Apr 21, 2023

VetStem Cell Therapy Helps Bulldog with Knee Arthritis

Today is Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day, an unofficial holiday to celebrate all those short-nosed, loveable, goof balls! There are several different types of bulldogs including the English Bulldog and the very popular French Bulldog. In this blog, we want to share the stem cell story of an English Bulldog named Knuckles.

Like several breeds, English Bulldogs are prone to their own array of diseases and complications. One of which is, you guessed it, arthritis. Some bulldogs may be predisposed to joint dysplasia, an inherited condition that causes a malformed joint and osteoarthritis. This active and sometimes overweight breed also runs the risk of cruciate ligament rupture, another condition that can lead to osteoarthritis.

Poor Knuckles not only tore his cruciate ligament, he also had a luxating patella – a knee cap that shifts out of alignment. He underwent surgery to repair both problems but unfortunately the surgery failed. He developed a serious bacterial infection in his knee and the hardware that was placed during surgery had to be removed. After a long course of strong antibiotics, Knuckles’ condition continued to worsen. He lost muscle in the leg and didn’t want to use it, despite being on large amounts of anti-inflammatories, pain medications, joint supplements, and joint injections.

Fortunately, Knuckles was referred to Dr. Holly Mullen, a board-certified veterinary surgeon in San Diego. She determined that the bacterial infection damaged Knuckles’ knee so badly that he no longer had cartilage cushioning the joint, it was bone-on-bone. His pain would likely continue to increase until his only option was amputation. As an alternative, Dr. Mullen recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.

Knuckles chasing bubbles

To begin the VetStem process, a fat tissue collection was performed, and the tissue was sent to the VetStem laboratory. Due to Knuckles’ unique case, VetStem performed extra sterility testing to ensure his stem cells did not contain traces of bacteria. Additionally, Dr. Mullen tested the fluid in his knee to ensure he was clear of infection. When both tests came back negative, Knuckles received one injection of his own stem cells into his bad knee, and also an IV injection.

According to his owner, knuckles had a great response to the stem cell treatment! She stated, “At 7 years old, Knuckles has basically turned back into a puppy. Thirty days after his treatment, he was able to stop taking any medications at all! He now bears full weight on his leg, and he has gained back almost all of the muscle.” Knuckles was once again able to play with his sister and his best friend, climb up in the bed for snuggles, and do his favorite thing: chase bubbles!

If you think your 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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