Stem Cell Therapy has been used for years in the arthritic treatment of horses, as it is known to greatly help in the lessening of joint pain that is so common. More and more veterinarians are starting to use stem cell therapy in the treatment of arthritis in dogs, as it is believed that the stem cells can increase the dogs ability to decrease inflammation while helping the injured tissues to regenerate. “This is an attempt to turn back the time but without drugs,” said Brian Maxwell, a veterinarian whose specialty is orthopedic surgery at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, California.
Ed Tani of Hayward, California and his dog Cookie provide a perfect example of how stem cell therapy can work to relieve arthritis pain. Cookie is a 13 1/2-year-old Australian shepherd mix who has become increasingly ridden with the pain of arthritis. She has trouble laying down and getting up, going up stairs or coming down, and even her back leg has been giving out during her walks with Tani. After Tani read of the stem cell therapy success, he sought the efforts of Brian Maxwell, veterinarian, to provide help to Cookie.
If the treatment works as well as it has for some dogs, Cookie should be feeling much better in about four to eight weeks. “About 70 percent of the dogs treated show dramatic improvement; an additional 20 percent show moderate improvement,” according to Maxwell. Maxwell has treated 10 dog so far, and all but one them has shown significant improvement. “The dogs’ mobility was better and most of them were able to go off pain pills and anti-inflammatory medication.’
The stem cell therapy procedure involves surgery that removes fat cells from the dog, and then the cells are shipped to Vet-Stem for removal of the stem cells. The cells are then sent back to the vet, where they are then injected into the arthritic joints of the dog. “This kind of thing has really been exciting,” Maxwell said. “”The cells go into the joint and increase the body’s ability to control pain and inflammation. They’re doing this on people in other countries.”
If your dog is experiencing the painful effects of arthritis, stem cell therapy could be a possible next step in order to control and correct the pain and inflammation. Check with your veterinarian to find out if your dog may be a candidate for this procedure.