Some joint disease in pets, that had only been treatable through surgery, can now be addressed with minimally invasive stem cell therapy. Here’s how stem cell therapy (SCT) works in dogs and cats.
What are stem cells and how are they therapeutic?
A stem cell is a blank slate that can become any type of cell with the potential to regenerate tissue in any part of the body affected by disease or injury. Pet stem cell therapy uses stem cells from the bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, or fat of either your pet or an animal of the same species. The therapy has been used in dogs, cats, and horses successfully. A veterinarian injects the stem cells into the diseased area where the cells divide and grow. They reduce pain and inflammation, and promote healing.
What are the illnesses that stem cell therapy treats?
The most common veterinary uses of stem cells are in dogs with Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) and Osteoarthritis (OA). Repair of muscles, joints, and ligaments due to injury are also commonly treated as well as some cancers. Research is underway to test stem cells for diabetes treatment in dogs and to treat animals that have lost control of their bladders.
Should I treat my dog with stem cell therapy?
Not every pet is a good candidate for SCT, so it’s important that we have an exam and talk about your pet’s history, lifestyle, and medical needs.
I think my pet may benefit from stem cell therapy. Now what?
Schedule a visit with our veterinarian. We will spend some time with you talking about the expectations and the benefits of stem cell therapy, then lay out the best plan for your pet and you. If we find that stem therapy is the best option, we will schedule a simple surgical procedure to obtain a small sample of fat from your pet. This sample is sent to a professional veterinary laboratory to separate the cells and obtain highly viable and potent regenerative stem cells. These cells are injected back into your pet at the site of disease or injury. Most treatment plans call for 2-3 injections, with 2-3 appointments needed over the course of 3-4 weeks.
When will I see the benefits of stem cell therapy in my pet?
SCT will give your pet pain relief in as soon as a few days to a few weeks after the injection, with further improvement as healing progresses.
Need to find out more about Brookfield Animal Hospital and stem cell therapy for dogs or cats? We are happy to help