Jan 11, 2019

Canine Back Pain: Can Stem Cells Help?

Posted by Bob under Dog Back Pain, Dog Stem Cells

“Canine Back Pain” is a broad term that encompasses pain felt in any location along a dog’s back.  Because the back is such a complex structure, this pain can result form a variety of causes which may be difficult and costly to diagnose.  Spinal structures, nerves, and the surrounding soft tissues may all be involved as sources of canine back pain, but the exact location may be hard to pinpoint.

In recent years, cell therapy has emerged as a treatment option for human lower back pain.  While most of the clinical work has focused on intradiscal injections, recent methods have become less invasive, utilizing injection into the muscles surrounding the spine.  Stem cells may reduce inflammation and modulate pain, thereby leading to the patient being more comfortable.

In a recent stem cell success story, we discussed Sam, a German Shepherd who has arthritis in his lower spine.  Following treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy, Sam’s range of motion increased along with his activity level.  You can read Sam’s story here.

While the results of the human clinical trials appear promising, using stem cells to treat canine back pain is still in the early stages.  We cannot emphasize enough what a complex structure the back is and, as such, stem cells may not work for every condition that causes canine back pain.  If your dog is experiencing back pain, the best place to start is with a veterinarian examination.  Your vet can help determine what is causing your dog’s back pain and whether or not stem cell therapy may be an option.  Need help finding a vet?  Contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Jan 4, 2019

Shar-Pei Receives Stem Cells for Arthritic Knees

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Gracie-Allen is a nine-year-old Shar-Pei.  Over the years, her knees developed arthritis that eventually began to slow her down.  In late 2017, Gracie was taken to her veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Hampel of VCA Animal Medical Center of El Cajon, who determined that Gracie had mild arthritis in her knees and recommended stem cell therapy.

Gracie was scheduled to have an anesthetic dental cleaning the following March, so her owners elected to wait until then to have the fat collected for stem cell therapy.  Scheduling your dog’s stem cell procedure at the same time as another routine procedure can be a good idea for dogs that are older or otherwise not great candidates for anesthesia.  Collecting the fat for stem cell therapy is a relatively quick and minimally invasive procedure that can potentially be done at the same time as a dental cleaning, spay/neuter, etc.  Speak to your veterinarian about your options for stem cell therapy.

Within 48 hours of the fat collection, Gracie received three stem cell injections: one in each knee and one intravenously.  It only took a few days for Gracie’s owners to notice a difference in her behavior and activity.  You can catch up on Gracie’s story here.

We recently checked in with Gracie’s owner and got a shining report!  Here is what Gracie’s mom said:

“Gracie is doing great.  She now stands on her hind legs to look over fences.  It was something she used to do and it hadn’t dawned on me that she had stopped until she started looking over a wood fence for Annie (Bulldog) when we go on our walks.  She sometimes jumps off our front porch and back on instead of using the step and she flies up and down stairs in the house.  She will stand on her hind legs and does a dog paddle when I ask her ‘what do horses do’ and sits on her bottom (with front legs off the ground) and dog paddles when I ask her to ‘sit pretty’ and ‘sit pretty patty cakes’.  I had stopped asking her to do these tricks since it became obvious that she didn’t want to do them, but now she will start the trick before I finish the question.  She oozes happy . . . which makes us very happy.”

Arthritis is a common problem that can affect all breeds of dogs.  If your dog is slowing down, limping, or less active than they were before, check with your veterinarian to determine if your dog has arthritis.  You can also contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Dec 28, 2018

Stem Cells for Muscle Injuries

Posted by Bob under Dog Muscle Injury, Dog Stem Cells

As you probably noticed, our primary focus in this blog tends to be arthritis.  We occasionally discuss torn cruciate ligaments and also have a few blogs about various disease processes that may be helped with stem cells.  One thing we have not spent much time on is stem cell therapy for muscle injuries.

Muscle injuries are not uncommon in the athletic dog.  Typical therapies for muscle injuries include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical rehab.  Unfortunately, these therapies generally do not prevent the formation of fibrosis (scar tissue) or muscle contracture which ultimately leads to functional impairment.

In a study done on two police dogs (both German Shepherds) with injuries to their semitendinosus muscle, both dogs returned to the line of duty with a normal gait and no signs of lameness after receiving VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.  This study was, in fact, the first report of using stem cells to treat skeletal muscle injuries in dogs.

If your dog has injured a muscle, speak to your veterinarian about whether VetStem Cell Therapy may help.  Or you can contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Dec 21, 2018

Horse Wins Division Championship After Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Horse Stem Cell Therapy

Anthony, a competitive hunter-jumper, faced a real challenge when he tore his right meniscus in 2014.  Luckily, Anthony’s mom Lisa contacted experienced stem cell provider, Dr. Ruth-Anne Richter of Brandon Equine Medical Center.  Anthony received VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy in January 2014 and again in June 2014.

After taking some time off to recuperate, Anthony began competing again.  Between 2016 and 2017, Anthony took a few reserve championships.  But earlier this year, in March 2018, Anthony won grand champion in the Adult Maiden Division at HITS VIII Ocala Winter Finals.  This was a dream come true for Lisa.

You can read more details about Anthony’s stem cell treatment here.

If your horse has suffered an injury, stem cell therapy may help to get him/her back under the saddle.  VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy has been used in horses since 2004 and has been shown to help relieve potentially career ending injuries such as in Woody’s case and Zan’s case.  Speak to your veterinarian today or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Dec 14, 2018

Large Breed Dogs and Arthritis: VetStem May Be the Answer

Jack is a Great Pyrenees.  As the name of the breed suggests, he is a great big boy.  Unfortunately, large breed dogs tend to develop orthopedic issues such as arthritis as they age.  Unfortunately, Jack was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at a very young age.  He wasn’t even a year old when he began showing symptoms of arthritis. 

His mom, Rebecca, acted swiftly and visited veterinary surgeon Dr. Andrea Hayes of Boone Animal Hospital.  Dr. Hayes gave Rebecca a few options including total hip replacement and treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.  After much deliberation, Rebecca selected the least invasive option: stem cell therapy.

Jack received his first round of injections in 2014 and improved greatly!  Approximately four years later, Jack received a second round of stem cell injections and again had a great response.  You can read more details about Jack’s stem cell treatment and results here.

Unfortunately, Jack’s story is not uncommon.  Large breed dogs tend to develop orthopedic issues such as arthritis as they age, that is, if they’re lucky enough to not be born with a condition such as hip dysplasia that can lead to arthritis while they are still young.  Fortunately, stem cell therapy may help to relieve symptoms of arthritis and can potentially help dog’s avoid invasive and costly major surgeries.  Keep in mind, StemInsure is a great option for large breed puppies that will likely develop arthritis down the road.

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Dec 7, 2018

Platelet Therapy: A Complement to Stem Cell Therapy

In addition to stem cell processing services, VetStem distributes platelet therapy kits to small and large animal veterinarians across the United States and Canada.  Platelet therapy is similar to stem cell therapy in that the patient’s own cells are collected, concentrated, and then reinjected into the affected area.  Unlike stem cell therapy, platelet therapy requires a blood collection and the process of concentrating the healing cells is performed by your veterinarian in the clinic.

How does platelet therapy work?  The scientific answer is that platelets activate by exposure to damaged tissue, releasing their granular contents which include anabolic growth factors.  These growth factors help attract progenitor cells to the injury site and play a key role in stimulating tissue repair through fibroblast expansion and cellular matrix production.  In other, less technical terms, when the concentrated platelets are injected into the site of damaged tissue, the platelets signal additional healing cells to migrate to the affected area to begin the process of tissue repair.

The great thing about platelet therapy is it can be performed in conjunction with stem cell therapy to further aid the healing process.  In our opinion, stem cell and platelet therapies are very different regenerative medicine solutions that can work synergistically. They each have their place and can benefit patients in different circumstances. We see the combination of adipose stem cell therapy and platelet therapy as the “platinum standard” for regenerative medicine.  While the idea of stem cell therapy is to deliver as many regenerative cells to the affected area as possible, by adding platelet therapy on top of it, additional healing cells will migrate to the area to further stimulate local tissue repair processes.  And like stem cell therapy, platelet therapy is autologous, meaning the animal is both the donor and the recipient.  Thus, there is minimal risk of rejection and reaction when performed under sterile conditions.

Our primary platelet therapy product for small animals is Pall Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy or V-PET™.  We’ve seen much success with V-PET™ such as in Pippa Rose’s case and Pearl’s case.  But, similar to stem cell therapy, every patient’s response will vary.  Your veterinarian can best determine if your dog may benefit from platelet therapy.

If you have questions or would like VetStem to help you locate a platelet therapy provider near you, please contact us.  To read more about platelet therapy and success stories, click here and here.

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Nov 30, 2018

Stuart Gets Back to Playing Fetch After Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, Stem Cell Therapy

Stuart is a fun-loving Labrador that, like most Labs, loves to play fetch.  In 2017, when Stuart began showing signs of an injury, his owner, Cynthia, took him to her veterinarian, Dr. Cindy Echevarria at VCA University Animal Hospital in Dallas.  After an unsuccessful trial of a multitude of injectable and oral medications, Dr. Echevarria recommended treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

In July 2017, Stuart had his right carpus (wrist) and shoulder injected, as well as an intravenous injection of his own stem cells.  Approximately one week after the procedure, Stuart was feeling better and Cynthia commented that he was almost a completely different dog.

You can read the rest of Stuart’s story here.

We recently checked in on Stu and Cynthia reported that he is as happy and active as ever!  She stated, “Stem cell treatment was a lifesaver!”

If your dog has been diagnosed with a soft tissue injury, stem cell therapy may help him/her get back in the game.  Be sure to speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem Credentialed veterinarians in your area. 

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Nov 23, 2018

StemInsure: The Stem Cell Insurance for Dogs

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, Stem Cell Therapy

Similar to storing your baby’s stem cells at birth, the canine StemInsure provides peace of mind with banked stem cells that can be used later in life should your dog require them.  While we can’t bank cord blood/tissue like we do with infants, the StemInsure is similar to our standard stem cell process where we extract stem cells out of a small amount of fat from your furry friend.

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.  When your vet is performing the procedure, they would collect a very small amount of fat from your dog and send it to our laboratory to be processed where the small number of stem cells would be extracted and cryopreserved.  This process costs considerably less since it is a smaller amount of fat than is required for our normal process. If your dog develops arthritis or injures a tendon or ligament down the road, those cells would be available without requiring an additional anesthetic procedure to collect more fat tissue.  For this reason, we recommend StemInsure for all large breed puppies and other “at risk” breeds that tend to develop orthopedic issues as they age.

StemInsure is not only appropriate for puppies, however.  Dogs of all ages and breeds can benefit from this procedure.  An example would be an older dog that is undergoing an anesthetic procedure such as a dental cleaning.  Older animals tend to be a higher anesthetic risk than puppies so it is ideal to minimize their time under anesthesia.  Rather than removing a larger amount of fat from your dog’s abdomen, your vet can quickly remove a small amount of fat from beneath their skin in an effort to reduce the amount of time spent under anesthesia.

Unlike our standard stem cell process where your vet sends us fat and we send back injectable stem cell doses 48 hours later, the StemInsure sample cannot be used for immediate treatment.  Instead, the smaller tissue sample size yields enough cells that can be used to culture, or grow, a lifetime supply of stem cell doses for treatment at an additional cost when you need them.  This culture takes about 3-4 weeks however so if your dog requires treatment sooner than that, discuss with your veterinary stem cell provider which option will be best for your dog.

To find a veterinary stem cell provider in your area, click here.

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Nov 16, 2018

VetStem Patient, Argo, Featured on Local News (Again!)

Remember our friend, Argo, the chocolate Labrador that was featured on the local news for his treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy?  He just had his second cameo on a longer news segment that discussed his stem cell and platelet therapy treatments for arthritis.  You can watch the new video and read his story here.

Both Dr. Angie Zinkus and Dr. Kathy Mitchener have been credentialed to perform VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy for over a decade.

One thing we would like to point out: the article states that Argo’s platelet therapy required a 48-hour processing period.  While this is true of stem cell therapy, platelet therapy is an in-clinic procedure that can be done in a matter of a few hours.  VetStem is the distributor of the Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy kit (V-PET™) but your veterinarian will perform the blood collection, processing, and injection.  For more information on Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy, click here.  Or you can read V-PET™ success stories here and here.

If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian today.  Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem Credentialed veterinarians in your area.

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Nov 9, 2018

Stem Cell Therapy for Cats Part 3: Gingivostomatitis

Posted by Bob under Cat Stem Cells, Stem Cell Therapy

In our last two blog posts, we discussed stem cells for cats.  In addition to arthritis, stem cells may be beneficial for felines with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  In this week’s blog, we will discuss feline Gingivostomatitis.

Gingivostomatitis is a disease affecting the mouth of felines.  It 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 teeth, however only about 70% of cats will respond to this treatment.  Those cats that do not respond will require lifelong treatment with medications.

Two small studies on cats that had full mouth extractions conducted at the University of California Davis have shown that fat-derived stem cell therapy led to improvement or remission in the majority of cats treated.  VetStem believes that fat-derived stem cells without full extractions may be beneficial.  While a few veterinarians have seen favorable results using VetStem cell therapy, more investigation is needed.

If your cat has Chronic Kidney Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or Gingivostomatitis, stem cell therapy may provide relief.  Contact us today to locate a VetStem Credentialed veterinarian in your area.

This concludes our “Stem Cell Therapy for Cats” blog series.  Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at info@vetstem.com.

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