Stem cell therapy used locally in dogs

Posted: October 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm


Stem cell therapycan bea very controversial issue, but now some veterinarians are using new techniques to harvest those cells.

The cutting edge procedure helps fight degenerative diseases and has only been performed a few times in Missouri.

Experts say regenerative medicine using stem cells is a less invasive and more cost effective alternative for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and cartilage injuries.

Googus is an 8 year old Boxer mix diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy.

This terminal disease affects the spinal cord causing loss of control in the hind legs.

"Even though they're unable to use their back legs they're still normal in their brain and they just don't understand why they can't walk," said Dr. Stephen Williams, Animal Health Center. "There's just not a good connection and transmission from the nerves to the back legs."

But new technology could slow, if not stop, its progression. Dr. Williams is using stem cell therapy to counteract this and other degenerative diseases in dogs.

"The stem cells from the patient are the ones that are going to benefit that same patient versus trying to take stem cells from a different dog and putting them in this dog," said Dr. Williams. "By harvesting the stem cells from the fat versus people have heard of stem cells from umbilical cords and stuff like that we're taking it from the fat tissue and harvesting those and actually activating with a fluorescent light."

Once the fat is extracted it's a two hour process to prepare the new stem cells. Those are then injected back into the patient along with platelets that work with the immune system to fight the disorder.

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Stem cell therapy used locally in dogs

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