Feb 16, 2024

Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

As Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week comes to an end, we would like to recognize the invaluable contributions of these professionals in the world of animal care. Veterinary assistants play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of veterinary clinics and hospitals, providing essential support to veterinarians and technicians. From comforting anxious pets to assisting with surgical procedures, their dedication and compassion are apparent in every aspect of their work.

Beyond their technical skills, veterinary assistants often serve as a reassuring presence for both animals and their people, offering empathy and support during challenging times. This week is an opportunity for us all to express gratitude for their hard work and unwavering commitment to the well-being of animals.

At VetStem, numerous members of our team began their careers as veterinary assistants. This foundational experience facilitated a seamless transition into the field of regenerative veterinary medicine. The dedication and diligence inherent in their roles as veterinary assistants continues to translate into their work at VetStem.

Whether it’s cleaning kennels, administering medications, or assisting veterinarians and owners with stem cell questions, veterinary assistants demonstrate a level of devotion that deserves recognition and appreciation. Let’s celebrate their vital role in the veterinary field and express our heartfelt thanks for the compassion and care they bring to their work every single day.

Dec 8, 2023

International Day of Veterinary Medicine

International Day of Veterinary Medicine is celebrated each year on December 9th. This day was established to bring recognition to the tremendous efforts and impact of veterinary professionals around the world. Most pet owners appreciate the invaluable services veterinarians provide in keeping their pets happy and healthy, but there are additional reasons to recognize this group of dedicated, hard workers.

If you’ve been following along with our blog, then you’ve definitely heard the term “One Health.” In fact, we recently shared a blog recognizing One Health Day. One Health is the idea that veterinary and human health are inextricably linked. For instance, advances made in veterinary medicine have also helped in human healthcare. Examples include vaccines, organ transplants, numerous medications, and even stem cell therapy!

Another example of the link between human health and the health of animals is zoonotic diseases, or diseases that can be passed between animals and humans. There are numerous zoonotic diseases including rabies, intestinal parasites, and multiple viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. By controlling these diseases in animals, veterinary professionals are also helping to ensure a healthy human population.

So while we may appreciate our veterinarians for their tireless work to keep our pets feeling their best, International Day of Veterinary Medicine is a day to recognize the field as a whole. All veterinary professionals from vets to techs to scientists have a hand in keeping animals, and thereby people, healthy.

Sep 15, 2023

Common Signs of Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Veterinary Medicine

For those who missed our last few blogs, September was declared Animal Pain Awareness Month by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). Animal Pain Awareness Month was established to raise awareness and to help veterinary professionals and pet owners recognize and manage pain in animals.

Unfortunately, recognizing pain in our pets is not always easy. Some instances of acute pain are likely to be more obvious, such as pain from an injury or surgical procedure. However chronic pain tends to come on more slowly and thus, we may not recognize the signs for a while. An example of chronic pain is pain from osteoarthritis.

As part of their efforts to educate pet parents about recognizing pain in pets, the IVAPM has a list of the most common signs of pain. They are:

  • Decreased activity – Take notice if your animal is not playing as much as usual
  • Not going up or down stairs – This could be an early sign of osteoarthritis
  • Reluctance to jump onto surfaces – This especially applies to cats
  • Difficulty standing after laying down – This is a sign of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased appetite – This can signal mouth pain
  • Over grooming or licking a particular area – This can be a sign of referred pain

For a more comprehensive list of the common signs of pain in dogs and cats, visit the IVAPM website.

Additionally, they have put together checklists for dogs and cats that can be used to help determine if your pet is in pain.

While September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these potential signs of pain at all times. If you notice that your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, a trip to your vet may be in order.

Feb 10, 2023

Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

Next week is Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week! Veterinary Assistant Appreciation Week was only recently started by The Stephen & Christine Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in 2022. Since most of our staff are former veterinary assistants, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge these key players in your pet’s veterinary care.

Veterinary assistants are an integral part of the veterinary team. As you may have guessed, their job is to assist veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians in all aspects of patient care. Some of their responsibilities may include ensuring patient comfort, sterilizing and preparing animal care equipment and facilities, animal restraint, as well as patient and client advocacy.

At VetStem, one of our main focuses is on education. We want to ensure that veterinarians and their team are educated and informed about VetStem Cell Therapy so they can answer their clients’ questions about treatment with stem cells. We understand that sometimes veterinary assistants are the messengers when it comes to explaining the VetStem process. As such, we do our best to make sure that all members of the veterinary team are informed about the ins and outs of stem cell therapy.

To do this, we offer online learning modules that are open to veterinarians and their team. We also provide local in-person and remote lunch and learns. This gives us a great opportunity to educate the entire team about VetStem Cell Therapy while also showing our appreciation by providing them with lunch.

We understand the value and knowledge that veterinary assistants bring to the team and know that veterinarians couldn’t do what they do without them! So if you get the chance, consider thanking your veterinary assistants next week.

Dec 9, 2022

International Day of Veterinary Medicine

Posted by Bob under Veterinary Medicine

Each year on December 9th, we celebrate International Day of Veterinary Medicine. On this day, veterinary professionals are recognized for their hard work and tremendous efforts in promoting the health and well-being of animals across the globe. Though one day is hardly enough to celebrate this dedicated group of medical professionals, we’d like to take this opportunity to discuss the impact that veterinary workers have not only on animals but on humans as well.

Veterinary medicine is not for the weak of spirit. It’s a challenging job physically, mentally, and emotionally. But most will tell you that this line of work is so incredibly rewarding, which often outweighs the challenges. Despite the human-animal bond and the growing evidence of the benefit pets can have on the health of their owners, veterinary professionals are rarely revered on the same level as human medical professionals. And yet, veterinary medicine and human medicine are much more intertwined than one might think.

Many advancements made in veterinary medicine also have a positive impact on human medicine. For instance, numerous vaccines, medications, and medical procedures have come about as a result of research in veterinary patients. In fact, we recently used our own veterinary stem cell data to launch stem cell clinical trials in people with our human company, Personalized Stem Cells.

The link between veterinary and human medicine is known as One Health. According to the CDC, “One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment.” While the One Health concept has gained increasing recognition in recent years, we think it’s important to emphasize the role that veterinary professionals have played in both animal and human medicine. So though International Day of Veterinary Medicine is only celebrated for one day, we will recognize and celebrate the many accomplishments of veterinary professionals every day.

Feb 12, 2021

Platelet Therapy in Veterinary Medicine

This week, we have a special guest blog about platelet therapy use in veterinary medicine from Dr. Amber Vibert. Dr. Vibert is VetStem’s Safety and Technical Services Veterinarian and has extensive experience in both general and emergency veterinary medicine.

Platelet Therapy in Veterinary Medicine

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to our blog today! As VetStem’s new clinical veterinarian, I’m here to give you an added layer of information from a medical perspective. Today I’d like to share with you the capabilities of wonderous cells called platelets. You may have heard the term “Platelet Rich Plasma” (PRP) or “Platelet Enhancement Therapy” (PET) and wondered, “What are platelets and how does this treatment work, exactly?” We have showcased several success stories of pets who have received platelet therapy and now it’s time to look at the science behind the medicine and applications for which they can be used.

Activated platelets releasing their healing molecules

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Platelets are very small cells found in the blood stream of mammals and are best known for their ability to clot the blood. However, there is SO MUCH MORE these tiny but powerful cells can do! A complex signaling system sent out from damaged cells attracts platelets to an injury and tells them to release several healing molecules that they have stored inside of them. In turn, these healing molecules attract a multitude of additional healing cells (including stem cells) to the site of injury or inflammation. Together, these cells have been shown to reduce pain, remove the damaged cells, build new blood vessels, prevent further tissue damage, and generate new healthy cells in place of the injured ones. Amazing!

What Can These Heroes of Healing Be Used For?

In veterinary medicine, platelet therapy is most often used for treatment of joint-related problems such as cruciate ligament tears, osteoarthritis and tendon injuries in dogs, cats, and horses. However, recent research has shown that PRP/PET can also aid in the healing of skin wounds, corneal (eye) ulcers, surgical incision sites, tooth sockets following extraction, and even muscle tears. And the use of platelet therapy is not just limited to our animal companions. You may have heard of NFL players who have received PRP/PET for tendon/ligament injuries and muscle tears. Platelet therapy can also be used in conjunction with stem cell therapy to maximize the effect of both treatments.

A dog receives an injection of platelet therapy into her injured knee
A canine patient receives an injection of platelet therapy into her injured knee

Harnessing the Power of Platelets

The functions of platelets may be complex, but their collection and administration is quite simple. A calculated amount of blood is drawn based on the patient’s size/weight. The blood sample is then either spun in a machine called a centrifuge or injected through a special filter such as VetStem’s V-PET™ gravitational filter system in order to separate the platelets from other blood cells. The final product is a highly concentrated number of platelets suspended in the protein-rich fluid component of the blood called plasma. This solution is then injected (or topically applied as with skin wounds or surgical incisions) to the injury site. And voila! There you have platelet therapy- another way to enhance the body’s own power to heal.

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.