists use statistical tests to see small differences, but for our purposes, let’s say that a difference is significant if it means we have to collect a lot more fat to get the same number of cells.  Using this definition, there is essentially no real difference between taking fat under the skin in the belly, under the skin by the shoulder, or making a small incision like in a spay and taking a sample from the abdomen.  All are essentially the same.  The paper also looked at differences by age, breed, and sex of the patient and got the same answer: there were small differences but none that really mattered.

So what is the conclusion?  You veterinarian can collect fat from any of these three locations and should be able to get a good yield of stem cells from each.  That being said, about 75% of all fat collections are from the “spay” type method of getting abdominal fat.  Even skinny dogs have fat there and it is quick and easy for both the veterinarian and the patient.  But all three methods are perfectly acceptable in the clinic and will provide a very rich source of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine.

 

References

Astor D, Hoelzler M, Harman R, Bastian R.  Patient factors influencing the concentration of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) for adipose-derived stromal cell (ASC) therapy in dogs. Can J Vet Res 2013;77:177-182.

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Aug 3, 2018

VetStem Reaches Milestone: Over 14,000 Patients Treated

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy, VetStem Biopharma

From our first patient in January 2004, a thoroughbred race horse named Xpress Xcess, to the 32 new patients that were treated in July, VetStem has reached a milestone: over 14,000 patients have been treated with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy!

As the first company to provide adipose-derived stem cell services to veterinarians across the United States and Canada, VetStem has been a leader in the field of regenerative veterinary medicine for over a decade.  Through peer-reviewed studies, multiple case reports, and numerous success stories, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis as well as tendon and ligament injuries.

The VetStem team works hard to remain relevant and reputable.  We take pride in our strict procedures and protocols, which are guided by FDA regulations.  Our R&D and Clinical Development teams work tirelessly to research new uses for stem cells and create new stem cell protocols.

VetStem continues to contribute to the growth of the rapidly developing regenerative medicine market.  We would not be where we are today without the nearly 2,500 veterinarians and over 10,000 dog, cat, and horse owners who have entrusted us with their patient’s and their animal’s stem cells.  For that, we thank you!

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Jul 6, 2018

How Do Stem Cells Work?

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy

Most of us know how the VetStem Cell Therapy process works: fat is collected from your pet, the fat is shipped to the VetStem laboratory where it is processed into injectable stem cell doses, and those doses are shipped back to your vet for injection into your pet.  But do you know how stem cells themselves work?

Stem cells are like little homing devices.  When an injury occurs, the stem cells home to the site of injury via the bloodstream and begin their work.  They start by releasing specialized molecules that help to grow new blood vessels, reduce swelling and pain, and also send a signal to additional healing cells to replace the lost or damaged cells.  These specialized repair cells are known as progenitor cells.  In addition to this, they produce special “drugs” that help block the formation of scar tissue.

While stem cells are very capable, some factors may lead to the body being unable to fully repair itself.  Sometimes an injury is so severe that surgical repair is required to help the body heal.  Sometimes the body’s natural healing needs some help to do the job quickly and efficiently.  That’s where stem cell therapy comes in.

When injuries like partial cruciate ligament tears occur, delivering a concentrated dose of stem cells directly to the injury may help to speed the healing and reduce scar tissue formation.  By reducing scar tissue, arthritis is less likely to form in the affected joint.

In a case where an animal already has osteoarthritis, introducing a concentrated dose of stem cells to the affected joint may help to rebuild the cartilage that cushions the joint.  The stem cells signal to the cartilage progenitor cells to come and heal the damaged cartilage.  By repairing the cartilage, the joint becomes more cushioned thereby making the pet less painful.

If you think that your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak with your veterinarian or contact us to find a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Mar 30, 2018

Stem Cell Therapy For More Than Arthritis?

Although this blog primarily focuses on stem cells for arthritis, we thought a post about other indications for stem cells might be helpful to some.  We frequently get questions from animal owners about whether or not VetStem Cell Therapy might help with various illnesses or diseases.  Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is no.  Oftentimes, the answer is maybe.  In this blog we will cover some of the potential indications for stem cell therapy.  It is important to remember however that all of the following treatments are still in the investigational stages.  VetStem cannot guarantee that your animal will have a favorable outcome, should you decide to have him/her treated with stem cells.

Kidney Disease: This is one of the most frequent inquiries we get.  Unfortunately, many pets will experience kidney disease in their lives.  Kidney disease can be either acute (sudden onset, lasts a short time) or chronic (develops over a long period of time, may worsen over time).    Some veterinarians have treated kidney patients with VetStem Cell Therapy.  While they have seen some favorable results, more investigation is needed to confirm the effect of stem cells on patients with kidney disease.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD is a group of disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs.  This is another condition that some VetStem veterinarians have treated with stem cell therapy.  There is literature to suggest that the use of fat-derived stem cells in canine patients with IBD can lead to significant improvement and even complete remission in some cases.  Of course every patient is different and IBD can be very complicated to diagnose so it is important to ensure your dog has a complete workup before pursuing stem cell therapy as a potential treatment option.

Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis: This is a severe oral inflammatory disease affecting felines.  Cats with this disease may experience oral pain, reduced appetite, and weight loss.  Oftentimes, these cats will need to have all of their teeth extracted and even then, some will still require lifelong medications and treatment.  VetStem Cell Therapy might provide relief.  Two small studies on cats with full mouth extractions conducted at the University of California at Davis have shown that fat-derived stem cell therapy led to improvement or remission in the majority of cats treated. A few veterinarians have seen favorable results using VetStem cell therapy however more investigation is needed.

Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH): This condition applies specifically to equines.  Many performance horses experience bleeding in their lungs following strenuous exercise.  Traditional therapy includes medications that can reduce the amount of hemorrhaging but don’t actually treat or cure the disease.  In a clinical research program conducted by VetStem, it was determined that the majority of horses treated with VetStem Cell Therapy experienced significant improvement with little to no bleeding post racing.

This is just a small list of what we consider non-standard indications that may respond to stem cell therapy.  As a reminder, these conditions are still in the investigational stages and your animal may or may not respond as expected.  If your animal is suffering from one of these conditions or a condition that is not listed here, it is best to consult with your veterinarian and contact VetStem to get more information about your animal’s specific condition.  You can also contact us here to get a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jan 26, 2018

Elsie, a Golden Retriever, Treated for Arthritis with Stem Cells

Elsie’s story is one of inspiration. She had a sad beginning, having been bred in a puppy mill to be sold at a pet store. At 8 weeks old, Monica purchased Elsie, unaware of her origin. As many puppy mill stories go, Elsie began having health issues at a very young age. At just 9 months old, Elsie was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia and was in need of a hip replacement. Though many told her to put Elsie down, Monica didn’t think twice about the procedure and by 11 months of age, Elsie was given an artificial hip that brought her many years of comfort.

It wasn’t until she wasElsie On The Beach Dog Hip Dysplasia about 10 years old that Elsie’s hip arthritis began to cause her back end to give out. She knew she had to do something to help Elsie be more comfortable and mobile so she sought the expert advice of Dr. Charles Bruce at Alta Vista Animal Hospital in Ontario, Canada. In 2015, Elsie received her first round of stem cell injections. Over the next 11 months, Elsie received stem cell therapy every 3-4 months and her owner reported that she was walking better, playing with her toys, swimming, and was once again enjoying life.

To read more about Elsie’s story, click here.

 

If you think your dog is suffering from pain, discomfort, or lameness, contact VetStem today to see if there is a veterinary stem cell provider in your area.

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Jan 19, 2018

Global Leaders in Stem Cell Therapy Meet in San Francisco

Last week the largest gathering in the world on healthcare convened in San Francisco. The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) held its annual “State of the Industry” talk that reviewed 2017 and previewed 2018. It was, without doubt, the most exciting such update since ARM began this briefing.

The briefing on 2017 showed not one, but three cell therapy approvals! Although these cell therapies are directed at cancer therapy, they are cell therapy and showed that the FDA is willing to fast-track really legitimate new cell products. Perhaps more exciting to us in the adult stem cell area is the recommendation by a European Medicines committee to approve the first adipose-derived stem cell therapy for human Crohn’s Disease! This is the same type of cell therapy product that VetStem is testing for approval in veterinary medicine. This would be a first in Europe for people!

The briefing also previewed 2018 with the prospect for more approvals and they stated they expect 40 new cell products in the next five years.

VetStem is proud to be in the forefront in bringing cell therapy into the hands of the practicing veterinarian and we are grateful to the many owners who have trusted VetStem to provide Regenerative Cell Therapy for arthritis and tendon and ligament injuries for their beloved animals.

You can watch the Cell & Gene Therapies State of the Industry Briefing here.

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Sep 26, 2011

Service Dog Chancer Receives Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Stem Cell Therapy

The impact of a dogs love, devotion, and special training often makes a huge difference in the lives of people.  Our clinical studies have often described a significant improvement in pain reduction for dogs with arthritis, but sometimes the biggest improvement is in the quality of life as seen by the dog owner.  This is particularly true in the case of service dogs that have a special bond with the people that depend on them for help and support.  Read the rest of this entry »

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May 21, 2010

Stem Cells for Pets – Research or Clinical Reality?

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy

People often believe that Vet-Stem is in the business of Stem Cell Research.  In reality, we are in the business of delivering an animals own stem cells to practicing vets for treatment of arthritis in real patients every day.  My partner of over 20 years is Mr. Mike Dale.  He is the Chief Operations Officer for Vet-Stem and also the head of Marketing.  It is his job to deliver the message about real stem cell therapy to our veterinary customers, and to you.  I asked him to write a short post to you:

How we communicate stem cell medicine to the world.
         By Mike Dale

I have an interesting job.  I get to communicate a message of hope and life changing medicine.  I get to offer the future of medicine today, every day. Read the rest of this entry »

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