Stem cell therapy improves lives of pets

Posted: September 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm

An unprecedented stem cell procedure that's been used on athletes overseas is now helping to improve the quality of life for mans best friend.

The technique is only available at one animal hospital in Louisiana.

Dale Landry loves his dog, Ratchet, unconditionally. He said he's a friend who's stuck by him through many of life's adventures.

"He comes to my office; he's a very active dog. He's done water sports until about two years ago, rides in the boat, rides the Seado. He actually used to wakeboard with me," Landry said.

Ratchet has been a little less active lately. The almost 15-year-old labrador mix has recently been suffering from joint pain and hip arthritis.

"He's been more and more hunched in the back and crouched down in the hind end, so you could definitely tell he was having a little trouble getting up in the morning," said Dr. Gordy Labbe of the Metairie Small Animal Hospital.

Ratchet has been taking medication and has undergone laser treatments for a year, but Labbe tried a new option Wednesday in the form of stem cell therapy.

It's a breakthrough technique that has yet to be used on small animals. It's a new tool available to veterinarians to combat osteoarthritis and give hope to improving quality of life of canines, felines and equine patients.

Labbe is one of the 450 veterinarians across the nation to implement this American Veterinary Medical Association approved procedure.

The Metairie Small Animal Hospital is the only clinic in the state of Louisiana that offers the in-house technology.

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Stem cell therapy improves lives of pets

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