May 13, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy Helps Senior Lab Walk Again

We absolutely love hearing stem cell success stories from pet owners. But some stories are extra touching because it’s clear that VetStem really improved a pet’s quality of life. That’s the case with Molly, a senior chocolate lab who was suffering from severe osteoarthritis and a potential spinal condition.

Molly

Osteoarthritis and Neurological Issue?

Molly has severe osteoarthritis (OA) in her hocks (ankles) and her left elbow. With a noticeable limp in her left front leg, one veterinarian called her elbow a mess after seeing X-rays of the joint. But Molly’s condition quickly deteriorated when one day she suddenly couldn’t walk at all. According to her owners, she was unable to bear any weight on her back legs and her back paws knuckled under when her owners tried to help her stand.

Her veterinarian worried that Molly may have a neurological issue such as a herniated disc in her spine, which can sometimes lead to being unable to walk. An MRI was offered however Molly’s owners elected to use the money to have Molly treated with VetStem Cell Therapy instead.

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Molly’s veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Wolf of Metropolitan Veterinary Associates, collected fat tissue from Molly’s abdomen during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem laboratory in Poway, California where VetStem lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Molly’s cells were divided into doses and four stem cell injections were shipped to Dr. Wolf for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Molly received one stem cell injection into each hock, her left elbow, and intravenously.

Molly Regains Her Ability to Walk!

According to her owner, Molly had a great response to the stem cell therapy. Just two weeks after her injections, Molly was able to support her own weight with assistance. At her one month recheck appointment, Molly was able to take a few steps. And just shy of two months post-stem cell therapy, Molly was walking on her own again. When her back paws were flipped over, she righted them within two seconds.

Molly’s owner stated, “She is walking again on her own and without assistance, and she is definitely limping less on that front elbow. While we do realize at her age and the severity of arthritis in her joints that she won’t be a puppy again, I would definitely expect her to continue to improve and continue to be mobile. I would do this again for her in a heartbeat, and we are so thankful this technology exists. Thank you, VetStem, for giving us back our happy girl.”

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diseases in dogs and pain associated with osteoarthritis can greatly reduce a dog’s quality of life. If you think your dog may benefit from treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to find a VetStem provider near you.

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Mar 11, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy in Dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

It happens occasionally that a pet is treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for one condition, such as osteoarthritis, but the owners notice that a separate condition improves as a result of the therapy. That was the case with Finn, a German Shepherd who is owned by Dr. Lesley Gonzales of Gruda Veterinary Hospital.

Finn was adopted as an adult after he was found in the desert of Yuma, AZ. Thus, nothing was known about his previous medical history. From the get-go, he experienced gastrointestinal issues including chronic diarrhea, intermittent vomiting, and difficulty gaining and maintaining weight. After multiple tests ruled out infectious diseases, his veterinarian mom put him on a strict limited-ingredient diet, which helped to somewhat improve his symptoms but not entirely.

Finn

Then, in 2020, Finn partially tore his cruciate ligament. Due to his gastrointestinal issues, Finn was extremely limited on what medication he could take to help control his inflammation and pain. Thus, Dr. Gonzales decided to treat his knee with VetStem Cell Therapy. When she collected a sample of his abdominal fat for stem cell processing, she also took biopsies of his intestines, which allowed her to officially diagnose him with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

For his initial stem cell treatment, Finn received one dose of his own stem cells into his injured knee. He also received an intravenous dose. Stem cells have demonstrated the ability to home, or migrate, to areas of inflammation. Thus, we can assume that, when given intravenously, the stem cells would migrate to his knee and/or other areas that may have been inflamed. Within two weeks, Finn was noticeably more comfortable. His pain and lameness were much improved.

Approximately six weeks after his initial treatment, Dr. Gonzales noticed that Finn’s intestinal symptoms had also improved. According to Dr. Gonzales, his diarrhea resolved completely, and he was finally able to reach his ideal body weight. She also noticed improvements in his blood parameters.

Dr. Gonzales treated Finn with another dose of IV stem cells, this time specifically for IBD, approximately six months after his first treatment. She gave him a third IV dose approximately five months after his second. Finn has since experienced sustained control of his symptoms, he has maintained an ideal body weight, and he is now able to tolerate a greater variety of food ingredients without them upsetting his stomach.

IBD can be a frustrating disease. A definitive diagnosis can be time-consuming and costly, traditional treatments are life-long and can be complex, and the animal often continues to experience symptoms of the disease. Several dogs and cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for IBD and have experienced an improvement in symptoms. Stem cells have shown to down-regulate inflammation, modulate the immune system, and repair damaged tissue, all of which can contribute to healing inflamed and diseased intestines. If your pet has IBD, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Dec 3, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy for Cats

It’s that time of year again: National Cat Lovers’ Month! And as always, we’re going to take this opportunity to tell you all about VetStem Cell Therapy for cats. While dogs and horses are most commonly treated for orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis or injured tendons and ligaments, cats more often than not receive VetStem Cell Therapy for other diseases.

Feline Renal Disease

Nearly 200 cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease. A common disease in cats, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a frequent cause of sickness and death in cats. In fact, some reviews suggest that CKD may be the number one cause of sickness and death in older cats. Unfortunately, treatment options are limited and can be costly.

Based upon data from the numerous cats treated with VetStem Cell Therapy, we believe that stem cells may help improve the symptoms and quality of life in some cats with CKD. In fact, a review of a small number of feline patients treated with VetStem Cell Therapy showed that blood kidney values were slightly to moderately improved after treatment. More data is necessary however and we continue to research stem cell therapy for this disease as part of our clinical research department.

Gingivostomatitis

Another potentially debilitating condition is gingivostomatitis. This disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the affected cat’s gums. It can be very painful and lead to inappetence, reduce grooming, and weight loss. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. Common treatments include lifelong medical management with antibiotics, steroids, and pain medications and/or full mouth teeth extractions.

Current literature supports the notion that gingivostomatitis is an autoimmune disease. Mesenchymal stem cells have demonstrated the ability to migrate to areas of inflammation, down-regulate inflammation, modulate the immune system, and repair damaged tissue. Additionally, a recent clinical study demonstrated that intravenous administration of adipose (fat) derived stem cells could ameliorate the clinical signs of gingivostomatitis. While more research is needed, preliminary results suggest that VetStem Cell Therapy can improve the symptoms of some cats with gingivostomatitis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a gastrointestinal disease that can affect both cats and dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the intestines and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and weight loss. It is important to note however, that these symptoms can be indicative of several conditions including feline lymphoma. Since VetStem Cell Therapy is contraindicated in pets with cancer, it is essential to rule this out before pursuing treatment with stem cells.

Multiple cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for IBD (dogs too!). And we have had reports from veterinarians and owners regarding the improvement of their patients and pets after treatment with stem cells. As stated above, stem cells migrate to areas of inflammation, down-regulate inflammation, modulate the immune system, and repair damaged tissue, all of which can contribute to healing inflamed and diseased intestines. Additionally, in a recently published paper, 5 out of 7 IBD cats that were treated with stem cells significantly improved or had complete resolution of symptoms, whereas the 4 control cats had no improvement.

Orthopedic Conditions

Let’s not forget that cats can get arthritis too! Osteoarthritis (OA) in cats is a lot more common than you may think. It is estimated that 45% of all cats and 90% of cats over age 10 are affected by arthritis in some way. Unfortunately, cats can be masters at hiding their pain and thus, feline arthritis tends to go undiagnosed.

Though most of our osteoarthritis data is from dogs, cats have experienced similar results when treated with VetStem Cell Therapy. Stem cells may reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and may lead to the regeneration of damaged joint tissues. This can result in increased mobility and a better quality of life for your kitty.

So, there you have it: VetStem Cell Therapy for cats in a nutshell. It’s important to remember that kidney disease, gingivostomatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease are still in the investigational stages. And as with any medical treatment, not all cats will respond positively. That being said, if you think your cat may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Nov 5, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy Helps Senior Pets Too

Posted by Bob under Pets, VetStem Cell Therapy

November is National Senior Pet Month. According to the AVMA, cats and small dogs are generally considered seniors at the age of seven. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter lifespans and are considered seniors around five to six years of age. Like people, an older pet is more likely to develop diseases such as heart, kidney, and liver disease as well as cancer and osteoarthritis (OA).

Will VetStem Cell Therapy Help My Senior Pet?

We are often asked whether VetStem Cell Therapy will help senior pets. Generally speaking, younger stem cells tend to be healthier and therefore may be more efficient at performing their various jobs. That being said, many senior pets have been treated with VetStem Cell Therapy and have experienced great results.

One example is Molly, a Labrador who received VetStem Cell Therapy when she was approximately twelve and a half years old. Molly had severe OA and a potential spinal condition that made her suddenly unable to walk or support herself. Her owners elected to have Molly treated with VetStem Cell Therapy and were very pleased with the results. Just two weeks after her stem cell injections, Molly was able to support her own weight with assistance. At her one-month recheck appointment, Molly was able to take a few steps. And just shy of two months post-stem cell therapy, Molly was walking on her own again. Her owner stated, “She is walking again on her own and without assistance, and she is definitely limping less on that front elbow. While we do realize at her age and the severity of arthritis in her joints that she won’t be a puppy again, I would definitely expect her to continue to improve and continue to be mobile. I would do this again for her in a heartbeat, and we are so thankful this technology exists. Thank you, VetStem, for giving us back our happy girl.”

VetStem Cell Therapy for Alternative Conditions in Seniors

As stated above, senior pets are more prone to organ diseases such as kidney failure. Fortunately, VetStem Cell Therapy may help with that too! Many patients, mostly cats but some dogs as well, have received stem cell therapy for kidney disease.

One such patient was a senior cat named Trinity. Trinity was twelve years old when she was diagnosed with renal disease. She had several symptoms including vomiting, not eating, lethargy, weakness, and weight loss. Additionally, she was uninterested and spent a lot of time hiding. Several months after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, Trinity’s bloodwork showed no signs of kidney disease. She started eating again and gained back all the weight she had lost. Her owner stated, “I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to spend so many more years with Trinity.”

So, as you can see, VetStem Cell Therapy isn’t just for young pets. Senior pets have benefitted from stem cell therapy too! If you think your senior pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian, or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Oct 15, 2021

Agility Dog Returns to Competition after VetStem Cell Therapy

Charm is a nine-year-old dalmatian and accomplished agility champion. Though she has always had a strong will to perform, Charm has had a few setbacks along the way. In 2016, Charm partially tore her cruciate ligament in her left knee. After consulting with her veterinarian and doing some independent research, Charm’s owner elected to have Charm treated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) and VetStem Cell Therapy.

To begin the process, fat tissue was collected from Charm’s inguinal area during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. Once collected, the fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem laboratory in Poway, California. VetStem lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. One stem cell injection was shipped to her veterinarian for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Charm received one dose of her own stem cells and PRP into her injured knee.

Charm

According to her owner, Charm recovered well and returned to agility five months later. Unfortunately, this then four-year-old active dog, continued to show signs of intermittent lameness and stiffness. Though her X-rays showed no arthritis, further testing revealed that Charm had Lyme disease. This helped to explain her lameness as a few of the common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are painful or swollen joints and lameness that comes and goes. Though there is limited data regarding stem cell therapy for Lyme disease, Charm’s owner elected to have her retreated with stem cells in an attempt to manage her symptoms.

Charm received a second round of stem cell injections approximately one year after her initial treatment. This time, she received one dose into her left knee and one intravenous dose in conjunction with PRP. She was also treated with homeopathic remedies, hydrotherapy, and strength training. According to her owner, Charm bounced back and returned to master level agility trials. Her owner stated, “She feels great, her quantitative Lyme levels are subclinical, and she is running, jumping, and playing like a puppy again.” She later went on to win Agility Champion of Canada Awards, 5th place at Agility Association Canada Nationals plus a Distance Log from the Dalmatian Club of Canada. Charm received a third round of stem cell injections, both in her left knee and intravenously, approximately two years later.

Fast forward another few years and Charm, being the active athlete that she is, injured the cruciate ligament in her right knee. Fortunately, she still had multiple stem cell doses cryopreserved. So, in January of this year, Charm received a stem cell injection into her right knee. Once again, her owner noticed marked improvement. She stated, “This now nine-year-old girl is feeling wonderful just 5 weeks after her stem cell injection and no signs of any arthritic pain!”

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Sep 24, 2021

Veterinary Pain Practitioner Uses VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, VetStem Cell Therapy

As we wrap up Animal Pain Awareness Month, we wanted to share a success story from an experienced VetStem user and animal pain specialist. In case you missed our last few blogs about pain in pets, here is a brief recap:

  • September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, which was created by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) in an effort to raise awareness and to help pet owners recognize and manage their pet’s pain.
  • Recognizing pain in pets – When it comes to pain in pets, it’s not always easy to tell that our animals are hurting. Some pets are masters at hiding their pain. But there are some tips and tricks to help determine if your pet might be in pain.
  • VetStem Cell Therapy for pain – Stem cells have shown the ability to directly modulate acute and chronic pain.

Veterinary Pain Specialists

Just like there are specialists for specific branches of medicine such as surgery and internal medicine, there are also specialists in veterinary pain management. The IVAPM offers a certification in pain management for veterinarians who have practiced and studied animal pain management. Below, we will introduce you to Dr. Jamie Gaynor, a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) and avid VetStem user.

Dr. Jamie Gaynor, DVM, DACVA, DACVPM

Dr. Gaynor is one of the first veterinarians to utilize VetStem Cell Therapy in dogs. He has been working with VetStem since 2006 and has provided VetStem cell processing services for nearly 200 patients. One of his patients, a Great Dane with a partially torn cruciate ligament, experienced great relief after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy. Read his story below:

Frank Experiences an Improved Quality of Life after Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

Frank is an albino, deaf Great Dane. His owners rescued him when he was four months old from a breeder who did not want him due to his health issues. Despite his hearing impairment, he was always an active and playful pup. Frank bonded with his brother, another Great Dane named Tom, and the two would play all day, every day. As the two grew, playtime became rougher, and Frank ended up injuring his right rear leg.

Frank

Once diagnosed with a partially torn cruciate ligament, Frank underwent two years of physical rehabilitation. Though he showed a lot of improvement, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy came up as a potential option to treat the arthritis that formed in Frank’s stifle as a result of his injury. Frank was referred to Dr. Gaynor and his owner elected to move forward with the stem cell procedure.

In a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure, fat was collected from Frank’s abdomen and shipped off to the VetStem laboratory in San Diego, California. Upon receipt, the fat was aseptically processed to extract the stem cells and injectable doses of Frank’s own stem and regenerative cells were created. Three doses were shipped back to Dr. Gaynor and Frank received one injection into each knee and one intravenous injection.

According to Frank’s owner, Frank showed major improvement less than three months after receiving stem cells. His owner stated, “Actually, Frank was acting like a puppy again. His energy level went up, he became more involved and interested in daily activities. He started playing with his brothers again, he rebuilt his confidence with stairs and jumping into the car and on the couch. Most of all, we have not seen him limp once since his stem cell treatment…He truly is back to his old self again.”

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Aug 27, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy for Dogs on National Dog Day

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, VetStem Cell Therapy

August 26th is National Dog Day. This day was founded in 2004 and celebrates dogs of all breeds. The stated mission is to bring attention to all the dogs that need rescuing as well as honor both family dogs and working dogs. For our own celebration, we would like to discuss the various uses of VetStem Cell Therapy in dogs!

VetStem Cell Therapy for Dogs

Though the first patient to be treated with VetStem Cell Therapy was a horse, dogs followed closely behind. Initially, we worked with select veterinary clinics to evaluate the use of VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis (OA) and orthopedic soft tissue injures such as cruciate ligament tears. After several years of collecting and analyzing data, we published two peer-reviewed studies. The first, in 2007, evaluated the use of stem cells for chronic hip OA. The second was published in 2008 and looked at stem cells for chronic elbow OA. Both studies concluded that treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy led to reduced lameness and pain as well as increased range of motion in the affected dogs.

VetStem Cell Therapy for More than OA

Though dogs were initially treated primarily for orthopedic conditions, we eventually broadened our research interests. Veterinarians have now used VetStem Cell Therapy to treat a wide array of conditions in dogs including organ failure, inflammatory bowel disease, back pain, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or “Dry Eye”). Though we do not have any completed peer-review studies for these conditions, some dogs have experienced good results!

VetStem Cell Therapy for Canine Back Pain and IVDD

Canine back pain is one of VetStem’s current clinical research programs. A clinical research program is designed to evaluate the safety and possible effectiveness of VetStem Cell Therapy for specific conditions. One condition that falls under our back pain clinical research program is intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This is a condition in which one or several intervertebral discs in the spine bulge, resulting in pressure on the spinal cord and leading to pain and possibly the loss of limb function. While IVDD can potentially be a devastating disease, several owners have reported improvement in their dog after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy including Bella and Bailee.

If you think your dog may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, even if he/she is not suffering form an orthopedic condition, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian or contacting us to find VetStem providers near you.

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Aug 13, 2021

Pet Rehabilitation Following VetStem Cell Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) and rehabilitation for pets is a fast-growing field of study and practice. It used to be that animals who experienced musculoskeletal or neurologic diseases and injuries either received surgical treatment or medical management and that’s it. Physical therapy and rehabilitation have been long established in the human medical field for treatment of a variety of conditions because of the proven benefits including improving strength, increasing mobility/range of motion, increasing flexibility, improving circulation, and reducing pain. The ultimate goal of PT and rehab is to bring an individual back to optimal function. We have realized through human medicine and through the use of animals as models for human therapy, that these concepts apply to non-human animals as well.

VetStem patient, Koda, getting his PT in an underwater treadmill.

The veterinary profession has really embraced pet PT and rehabilitation over the past 20+ years as evidenced by numerous books and research papers and the growing number of professional conferences held on the topic since the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Additionally, the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (ACVSMR) received full recognition as a specialty within veterinary medicine in 2018. This means that veterinarians who belong to the ACVSMR have undergone 4 additional years of training after veterinary school and passed a board-certification exam to become a recognized specialist within this field.

It may surprise you to learn that veterinary PT and rehabilitation has come so far that it isn’t limited to heat/cold therapy and hands-on body manipulations such as range of motion or stretching exercises, but also employs a wide variety of more complex methods like laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, treadmill walking, electrical nerve stimulation, pulsed magnetic field therapy, obstacle course work, and shockwave therapy. Pretty cool, right?

Now, you may not have local access to veterinary rehab specialists, but that doesn’t mean that your pet’s access to rehabilitation is limited. The veterinarians that utilize VetStem’s products and services have a number of resources at their disposal including individual case consultation with our Safety and Technical Services Veterinarian, Dr. Amber Vibert, as well as access to our home-care rehab instructions and our recommendations for veterinary rehab books and articles.

At VetStem, we believe strongly in the power and necessity of physical rehabilitation following injury and following VetStem Cell Therapy to accelerate recovery, restore function, and prevent reinjury. As such, we have rehabilitation guidelines set forth following cell therapy injections for orthopedic conditions. As always, you should never start a program without consulting with your pet’s veterinarian. Dr. Vibert is always happy to collaborate with your VetStem care provider, but only you and your vet can tailor a program specific to your pet’s needs and abilities because ultimately, it is you and your veterinarian who know your pet best.

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Aug 6, 2021

VetStem Cell Therapy for Diseases in Cats

This coming Sunday, August 8th, is International Cat Day! We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss the use of stem cells for various diseases in cats. Like dogs and horses, VetStem Cell Therapy can be used in cats to treat orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and injured tendons and ligaments. But there are several other diseases for which VetStem Cell Therapy may be helpful.

Chronic Kidney Disease

A common disease in cats is kidney disease. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a common cause of sickness and death in cats. In fact, some reviews suggest that CKD may be the number one cause of sickness and death in older cats. Unfortunately, treatment options are limited and can be costly.

One potential treatment option is VetStem Cell Therapy. Nearly 200 cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for CKD and veterinarians have seen some promising results. 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. While more evaluation is necessary, these results suggest VetStem Cell Therapy may be a viable treatment option for cats with CKD.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a gastrointestinal disease that can affect both cats and dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the intestines and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and weight loss. It is important to note however, that these symptoms can be indicative of several conditions including feline lymphoma. Since VetStem Cell Therapy is contraindicated in pets with cancer, it is essential to rule this out before pursuing treatment with stem cells.

Several cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for IBD. In fact, one of our veterinary clients, Dr. Joel Stone, wrote a guest blog about one of his feline patients who experienced relief from IBD after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. In one of our own case studies, a 4-year-old Himalayan cat developed IBD and treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy quickly resolved the cat’s diarrhea and vomiting and led to an increased appetite with no recurrence. To add to that, in a recently published paper, 5 out of 7 IBD cats that were treated with stem cells were significantly improved or had complete resolution of symptoms, whereas the 4 control cats had no improvement.

Gingivostomatitis

Another unfortunate disease that affects cats is gingivostomatitis. Gingivostomatitis affects the mouths of felines and causes oral pain which leads to other symptoms such as decreased appetite, reduced grooming, and weight loss. The most common treatment is extracting all the cat’s chewing teeth, however only about 70% of cats will respond to this treatment. The remaining 30% of cats that do not respond will require lifelong treatment with medications.

Fewer cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for gingivostomatitis than CKD, however veterinarians have seen favorable results none the less. In addition to our own data, two small studies conducted at the University of California Davis showed that when fat-derived stem cell therapy was utilized in addition to teeth extractions, there was improvement or remission in the majority of cats treated. VetStem believes that fat-derived stem cell therapy without full extractions may be beneficial.

As you can see, VetStem Cell Therapy may be useful for a number of disease processes. Though the above conditions are still in the investigative stages, the preliminary results look very promising! If you think your cat may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us for a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Jul 23, 2021

Dog Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Disc Disease

In this week’s blog, we are sharing Bella’s story. Bella, a pit bull, was approximately twelve years old when she received VetStem Cell Therapy. She was previously diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and pain medication, unfortunately, brought her little relief.

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.

A veterinarian in blue scrubs gives an IV injection of stem cells to Bella, a black and white pit bull, while her mom, a veterinary technician holds her.
Bella, receiving an intravenous injection of her own stem cells via VetStem Cell Therapy

Bella’s mom, a veterinary technician at Fort Lee Animal Clinic, noticed that Bella stopped jumping on and off furniture and was restless and unable to sleep comfortably at night. After researching her options, she decided to have Bella treated with her own stem cells. Dr. Nazar Pereymybida at Fort Lee Animal Clinic agreed that Bella may benefit from stem cell therapy and Bella became his first stem cell case.

Treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy

To begin the process, Dr. Pereymybida collected fat tissue from Bella’s abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem laboratory in Poway, California. Once received, VetStem lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate Bella’s stem and regenerative cells. Stem cell injections were prepared and shipped back to Dr. Pereymybida. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Bella received multiple injections of her own stem cells along her paraspinal muscles as well as intravenously.

Stem cell treatment of IVDD falls under VetStem’s clinical research program for canine back pain. This program is designed to evaluate the safety and potential effectiveness of stem cells for numerous canine back conditions.

Results

Approximately two months after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy, Bella’s owner reported that her symptoms had improved! Though Bella was still on pain medications, her owner stated, “She’s now jumping on and off the bed and seems less painful and more energetic.” In addition, Bella was able to sleep comfortably through the entire night.

Unfortunately, Bella was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Her condition progressed rapidly and she crossed over the rainbow bridge.

While there is still more to learn about using VetStem Cell Therapy to treat canine IVDD, Bella’s case is not the only positive outcome reported. You may remember Bailee’s story from a while ago. He also received VetStem Cell Therapy for IVDD after an injury to his neck. And like Bella, Bailee also experienced a reduction in pain after treatment.

If your dog has IVDD or another painful back condition, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. Since these conditions develop 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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