What You Need to Know About Stem Cell Procedure

About Adipose Stem Cell Procedure

Since the Adipose Stem Cell Procedure became available for Pets in Australia, it’s caused quite a buzz – especally in the canine world. But of course, as with anything new it’s also raised quite a few questions and in some cases, even some eyebrows.

So what’s the big dilemma?

From we see, the biggest issue most dog owners face is simply lack of information about the procedure itself and the fact that very few vets have opted to offer it in their practice. Understandably, this causes concern and we can’t blame you for that. But if it helps, you might want to know that we too were a little skeptical until we started doing some background research of our own.

From our point of view, new breakthroughs in medicine and surgery (human and animal) happen all the time. New medications arrive on the market, surgical techniques are refined, new equipment and diagnostic tools are developed and the list goes on.

Our job is to evaluate each of these and then decide whether or not they provide a valuable benefit to our clients.

Stem Cell Procedure Caught our Attention for 3 Reasons:

  1. We have many dogs suffering from the pain and discomfort of arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases coming through our practice each day. Although there are many options available for these conditions, not all work equally well for all dogs or there comes a time when even the most effective medications no longer work.
  2. More and more clients are looking for more “drug free” alternatives to manage pain and give their dogs a better quality of life
  3. The dog’s own Stem Cells are used to heal itself so there are no ethical or rejection issues to worry about

Does Stem Cell Procedure Work?

That’s what we had to find out first. We scoured the net and looked for all the anecdotal evidence we could find. While we knew that extensive research into the use of Stem cells in Human therapy has been ongoing for many years, we needed to find evidence that it works in animals too.

We quickly discovered however that tStem Cell Therapy for Dogshe only evidence of how well Stem Cell Procedure works is by reading the case studies presented by vets who are already performing the procedure both here in Australia and in the United States. And their results – about 80% of thousands of dogs showing improvement after the procedure.

So, should we shake our heads and say no?

Wait until appropriate Scientific Papers are published? (Knowing all too well that isn’t going to be happening any time soon and we have some desperate patients waiting for help that have little options left other than medication)

Would it be fair to offer Stem Cell Procedure with the understanding that it may or may not work? Or – take a wait and see approach.

Thankfully we had a few clients who were prepared to try the procedure with a full undertsanding of the lack of Scientific evidence supporting their decision. And thankfully, they got the results they were hoping for.

So far we have performed the procedure on 30 dogs and our results mimic those obtained by other vets. Some dogs respond better than others, most have shown significant improvement and others less so. But from our point of view that’s no different to any major surgical procedure or even medical treatment. Every major surgical procedure and treatment protocol has its own success and failure rate. In medicine – there are never any guarantees.

The worst case scenario is that it produces no visible improvements in YOUR dog.

Why don’t more vets offer the procedure?

Because – as vets we want proof and that means Published Scientific Evidence. So if you ask your vet about the procedure, this is likely to be the answer you’ll receive. This is also why Veterinary Specialists don’t endorse the procedure. Plus the procedure itself is actually quite straightforward and can be perfomed in general practice.

Our advice

If you’re looking for information about the procedure, we suggest you fully research it yourself, just as we did. There are many references to the procedure on the web to include informative videos and case studies.

Ask someone who knows. There’s little point asking people who don’t know anything about the procedure. Contact vets who perform the procedure and ask them about their results.

Also contact people who have had the procedure performed on their dog to hear what they have to say.

Even today, after performing the procedure on numerous dogs, we still ask our clients to do their own research before committing to the procedure. That’s because want to make sure they’re completely comfortable with their decision to go ahead.

Think first – then decide

Emotions can often cloud people’s judgement as most people hate seeing their beloved companions in pain from crippling degenerative diseases like arthritis. That’s why we always advise our clients to seek out the information they need first so that they’re fully informed before going ahead. It’s also why we publish as much information as we can on our website to help you.

We know Stem cell Therapy works because we’ve seen the results first hand. We also know that what we’re seeing now is but the tip of the iceberg. Research into the use of stem cells for other degenerative diseases in humans and animals – like kidney failure in cats is already happening with pleasing results.

 

Thermal Imaging For Horses … and other Animals

Thermal Imaging – See problems Before they Happen

Not Just Pretty Pictures

Thermal Imaging or Thermography is a very powerful diagnostic tool which has been around for quite a while even though you may not have come across it here in Australia.

Certainly in the United States, it has been used for quite some time, most commonly in the Equine Industry.

What is Thermal Imaging and What does it Show?

Thermal imaging involves the use of a special IR (Infrared) Camera which detects the heat emitted from the body’s surface. By assigning a specific colour to each temperature range captured, an image is formed which is then stored inside the camera’s mini computer.

Areas of inflammation, chronic or acute, show up as colder or hotter than normal temperatures on the image.

Unlike X-Rays or Ultrasound which detect abnormal structual changes within the body, Thermal Imaging is a “Physiological” diagnostic tool.

This means it reflects the body’s physiological state at that time. Although Thermographic images measure only surface skin temperature, they reflect changes in circulation within deeper body tissues.

For example: it’s an ideal diagnostic tool for discovering the source of lameness where the lameness can’t be associated with any particular structure visible on X-Ray – a perplexing problem for most vets..

Another benefit is that it shows up soft tissue damage not visible through X-Rays and captures pictures of the whole horse which X-Rays don’t..

It’s most commonly used to evaluate back or hind limb lameness and for performance and pre-purchase assessment.

Horse left Lat Paint Hoof Horse Chest Dog Horse Back 1
Lateral Equine

Equine Hoof
Inflammation evident

Equine Fore Dog Equine Back

Is Thermal Imaging Safe?

Yes, Absolutely. Thermal Imaging is completely safe as, unlike X-Rays it is completely non inasive to the body. The patient is not sedated for imaging and restrained only via a halter and lead rope (Horses) or collar and lead for dogs.

What should a Normal Image look like?

The first thing a Thermographer looks for is symmetry. This means thermal patterns should be the same on both sides of the body. This reflects a normal, healthy state. Any areas which are coooler or warmer than the corresponding opposite indicate a potential problem.

The best thing about Thermal Imaging is that it can detect changes happening within the body before they turn into more serious visible problems and cause further injury to the patient. This means corrective treatment can start sooner saving you money and the animal from further pain.

What we have used Thermal Imaging for so far

  1. To pinpoint the origin of lameness in numerous dogs. Thermal imaging allowed us to image all four limbs and discover which leg was the cause of the problem. This meant less X-Rays were needed to make a final diagnosis.
  2. Detecting the presence of a hoof abscess and other areas of inflammation in a lame horse. Hoof abscesses show up very clearly in Thermal imaging.
  3. Highlighting areas of nerve damage in dogs and Horses
  4. Discovering areas of stress and inflammation on performance horses and in combination with Laser
  5. Therapy, reducing pain and improving performance.

Thermal Imaging Service is Available Now

All our Thermal Imaging services include a full veterinary report. This means you don’t need to to pay an additional fee for veterinary interpretation and recommendations.

Our Thermographers have undergone training with Dr Donna Harper DVM, a Board Certified Veterinary Thermographer in the United States and she remains the referral vet for some of our more difficult or unusual cases.

If you’re interested in Thermal Imaging for your lame horse – please give us a call.