Apr 16, 2021

Agility Dog Successfully Treated with VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Kirby is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who has been competing in agility since he was just one and a half years old. Several years ago, he began experiencing intermittent lameness in his hind end, most notably in his hips and left knee. He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and cruciate ligament injuries.

A corgi dog jumping over a bar during an agility competition
Kirby

Because he is such an active dog, his owner pursued several treatment options to help him feel more comfortable. Initially, he was treated with cold laser therapy, underwater treadmill, and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. This combination would help Kirby for a little while and then he would go back to being lame. Next, his mom pursued treatment with platelet therapy. Kirby received concentrated platelet injections into both hips and both knees. His mom reported that he responded well, and the results lasted for a year after the platelet injections.

But after that year, Kirby was sore again. That is when his mom elected to have Kirby treated with VetStem Cell Therapy. His veterinarian collected fat tissue from his abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. His mom described the procedure as such, “The minor surgery to harvest the fat was easy and he recovered quickly.” VetStem laboratory technicians processed Kirby’s fat to concentrate and extract his stem and regenerative cells. Kirby’s stem cell injections were sent back to his veterinarian for treatment. He received one injection into each hip, each knee, and also intravenously.

Approximately two months after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, Kirby was doing much better. According to his mom, he was able to return to agility, competing about once a month with an 80% qualifying rate. In addition, he hikes 12-15 miles with his mom each week. She stated, “I’m so grateful to VetStem for their help and that they have his cells in storage so we can give him more injections in the future if needed!!”

Kirby’s treatment was nearly two years ago and according to his mom, he was still doing well and competing in agility trials as of late 2020. He has not required a repeat injection of stem cells to date!

If you think your dog may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Apr 9, 2021

Can VetStem Cell Therapy Help Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

There are a multitude of diseases outside of orthopedic conditions for which treatment with stem cells has been successful, while others do not respond as well. At VetStem, we work with veterinarians and their pet owners on a case-by-case basis to determine if stem cell therapy may be a viable treatment option. Oftentimes, these patients have diseases that are challenging to treat or current standard therapies are lacking in clinical data. One of these diseases is canine atopic dermatitis (also known as allergic dermatitis or atopy).

What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

Canine Atopic Dermatitis (CAD) is what most dog owners call “allergies.” The primary symptom is itchiness, usually in the feet, face, ears, armpits, front legs, and/or abdomen. Scratching and licking can lead to hair loss, hotspots or other irritations, skin thickening and more. Secondary skin infections and/or ear infections can develop and make symptoms worse.

CAD is a genetic disease that predisposes a dog to certain allergen sensitivities. The allergen(s) are environmental such as pollens, molds, dust mites, dander from other animals (yes, even human dander) or normal skin organisms. While there is still much to learn about CAD disease, we have learned that atopic dermatitis occurs due to a skin barrier defect, which allows allergens to absorb deeper into the skin where the immune system can access them. Thus, when an atopic dog comes into contact with the offending allergen(s), their body creates a skewed immune response leading to an allergic reaction. It is worth mentioning that the symptoms of CAD are very similar to those caused by food allergies or flea allergies and some patients may be affected by more than one condition. Your veterinarian is your best resource for determining if CAD is the cause of your dog’s itchiness.

Traditional Treatments for CAD

In an ideal world, allergic dogs would avoid the allergens they are sensitive to, but CAD allergens are often airborne and thus, even staying indoors does not eliminate exposure. Frequent bathing is helpful in removing the allergens from the skin and allergy desensitization injections can be tailored to each dog after extensive allergy testing is performed, however both of these treatments require much time and effort that some families may not be able to accommodate. While more innovative treatments have been developed in recent years such as oral medications or canine antibody injections, truly effective treatment options remain limited, may be expensive, and do not cure the condition but rather control the “itchiness” symptom. CAD is a lifelong disease that will require lifelong management.

Stem Cells for CAD – Mechanisms of Action

One tool that stem cells utilize is immunomodulation, or the ability to modify the immune response. Since there is an immune component to atopic dermatitis, it is theorized that stem cells can down-regulate a dog’s immune response and therefore, his/her body may not overreact to specific allergens and he/she will not become overly itchy.

Stem Cells for CAD – The Research is Limited

There are very few studies on the use of adipose derived stem cells to treat canine atopic dermatitis. And the two most relevant studies reached conflicting results. While one study showed no significant improvement of clinical signs or symptoms, the second study showed significant improvement. In addition, results from the second study lasted for at least six months. Because studies are limited, we can not say for certain that stem cells improve symptoms in dogs with atopic dermatitis.

What about anecdotal evidence?

Multiple veterinarians have utilized VetStem Cell Therapy for atopy in both dogs and cats. Some veterinarians have reported an improvement in symptoms after treatment with stem cells. In some cases, patients have required less allergy medication than before stem cell therapy. That being said, some patients have not experienced improvement in symptoms. So, while we can’t say that stem cells will help every dog with atopic dermatitis, we do believe that some benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy based on the responses reported from the veterinarians and owners who have implemented it.  

As always, it is important to note that each patient is different and therefore some may not respond at all to stem cell therapy. If you think your allergic dog may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to find a VetStem provider in your area.

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Mar 19, 2021

Trinity Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Feline Kidney Disease

Based on 15+ years of data, veterinarians primarily use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat dogs and horses. But cats have also benefited from stem cell therapy. In previous blogs, we have discussed stem cell therapy for various diseases in cats. For a good overview, read this blog.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Feline Kidney Disease

VetStem has processed nearly 400 feline fat samples to provide stem cells. Of these samples, over 50% have been for cats with kidney disease. Unfortunately, kidney failure may be the number one cause of sickness and death in older cats. Yet treatment options are limited and do not cure the disease.

Veterinarians have been treating feline kidney disease with VetStem Cell Therapy for over a decade. And we have seen some promising results! But nothing is as good as hearing about a kitty who experienced those results firsthand. This is Trinity’s story.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Plan

Trinity is a ragdoll cat who was diagnosed with renal failure when she was twelve years old. She had several symptoms including vomiting, not eating, lethargy, weakness, and weight loss. She was uninterested and spent a lot of time hiding. Her mom worked with several vets to find an effective treatment protocol for Trinity, but she continued to feel bad, and her blood kidney values kept going up.

Eventually, Trinity’s mom found Dr. Tamera Cole at The Animal Hospital at Steiner Ranch. Dr. Cole started Trinity on fluids and multiple medications to ease her symptoms and support her kidneys. Though Trinity’s mom noticed improvement, she continued to research additional treatment options.

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

In her research, Trinity’s mom came across VetStem Cell Therapy and brought it up to Dr. Cole. Dr. Cole was already credentialed to perform the VetStem procedure and agreed that stem cell therapy may help Trinity.

She moved forward with the process and collected a sample of fat tissue from Trinity in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was processed at the VetStem laboratory and Trinity’s stem cells were extracted, concentrated, and divided into doses for treatment. Trinity received an intravenous dose of her own stem cells approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure. She went on to receive a second intravenous dose approximately two weeks later.

A brown and white ragdoll cat sitting in front of a computer looking at the camera
Trinity

Trinity Gets Her Quality of Life Back

After stem cell therapy, Trinity’s owner maintained the previous treatment protocol with fluids and medications. Several months later, Dr. Cole tested Trinity’s blood work which showed no signs of kidney disease!

Her owner continued the treatment protocol and Trinity remained healthy, started eating again, and gained back all the weight she lost and more. Trinity’s mom stated, “I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to spend so many more years with Trinity. She is a continuous blessing in my life and as you can see from the picture, still shows up to work every day at my home office.”

Trinity is among several cats who have benefitted from VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease. Based upon data from a small number of feline patients treated with VetStem Cell Therapy, blood kidney values were slightly to moderately improved after treatment. More evaluation is necessary, however these preliminary results suggest that stem cell therapy may be a viable treatment option for cats with kidney disease.

If your cat is suffering with kidney disease, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area to determine if VetStem Cell Therapy may help your cat.

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Mar 12, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy for Canine Muscle Injuries

March 13th is National K9 Veterans Day. This unofficial holiday was created to commemorate the service and sacrifices of all United States military and working dogs. Last year we shared the story of stem cell recipient Lex, the bomb-sniffing German Shepherd who was injured while on tour in Iraq. You can read Lex’s story here.

Honoring Police Dogs for K9 Veterans Day

For this year’s blog, we decided to focus on working dogs, or, more specifically, police dogs. These hard-working dogs must undergo intense training to become specialized in things such as explosive and drug detection as well as search and rescue. Two of the most utilized breeds are German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois.

Police officer in bullet proof vest with rifle and a Belgian Malinois Police Dog
Officer Washington with K-9 Jago

Due to the nature of their work, police dogs, otherwise known as K-9s, experience increased wear and tear on their joints, muscles, and other soft tissue structures. This may lead to osteoarthritis or injuries. If an injury is bad enough, early retirement can become inevitable. And at a price of $8,000+ per dog plus another $12,000 to $15,000 in training costs, it is important to keep these K-9s healthy and agile.

Muscle Injuries in Police Dogs

Muscle injuries are not uncommon in working and agility dogs. One injury we see in the K-9 is an injury to the semitendinosus muscle, which is part of the hamstring muscle group. Injury to this muscle can result in a buildup of fibrosis, or scar tissue, which causes the muscle to contract and shorten. This contracture leads to lameness and an abnormal gait in the affected dog.

This condition, known as semitendinosus myopathy, can be career-ending for working dogs. Traditional treatments include rest, medication, rehabilitation, and surgery. Unfortunately, none of these methods have been fully successful, and many dogs do not return to their full activity.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Semitendinosus Myopathy

When a disease or condition lacks effective treatment options, we often wonder if stem cell therapy may help. So, as we are known to do, we investigated the use of stem cells for semitendinosus myopathy. And the results were incredibly promising! In a study of eight working police K-9s diagnosed with semitendinosus myopathy, treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy helped all eight dogs return to active police work. In addition, each dog’s gait returned to normal.

As with any condition, each patient is different. And VetStem Cell Therapy may not be the best option for all patients. If your dog has experienced a muscle injury, speak to your veterinarian to determine if VetStem Cell Therapy may help your dog. Or contact us to find a VetStem provider in your area.

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Jan 29, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Cervical Facet Disease

Equine cervical facet disease is a broad term used to describe a degenerative disease process in the neck of horses. Conventional treatment options are geared toward managing symptoms but ongoing degeneration of the facet joints and their supportive structures can occur. In recent years, we have seen promising results in the treatment of cervical facet disease with VetStem Cell Therapy.

What is Equine Cervical Facet Disease?

Equine cervical facet disease is a degenerative condition that causes pain and stiffness in the neck of affected horses. Cervical facets are the synovial joints that connect a vertebra to its neighboring vertebrae. Cervical facet joint problems can stem from developmental orthopedic diseases or from injuries to tendons, ligaments, and other cervical facet joint structures, all of which can lead to the development of osteoarthritis and/or instability of the cervical vertebrae. Arthritic cervical facet joints gradually enlarge which can lead to the impingement of nerve roots and/or the spinal cord.

Symptoms of cervical facet disease vary and may include pain, stiffness, neurologic deficits, performance problems, saddling problems, reluctance to collect and go on the bit, neck stuck in fixed position and unable to move, and front limb lameness. Conventional treatments for these joints may temporarily reduce inflammation and pain, but the joints and their supportive structures may continue to degenerate and lead to a worsening of symptoms.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Cervical Facet Disease

VetStem Cell Therapy has been used for over 15 years to treat osteoarthritis and tendon/ligament injures in dogs, cats, and horses. Stem cells have demonstrated the ability to reduce pain and inflammation and to promote healing and the regeneration of damaged tissues. Nearly five years ago, a horse named San Fransisko (or Sisko, for short) received VetStem Cell Therapy for cervical facet disease as part of a clinical research program.

Sisko is a talented horse trained in Dressage. When an injury led to a diagnosis of cervical facet disease, Sisko’s veterinarian recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. To make a long story short, Sisko had a great response to stem cell therapy and advanced in his career in Dressage. Read Sisko’s story here.

Recently, Sisko’s mom reached out to VetStem to share an update. See what she had to say below:

A black horse with rider at dressage competition after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for Equine Cervical Facet Disease
Sisko at Regional Championship Show September 2020

I thought I would give you an update on how Sisko has been doing. We almost lost him in March of 2020 to a neurological infection of unknown origin. With the quick thinking of my vet and a pathogen lab in Florida, he was saved with an experimental drug and recovered completely. He went back into training in April and started showing in June. He breezed through Second Level, which totally amazed my trainer. We were fortunate enough to go to ten shows during the season (with strict COVID precautions in place) and Sisko qualified for our regional championships in First and Second Levels Open Division. He did very well at that show, winning a second and three thirds in his four classes. He ended the year as Open Champion in First and Second Levels for our California Dressage Society chapter’s series of rated shows and Open Champion in Second Level for our schooling shows. He also won the USDF Open Regional Schooling Shows Championship in Second Level for Region 7. Besides those achievements, we are thrilled that Sisko won the USDF German Sport Horse Breed Award in First Level for the entire United States and took that same award for the second year in a row for our CDS chapter. To top off those honors, he placed 29th out of 140 horses in First Level for the USDF Horse of the Year (with only five three-star shows counting towards that distinction). He is currently training Third Level and we’re excited to see how he does at the shows this year.

I firmly believe that without his stem cell treatment, Sisko would not be progressing up the levels and doing so well in his training. He is a very talented horse, with a great work ethic, and I am proud and grateful to have him! He has a wonderful team supporting him, which makes his success so much more special.

There is Still More to Learn

Like all of our clinical development conditions, there is still more to learn about the treatment of cervical facet disease with VetStem Cell Therapy. While results will vary, Sisko’s case is very promising.

Does your horse have cervical facet disease? Speak to your veterinarian or contact us to find a list of VetStem providers in your area. Though we are not currently conducting an equine cervical facet disease clinical research program, we are available to work with your veterinarian to help determine if your horse may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy.

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Dec 4, 2020

VetStem Cell Therapy Success Story: Feline Kidney Disease

It is officially December and we all know what that means: it’s National Cat Lovers’ Month! To celebrate, we have a special feline success story to share. You may remember from previous blogs such as this one, that many veterinarians use VetStem Cell Therapy to treat a number of internal medicine conditions in cats including kidney disease. One such patient is Kitters, who received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease over seven years ago!

Symptoms and Diagnosis

At the age of 15, Kitters was diagnosed with kidney disease. He exhibited many of the common symptoms of renal failure such as lack of appetite, excessive thirst, nausea, lethargy, and weight loss. He was prescribed a typical protocol for kidney disease which included a prescription, low protein diet and subcutaneous fluids. While these treatments can potentially slow the progression of the disease, they will not reverse it.

Kitters receiving an IV dose of his own stem cells

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Fortunately for Kitters, his owner found a veterinarian who was willing to try VetStem Cell Therapy to potentially help him feel better. She drove Kitters from Los Angeles to Oakland, California to visit Dr. Gary Richter of Montclair Veterinary Hospital. Kitters underwent a fat tissue collection procedure to begin the VetStem process. His fat was processed at our laboratory where his stem and regenerative cells were extracted and concentrated. An injectable dose of Kitters’ stem cells was shipped back to Dr. Richter for intravenous injection back into Kitters. Two weeks later, he received a follow up intravenous injection.

Feeling Like Himself Again

Approximately 35 days after treatment with stem cells, Kitters was clearly feeling better. He was eating more, his energy was up, and he began putting on the weight he previously lost. His blood kidney values also went down after treatment. His mom made a great and very informative video documenting Kitters’ journey. You can watch it here.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Feline Kidney Disease

Kitters was originally treated back in 2013, and though he was not the first cat to receive VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease, many veterinarians were not aware of this potential treatment option back then. In recent years however, more and more veterinarians are beginning to offer VetStem Cell Therapy for both cats and dogs with kidney disease. As of December 2020, nearly 200 cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease and the outcome data collected from these cases appears promising.

If your cat has kidney disease, speak to your veterinarian to see if VetStem Cell Therapy may help. You can also contact us to find a VetStem provider near you.

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Nov 20, 2020

VetStem Cell Therapy for Horses: Suspensory Ligament Injury

Over 7,000 horses have had their fat tissue processed at VetStem. Like dogs, horses primarily receive VetStem Cell Therapy for orthopedic conditions such as injured tendons, ligaments, and joints. One common condition in sport horses is an injured suspensory ligament.

What is the suspensory ligament and how is it injured?

The suspensory ligament supports a horse’s fetlock joint in all four limbs. While the ligament is strong, it is only slightly elastic. Stress on the ligament can lead to injury and may occur from various activities such as running fast or landing a jump. The injury can be chronic in nature, where repetitive stress leads to tearing of fibers. In an acute injury, numerous fibers can rupture all at once.

What are the symptoms of an injured suspensory ligament?

Symptoms of an injured suspensory ligament vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Some horses will show only subtle or inconsistent lameness while others may show no obvious lameness. However,  the horse’s performance will often suffer. For those horses with more obvious lameness, symptoms may worsen with exercise and improve with rest. With injury to the branches, the affected area may be thickened, warm, and tender. In the case of a rupture, the fetlock will sink toward the ground.

Atlas “never took a lame step” after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for a partially torn suspensory ligament.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Suspensory Ligament Injuries

VetStem Cell Therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment option for some suspensory ligament injuries. Treatment with stem cells may reduce inflammation and scar tissue and may also lead to tissue regeneration. In a retrospective review of 62 cases of suspensory ligament injury in sport horses treated with VetStem Cell Therapy, nearly 76% of treated horses returned to full work at their prior level of performance. Additionally, another 16% returned to full work at a lower level of performance. Furthermore, 92% of the horses with acute injuries and over 71% of the horses with chronic injuries returned to their prior level of performance after treatment.

It is important to remember that outcomes vary and not all horses will respond to treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. In the aforementioned retrospective review, 5 of the 62 treated horses were non-responsive.

If your horse has an injured suspensory ligament and you are curious about whether he/she may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian. You can also contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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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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Oct 16, 2020

Guest Blog: VetStem Cell Therapy for My New Puppy!

Posted by Bob under VetStem Cell Therapy

Hi everybody! Kristi Hauta here, Director of Commercial Operations. I hijacked Dr Harman’s blog this week to give you a little update on my newest furry family member!

Little Miss Elphie!

Like many people, the social distancing and stay at home orders over the past 7 months has caused stress and anxiety for me and my family. All the uncertainty about what was going to happen next had us in a funk. So, like many others, we decided to get a puppy to brighten up our lives! Granted, it wasn’t entirely spontaneous. We have been contemplating a new dog for several years, we just hadn’t decided on one yet.

At the beginning, we were considering several small breeds. But in the end, we decided that a Newfoundland was the right choice for us. And so…Meet Elphie: the 8-month-old, 80-pound, Goofy Newfie! Now, I will tell you, the biggest dog I have ever owned was a beagle, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect with Elphie. But, even with her lumbering size, she is by far the sweetest and most gentle dog I have ever had the pleasure of owning.

Well, this past week, it was time to get Elphie spayed. Because of her size and the breed’s disposition, I also elected to have a gastropexy done, a surgical procedure to help prevent bloat. Since she was already going to be anesthetized, I asked her veterinary surgeon, Dr. Holly Mullen, to collect some of Elphie’s fat for stem cell therapy. The fat was processed by our wonderful and experienced lab techs here at VetStem, and Elphie’s stem cells were extracted and concentrated.

Cone of Shame

Because she had just undergone multiple abdominal surgeries, I felt Elphie could benefit from a dose of her stem cells to help with post-surgical healing. The day after her procedure, Elphie received one intravenous dose of her own stem cells. These cells, when introduced into the body, have the ability to home to areas where inflammation is present and to down-regulate inflammation and pain. Furthermore, stem cells may improve the quality of healing with the ability to regenerate tissue and reduce scar tissue formation.

In addition to her single IV dose, Elphie has numerous stem cell doses cryopreserved at VetStem. Due to her large size, she is likely to experience osteoarthritis as she ages. Knowing I have cells stored for Elphie for potential future use is priceless to me. Not only can these cells be used for arthritis, but we are always investigating new diseases that stem cells can be used to treat. Some of our current “Clinical Research Programs” include inflammatory bowel disease (canine and feline), canine back pain, and canine dry eye. While I hope Elphie remains healthy and never has a need for her stem cells, it does make me feel better knowing that option is available.

Though I elected to treat Elphie with one stem cell dose to aid her post-surgical healing, we also offer a process called StemInsure. Similar to storing your (human) baby’s stem cells at birth, the canine StemInsure process provides peace of mind with banked stem cells that can be used later in life. The StemInsure is similar to our standard stem cell process in which we extract stem cells out of your dog’s own fat, however doses are not prepared for immediate treatment. Instead, the cells are placed into cryopreservation and can be cultured to grow usable stem cell doses in the future. The great thing about the canine StemInsure is the fat can be collected in conjunction with an already scheduled, routine procedure such as a spay or neuter.

If you are interested in stem cell therapy for your dog, cat, or horse, speak to your veterinarian or contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Oct 2, 2020

Dog Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for IVDD

Posted by Bob under IVDD, VetStem Cell Therapy

We frequently share stories about dogs that received VetStem Cell Therapy for orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and injured cruciate ligaments. But stem cell therapy may potentially help a number of other conditions. Veterinarians have used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat various diseases including renal failure, inflammatory bowel disease, gingivostomatitis, and dry eye.

VetStem Clinical Research Programs

All of the above diseases fall under our Clinical Research Programs. These programs are designed to evaluate the safety and possible effectiveness of stem cell therapy for specific conditions before we move on to performing a clinical trial. Another current Clinical Research Program is for Canine Back Pain. This is obviously a broad condition so feel free to read our blog about this particular program. One condition that falls under the Canine Back Pain program is Intervertebral Disc Disease.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a condition in which one or several intervertebral discs in the spine bulge, resulting in pressure on the spinal cord. This pressure may result in extreme pain and possibly loss of limb function. IVDD can be a result of chronic disc degeneration or from an acute injury. Conservative treatment with pain medications and anti-inflammatories may help patients who have a gradual onset of symptoms or whose symptoms are mild. In severe cases or when there are repeated episodes, surgery may be recommended.

Bailee

Bailee Received VetStem Cell Therapy for IVDD

Bailee, an English Springer Spaniel, was approximately fourteen years old when he injured his neck. He jumped off a deck that was about four feet off the ground and yelped in pain. He was diagnosed with IVDD and was prescribed pain medications. Unfortunately, the medications made him very lethargic and did not help his pain so his owner sought a second opinion.    

Dr. Susan Burkhart of Animal Medical Center of Ontario examined Bailee and recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Within one week after his stem cell therapy, Bailee’s owner reported that she noticed a huge difference. She stated, “He was once again smiling, and out of pain. It has been 2.5 years since then, and Bailee is one happy pup, once again, and able to live many more years pain free. I am so grateful and would do again for any of my pets.”

While stem cells have demonstrated the ability to reduce pain and inflammation, there is limited data to support the use of stem cell therapy for the treatment of IVDD. Since this condition develops for different reasons, the stem cell protocol and outcome can vary for each dog. Any inquiries regarding treatment of similar conditions or other non-standard indications should be directed to VetStem personnel.

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