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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Aug 14, 2020

Golden Retriever Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Hip Arthritis

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, VetStem Cell Therapy

When Daisey was approximately six years old, she began showing symptoms of osteoarthritis in her hips. A typical fun-loving Golden, Daisey enjoys fetch, running at the dog park, and playing with her canine sibling. When she began to limp after her favorite activities, her owners knew there was a problem.  She started having trouble walking up stairs and would occasionally yelp in pain.

Daisey

A trip to the veterinarian revealed Daisey has osteoarthritis in her hips as a result of bilateral hip dysplasia. Her owners decided against surgery and instead looked into stem cell therapy. Her veterinarian, Dr. Rob Landry of Colorado Center for Animal Pain Management, has extensive experience with VetStem Cell Therapy and determined Daisey was a good candidate for the procedure.

Dr. Landry collected fat tissue from Daisey’s abdomen, which was shipped to the VetStem laboratory in California. VetStem lab technicians processed the tissue to extract and concentrate Daisey’s stem and regenerative cells. Three injectable stem cell doses were shipped back to Dr. Landry. Approximately 48 hours after the fat tissue collection, Daisey received injections of her own stem cells into each hip and intravenously.

After the procedure, Daisey’s owners noticed improvement. First, they noticed that Daisey was able to rise from lying down with less difficulty. Additionally, climbing stairs became less of a challenge for Daisey. Eventually, she began to play more and is now able to take long walks with her owners. Her owner stated, “There is a contented look on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. So far life is good.”

Unfortunately, Daisey’s story is not uncommon. Approximately 1 in 5 adult dogs are affected by arthritis. OA can be caused by a number of factors including abnormal joint conformation or development, injury, and obesity. In addition, some dog breeds, like Golden Retrievers, are predisposed to the disease. Fortunately, stem cells have shown the ability to down-regulate inflammation and pain, which can lead to an increase in an arthritic dog’s quality of life. If you think your dog 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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Jul 17, 2020

Horse Receives VetStem Cell Therapy for Ligament Injuries

Posted by Bob under Horse Injuries, VetStem Cell Therapy

Heartbeat is a 22-year-old Oldenberg gelding. When he was 16, he started to show signs of lameness in his left front leg. Extensive examinations and diagnostics revealed his lameness was due to injuries to his lateral collateral and impar ligaments in his left front hoof.

Heartbeat in the Jumper Ring

His veterinarian, Dr. Patricia Doyle of Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy and began the process by collecting fat from Heartbeat’s tailhead. The fat was processed at the VetStem laboratory and 3 syringes of Heartbeat’s own stem cells were shipped back to Dr. Doyle for injection into his injured leg.

In addition to VetStem Cell Therapy, Dr. Doyle recommended a slow, regimented rehabilitation program for approximately 8-12 months following Heartbeat’s stem cell treatment. Veterinarian’s may or may not recommend rehabilitation in conjunction with VetStem Cell Therapy depending on several factors such as the condition being treated and the severity of the condition. Some other horses that benefited from rehab after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy are Jesse, Atlas, and Woody.

Following stem cell therapy and one full year of rehab, Heartbeat returned to the jumper ring and has competed successfully at the lower levels for the past 6 years. Now, at age 22, his owner reports, “He remains sound working six days a week on average and still winning in the show ring.” If your horse has suffered an injury or is suddenly lame, speak to your veterinarian about whether or not VetStem Cell Therapy may help. Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Jul 10, 2020

Vet has Own Dog Treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for Arthritis

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, VetStem Cell Therapy

Emma is a 12-year-old Australian cattle dog. She has arthritis in her elbows and carpus (wrist) and also has spondylosis, a spinal condition in which bony spurs form along the vertebrae. Fortunately for Emma, her mom is a veterinarian and elected to have Emma treated with VetStem Cell Therapy.

In 2018, Emma had her fat collected to begin the process for stem cell therapy. Her initial treatment consisted of three joint injections for her elbows and right carpus, one intravenous injection, and one injection that was given along the muscles of her spine. She responded well to treatment.

After approximately one year, Emma began to slow down again. Her veterinarian requested that Emma’s stem cells be put into culture to grow more stem cell doses for treatment. Once the culture process was complete, Emma received a second round of stem cell injections just over one year after her first treatment.

Again, Emma responded well to the stem cell treatment but, according to her mom, began to show signs of discomfort approximately one year after her second stem cell treatment. Her mom stated, “What we notice is weakness to her back legs and mild limping on her front legs. She will also lick at her carpi and elbows when her pain is acting up. When her rear legs are weak, we notice she has trouble jumping onto the couch. She also needs to stop and rest frequently when we take her on walks.” Emma received a third stem cell treatment in June of this year. Her mom stated, “I know she would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the stem cell treatment.”

Emma’s story is not uncommon. Many VetStem patients have undergone repeat injections when their symptoms start to flare up again. One such patient is Bodie, the champion Bird Dog with hip dysplasia. Fortunately, VetStem offers stem cell storage for patients who receive VetStem Cell Therapy. If available, the stored stem cells can be used for future treatments as needed. For more information about cell storage, read our recent blog on the subject.

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Jun 5, 2020

Success Story: VetStem Cell Therapy for Feline Kidney Disease

We’ve shared many blog posts about treating cats with stem cells. Although we primarily process fat from dogs and horses for VetStem Cell Therapy, we’ve provided cell processing services for over 350 cats. Like dogs, cats may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Veterinarians have also treated cats for a variety of internal medicine diseases utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy. These diseases include Gingivostomatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Chronic Kidney Disease. For more information about stem cell therapy for these conditions, this blog is very helpful: Stem Cells for Cats: An Overview.

One VetStem recipient, a domestic short haired cat name Bender, received VetStem Cell Therapy for kidney disease and had a positive outcome. Bender’s renal issues began when he was four years old. He ingested an unknown poison and ended up in the emergency hospital on IV fluids for seven days. Following this episode, Bender’s bloodwork showed elevated kidney values and he was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease.

Bender

Bender’s owner began researching potential treatment options and came across the VetStem website. She requested a list of stem cell providers in her area and was referred to Dr. Mark Parchman of Bend Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center. Together, Dr. Parchman and Bender’s owner agreed to move forward with VetStem Cell Therapy.

To begin the process, Dr. Parchman collected fat from Bender. This fat was shipped to the VetStem laboratory and aseptically processed to extract Bender’s stem and regenerative cells. These cells were divided into doses and one dose was shipped back to Dr. Parchman for treatment approximately 48 hours after the fat collection. Bender received a series of three intravenous doses one week apart. The rest of his doses were cryopreserved for future treatment.

Approximately six months after his third stem cell injection, Bender’s owner stated that, “By all appearances he seems happy, healthy, playful, and active. Though he has suffered some permanent kidney damage.”

Approximately two years after his initial round of stem cell injections, he received a follow up intravenous injection from his stem cell bank. That was over three years ago and according to his owner he’s still doing well. His owner stated, “Bender is stable with basically high normal values, lots of energy, playful and continues to do very well considering he was so near not surviving. I believe that stem cell treatments have helped his body recover and remain stable over five years later. Thank you VetStem for blazing a trail for my cat.”

Bender is not the only cat with kidney disease to benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy. Other cats have received VetStem Cell Therapy for the treatment of kidney disease and many have experienced positive outcomes. If your cat has kidney disease and you think VetStem Cell Therapy may help, contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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May 29, 2020

VetStem Biopharma Centennial Club

As the first company in the United States to provide adipose-derived stem cell processing services to veterinarians and their patients, VetStem pioneered the use of regenerative stem cells in veterinary medicine. Since 2003, VetStem has trained nearly 5,000 veterinarians across the United States and Canada to perform VetStem Cell Therapy. We have processed fat samples for over 14,000 patients and 30 different species of animals.

Twelve of our VetStem trained veterinarians have provided VetStem services for over 100 of their patients. The “Centennial Club,” as we like to call them, are among the most experienced adipose-derived stem cell providers in the country. Seven of the Centennial Club members are small animal veterinarians while the other five are equine veterinarians. The Centennial Club members are:

Small Animal
Dr. Kim Carlson of North Peninsula Veterinary Surgical Group
Dr. Jamie Gaynor of Peak Performance Veterinary Group
Dr. Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions
Dr. Allyson Berent of Animal Medical Center of New York
Dr. Adam Gassel of Blue Pearl Pet Hospital of Irvine
Dr. Keith Clement of Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Tim McCarthy formerly of Cascade Veterinary Referral Center

Equine
Dr. Ross Rich of Regenerative Therapy Consulting
Dr. Martin Gardner of Western Performance Equine
Dr. John McCarroll of Equine Medical Associates
Dr. Bill Hay of Tryon Equine Hospital
Dr. Scott Reiners of Mountain View Equine Hospital

Each of the above veterinarians has made VetStem Cell Therapy an integral part of their veterinary practice. They are all experienced in case selection and have seen many positive outcomes. We think it’s worth mentioning that two of the above veterinarians have reached even bigger milestones. Dr. Martin Gardner has surpassed 500 stem cell cases and Dr. John McCarroll has over 250 stem cell cases. Additionally, there are four more veterinarians who are approaching 100 stem cell cases.

Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types. In both small animals and horses, stem cell therapy is most often used to treat orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and injured tendons and ligaments. VetStem Cell Therapy has shown to reduce pain and lameness and improve quality of life and return to work for horses. If you would like to locate a VetStem provider near you, please contact us.

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Jun 14, 2019

Can Stem Cells be Used in Patients with Cancer?

Cancer is a diagnosis no pet owner wants to hear.  Occasionally pet owners will contact us to ask if VetStem Cell Therapy can be used to treat or cure their pet’s cancer.  Unfortunately, VetStem cells cannot be used to treat cancer.  But what about pet’s who have an orthopedic condition that may benefit from stem cell therapy who also have cancer?

As a precaution, we monitor the occurrence of cancer in patients treated with VetStem Cell Therapy closely and have not seen a higher incidence than what is reported in patients of the same age group that were not treated with stem cells.  The literature supports that adult stem cells do not directly turn into cancer cells.  There is also literature regarding stem cell therapy in women who have had mastectomies which shows no higher incidence of recurrence of cancer.

VetStem takes a conservative approach when it comes to patients with cancer because there is still a lot that we don’t know about stem cells and how they work so we err on the side of safety.  We do not recommend stem cell therapy for patients with active or recent cancer.

However, as pet owners ourselves, we understand that in some cases, the potential benefits of stem cell therapy may outweigh the potential risk in patients with active or recent cancer and therefore a pet owner may elect to move forward with stem cell therapy.  This decision is usually reached after a consultation between your veterinarian and a VetStem veterinarian and requires pet owners to sign a special waiver. Some things to consider when making this decision are: age of your pet, severity of the cancer, other medical conditions, and your pet’s current quality of life. There is also an option for patients with cancer to only receive joint injections and not an intravenous injection.

If you have any questions about stem cell therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact a VetStem representative.

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Mar 22, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Dr. Holly Mullen DVM, DACVS

This week we present another veterinarian highlight telling about her experiences with Regenerative Veterinary Medicine!  Dr. Holly Mullen is a Regenerative Veterinary Medicine proponent and also happens to be right in our backyard in San Diego, California.  Dr. Mullen is a board-certified surgeon who works at VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center.  Dr. Mullen received her DVM from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985.  She then went on to complete an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City (AMC) followed by a residency in small animal surgery also at AMC.  She received her board certification in veterinary surgery in 1990 and was staff surgeon at AMC until joining her current hospital in 1995.

Dr. Mullen has been offering VetStem Cell Therapy since 2007 and has provided stem cell services for over 60 stem cell patients.  She has also been utilizing Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy (V-PET™) since 2015.

  1. Explain why you’re a big proponent of VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

Regenerative medicine (stem cells and PRP [platelet rich plasma]) is an important part of my surgery practice.  VetStem’s excellent customer relations, high quality control and careful processing and storage of the cells are a few of the many reasons I feel very comfortable using this company for my patient’s stem cell needs. Regenerative medicine offers a new frontier for minimally invasive, effective and safe treatments for many diseases and conditions. I offer stem cell therapy to the majority of my orthopedic surgical patients and arthritic patients, but it can also be used to help patients with medical conditions such as kidney, liver, bowel and skin diseases. I have offered stem cell therapy as a treatment modality since 2007, after taking the VetStem Credentialing Course for veterinarians. Since then, I have been very pleased with the high rate of successful response to treatment in my dog and cat patients; over 95% of my patients have had excellent responses to treatment. I have also participated in stem cell therapy in both a sea lion and a sun bear, with similarly good results. I am a big proponent of VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy because I see the huge positive difference it makes in the lives of my patients and their families.

  1. Please describe your ideal stem cell patient- what criteria must they meet in order to recommend stem cell therapy?

The ideal stem cell patient is a dog or cat who is suffering from a condition that we know stem cells can help with. They should be healthy enough to undergo the brief anesthetic procedure to harvest the fat from which the stem cells will be extracted. They also should not have conditions such as severe muscle atrophy that might prevent them from having a good response to treatment. Some patients with advanced cancers, in very debilitated body condition, and/or multiple serious medical concerns may not be good candidates for stem cell therapy. While often results seem miraculous, stem cell therapy cannot “cure everything”. However, dogs and cats with significant arthritis can walk comfortably, chronic wounds and fractures can heal, and post-op joint surgery patients can walk sooner and be more comfortable after having regenerative therapy.

  1. What advice can you offer pet owners considering stem cell therapy for their pet?

My advice is to educate yourself now about stem cell therapy and ask your veterinarian if it would help your pet. Also, give stem cell therapy a try if your veterinarian recommends it! It is safe and effective, almost all patients have very good results and it may reduce or prevent the need for other standard medications or even surgical procedures in some cases. Be sure to visit the VetStem web site for a thorough explanation of stem cell and PRP therapies; don’t miss the testimonials to read how other pet parent’s experiences have been. Ask your friends and relatives if they have had regenerative medicine treatments themselves; a portion of my patients were brought to me by owners who knew someone, or themselves had had stem cell or PRP therapy with positive results and wanted the same for their pet. Regenerative Cell Therapy is amazing!

We appreciate Dr. Mullen taking her time to participate in this week’s veterinarian highlight!  If you are in the San Diego area and are looking for an experienced stem cell provider, Dr. Mullen is an excellent choice!  As she stated, she has had many successful stem cell and platelet therapy cases including Knuckles and Pearl.  (And did you catch that part about working with a sun bear?!  Stay tuned for some exciting news…)

Dr. Holly Mullen

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