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Emerging New Treatment for Osteoarthritis and more
Does your dog suffer from the pain of arthritis? Cruciate injures? Hip Dysplasia?
Stem Cell Therapy has been used successfully on many Dogs, Cats and Horses for the treatment of osteoarthritis and bone and ligament injuries both here in Australia and overseas.
Stem Cell Procedure can be an alternative to:
- Drugs for long term pain management for arthritis – (particularly in dogs)
- Some orthopaedic procedures – e.g. dogs with hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament injuries
- Ligament and tendon damage in dogs and horses
- Post orthopaedic surgery to promote faster healing and tissue regeneration
What are Stem Cells?
First of all you’ll need to understand what stem cells are and what they actually do. Stem cells are special in that they can differentiate into many different types of tissue including muscle, nerve, cartilage, bone, fat, liver and so on.
They occur naturally in the body and are drawn to areas which are damaged. They then quickly act to repair the damaged tissue. Studies have shown that these stem cells help repair damaged cartilage and bone tissue, decrease inflammation (and pain), heal damaged cells, prevent further cell deterioration and promote active tissue regeneration.
Unlike the stem cell therapy that has been used in human medicine for many years – this new technology uses only adult stem cells harvested from the pet’s own body. This means no foetal cells are involved so no ethical or moral values are at stake.
It’s a completely natural therapy – just the body healing itself with a little help from modern technology.
It has been discovered that “dormant” stem cells are found in large quantities in body fat.
How are animals treated with Stem cells?
There are now several different methods for treating animals with Stem Cells
The Adipose Stem Cell Procedure.
First of all, we harvest these “dormant” stem cells by removing around 20 grams of fat from your pet’s body, just near the shoulder blade. This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and takes around an hour. We also take a sample of your pet’s blood to harvest the platelet rich plasma which is then added to the stem cell sample.
This sample then undergoes a series of processing steps in our “in house” laboratory until a final concentrated suspension of of activated stem cells is obtained. Portions of this final suspension are then injected back into your pets’ painful joints and bloodstream to ensure maximum potency. The final step is performed under sedation or short general anaesthesia depending on the individual case.
Because the whole laboratory process is performed in house, the whole procedure is completed in just one day.
How effective is the Adipose Stem Cell Procedure?
Some dogs treated in the clinical trials were able to completely give up their daily non – steroidal anti – inflammatory medications and many others were able to reduce their daily dose after around 90 days after treatment:
Owners have reported:
- Greater range of motion of affected joints
- Less obvious signs of pain
- Less difficulty rising and walking
- Reduced need for ongoing anti – inflammatory medications
- Happier and more energetic pets
For which conditions is Stem Cell Procedure suitable?
At the moment. Stem Cell Therapy is limited to arthritis and damage to orthopaedic soft tissue damage – (joints, ligaments, cartilage, tendons) and fractures. Studies are continuing to evaluate the use of stem cells for other conditions such as kidney, liver and some auto – immune disease
Stem cell therapy is not suitable for cancer patients or patients with active infections.
Are all animals with arthritis suitable candidates for Stem Cell Procedure?
No. All patients must undergo a thorough screening process for suitability. This generally involves X-Rays of the affected joints, abdominal and chest area (to rule out tumours) as well as blood tests (to rule out any other underlying disease).
Is there any guarantee that this procedure will be successful?
No. Stem Cell therapy is not a panacea for all bone and soft tissue damage and results between individual cases will vary. Its effectiveness as a therapy has only been highlighted through thousands of reports on pets having undergone the procedure.
We can only rely on the data obtained through documented case studies to support the procedure as well as the results we achieve in our own patients.
An old dog with arthritis can’t become a puppy again but we hope to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by the disease thereby providing better quality of life. We also expect greater mobility and less reliance on medications after the procedure.
Do all clinics perform this procedure?
No. The Adipose Stem cell procedure is only available through specific clinics and Specialist Centres. Some do not have the “In House” laboratory capabilities and so need to to send the harvested fat sample to an external laboratory for processing.
Our practice uses the advanced Medivet Stem Cell procedure which allows us to process the harvested fat sample using specially purchased laboratory equipment. This means we can complete the procedure from start to finish in just one day. It also means we can offer this procedure at a more affordable price.
Is the procedure safe?
There is minimal risk involved in the procedure. First of all, the surgery and all laboratory processing is performed under strict aseptic conditions so there’s little risk of infection. Secondly, all injected cells come from your own pet so there is no rejection by the body. Finally – the stem cells harvested from your pet are not modified in any way. They are simply activated so that they can do the job nature has intended for them.
What aftercare is required following the procedure?
Rest is important for 30 days following the procedure combined with limited exercise and some physical therapy which you can easily do at home. (Your vet will explain details of the aftercare plus the necessary progress checks).
Stem cell treatment is an exciting technological breakthrough for humans and animals alike and we are just now beginning to discover its many benefits.
If you believe your pet may be a candidate for Stem Cell treatment, please contact us to arrange an initial consultation to discuss your pets’ suitability and for us to answer any further questions you may have about this procedure.