Dec 15, 2010

Sunny – His Early Christmas Present

Sunny is a 15 1/2 year old buff Cocker Spaniel.  Sunny looks young for his years and is active with his owner (Kristi).  Kristi is my daughter and Sunny has been by her side for all these 15 years.  Two weeks ago, Sunny hopped off the couch and became immediately very painful and lame on his right rear leg.  Ouch!!  Not being a small animal veterinarian, I took Sunny to see a veterinary surgeon, a friend attending the CVC West veterinary convention in San Diego.

Sunny got to go visit the convention center!  In about one minute, the surgeon said “Yes, you are exactly right….Sunny has ruptured his cruciate ligament.”  This is an owner’s worst fear as it is a major injury.  My daughter, wife Sue, and I discussed the options.  At 15 1/2 we were not keen for the “standard” treatment of major surgery.  Being already in the stem cell business, we discussed if Sunny would be a good candidate. When Kristi asked about safety of the procedure, we took her on a tour of the high quality Vet-Stem lab .  We all agreed that it was the safest option and the data strongly supports that the stem cells will reduce the inflammation, slow or prevent any progression of arthritis, and help the joint and ligament to repair in a natural manner.  Check out my blog post on stem cell success in Old Dogs. In addition, Sunny is a great candidate because he is only 25 pounds, not overweight, and not a young athlete.

We did the Vet-Stem procedure that week and within a few days, Sunny was much more comfortable, walking with just the slightest of a limp.  Of course, the cruciate ligament does not repair that quickly, but the inflammation and pain were much reduced.  Now we are starting on a slow and careful exercise and rehabilitation program.  With the severity of the injury, we plan on a second stem cell injection in a couple of weeks to speed the healing.

Now I know what it is like to be the doctor that is himself now the patient in the hospital!  It is a hard decision and one that an owner makes in partnership with their veterinarian and other family members.  After this wonderful experience, my daughter, Kristi, is now embarking on a project to create a book on the incredible stories of stem cell treated dogs.  Look forward to more on that in the coming months as well as a video blog on Sunny’s progress soon!


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