Jul 11, 2014

What can stem cells be used for? Arthritis

Posted by Bob under dog arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Stem cells have been and will continue to be a hot news topic.  So what do we know about how they actually work in arthritis?

First, these little cells we call “stem cells” can be found anywhere in the body.  You are alive right now because your own stem cells replace the hundreds of millions of cells you lose every day as a part of normal living.  They are your “spare parts” and are essential.  If your dog has arthritis, stem cells help replace the lost cartilage caused by the disease.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 6, 2014

Stem cells: How do they work?

Ready for a little more detail on how stem cells can work?  Great!

Stem cells are kind of multi-purpose, so how they work depends on the particular need.  Ben has volunteered as our example.  Let’s say Ben, being a Border Collie, is so focused on chasing a frisbie that he fails to see the fence in his pathway.  He crashes into the fence Read the rest of this entry »

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May 28, 2014

What are Stem Cells – The Skinny

Ben, my Border Collie buddy, was searching for a simple explanation of what are stem cells.  Hard to decide if you want them for those sore joints or a torn tendon unless you know a little bit about them!

BenHeadTiltSo here is the skinny version.  Stem cells are the natural repair cells of your body, and in the body of your furry buddies.  All animals have them and they are the way we repair injuries such as a torn ligament or a broken bone.  Scientists have been researching these amazing little cells for decades and we know quite a lot about how they do their job.  Click here for a cute video I found on the internet that discusses stem cells and how they function.  It is a little out dated as far as sources of stem cells but educational none-the-less.  I’ll talk about sources in another blog.

The main jobs these stem cells perform are:

Reduce inflammation

Reduce scar tissue

Reduce pain

Repair damage

They are like paramedics…..they rush to the scene of an accident, decide who needs help first, and reduce the damage or injury severity.  Then they call in the doctors and specialists to get the real regeneration job done.

BenFetch1These guardians are located everywhere in the body and are small, unspecialized cells.  Unlike a heart or liver cell, a stem cell can function to repair all the tissues of the body.  They can help repair a ligament, a tendon, cartilage in your joint, or a burn wound.

So there you have the skinny version.  Next post, I will talk a bit more about how these amazing cells actually do their repair.  If you are interested in reading more on the science of stem cells check out this page.

Hope I didn’t put you to sleep.  I think Ben has had enough education for the day…he is ready for a fetch session (I think I fetch as much as he does)!

See you next post!

Dr. Harman

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May 1, 2014

Introduction of a new blog series, “What Are Stem Cells?”

I am back!  Sorry for the absence.  I needed a break from blogging to be able to finish a couple of book chapters on stem cell therapy and to help out our human stem cell therapy friends with our great data from dog, cat, and horse stem cell cases.  But now I am back and ready to start talking with you all again about stem cells for pets, and how we can give them the best quality of life.

Ben Harman pupI have a new furry buddy since last we talked.  His name is Ben; a Type A red Border Collie.  Ben goes nearly everywhere with me, including to talks I give at dog clubs and stables, and he loves to hang out all day at the office.

I gave an almost two hour educational lecture to the Cavalier King Charles pet owners group, Cavelier Circle San Diego, recently and it was clear from all the many questions asked that there is a real interest in stem cell therapy and how it can be used to treat various conditions in our companion animals.  So I will re-start this blog with discussion about the basics of stem cells.

Ben Harman workingBen will be along as your guide and he will try to keep me focused on the topic!  He proofreads for me.

Since the mainstream media focuses on sensationalism in reporting, I want to give you all an honest and straightforward foundation in the basics of stem cell therapy so that you can decide for your pets, and also maybe for yourself soon, what is the right type of treatment when considering regenerative medicine.

We will talk over the coming weeks about what stem cells really are, how they work, and the practical aspects of how cells are collected and used to treat arthritis and other diseases.  We will cover costs, insurance, and how to choose a veterinarian for your pet’s stem cell procedure.

Stay tuned for the first in this series titled “What are Stem Cells?”

See you then!

Dr. Harman

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Apr 23, 2014

A Dog’s Elbow Dysplasia Pain is Relieved with Stem Cells

I am always thrilled to hear success stories from owners and am excited to be able to share with you Whisper’s story.

“Seven years old and she’s still kicking butt and taking names! Two osteotomies, two surgeries, two stem cell therapies… AMAZING, this little dog!!!”

That’s what Elise recently commented on her now-7-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, on Whisper’s banking renewal form.  Here at Vet-Stem we bank stem cells for future uses.  Whisper was a very special case, done way back in 2009.  She received stem cell therapy, after multiple surgeries and significant pain medications failed to provide relief. This relief lasted for 2 years when she had another treatment using some of her stored stem cells. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 1, 2013

Our two old dogs and regenerative stem cell therapy

Posted by Bob under dog arthritis, pain in pets

As with all dog lovers there comes a time when you notice your friend slowing down. At that point it is important to really take a look to see what things you can do to help ease any pain from arthritis or other issues. We have a 14 year old Toy Fox Terrier and a 9 year old Aussie who both have been a challenge to keep slim. They love to eat! So we ration their food but we share our celery and broccoli. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 28, 2012

Can Dog Paralysis be Cured by Regenerative Medicine?

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells, Stem Cell Industry

I am guessing that you might have heard about the exciting data about dogs with damaged spinal cords that were treated with regenerative medicine. As with all science, the devil is in the details.  Cure is a BIG concept.  The group in England presented data in the journal  Brain showing that a stem-like cell from the nervous tissue in the nose could be injected in the damaged spinal cord of dogs.  These cells apparently helped make connections between the rear and front feet to allow a more coordinated walking movement.  It is difficult to see from the single video (this might have been the best one) to tell how much the dogs were helped.  They do state that the dogs did not regain bowel or bladder control. This study was for the purpose of deciding if this therapy could some day help humans. For us, we are excited because it may help our four legged friends.

The dog in the video improved over six months to be able to walk with the hind legs mostly following the front.  It is a major advance, but far from a cure for paralysis.  The authors are realistic in stating: “..this intervention alone is unlikely to have appreciable benefits in the treatment of human spinal cord injury…”  The therapy helps the rear legs follow the front legs without re-connecting to the brain.  It would not likely help with the more complicated activities such as bladder control, hand motion, or sexual function.

Another interesting possibility presented by the authors is that “the precise type of cells in the transplant is not critical to the success of mucosal-derived transplants.”  Vet-Stem is exploring with the authors whether adipose stem cells might provide a similar benefit, as was shown in an article by Dr. Ryu (click here for link).

Science always brings hope, but it is important to realize the time lag of translating clinical trial data into real therapy for affected animals or humans.  We will update you as we determine if this method might be useful to our dog buddies in the near term.

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Nov 15, 2012

Veterinary Stem Cell Meeting – Highlights

Incredible new results for stem cell therapy were presented at the 3rd North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Meeting in Savannah, Georgia last week.  I was privelidged to attend and to present our data.  One presenter showed how stem cells can function to grow new tendons and ligaments.  Another (Dr. Ross Rich, Cave Creek, AZ) presented data on how over 85% of horses with ligament injury return to full performance level after being treated with adipose stem cells.  I was selected to present data on how stem cells can potentially help cats with failing kidneys.   Dr. John Peroni of the University of Georgia presided as the association president and introduced the keynote speaker from Georgia Tech who spoke on stem cells in bone healing.  One spectacular presentation showed how adipose stem cells can heal dogs with serious tendon and ligament injuries sustained in athletic events like agility and flyball.  Wow.   In the coming weeks, I will post on the data presented on dogs with arthritis and horses with arthritis and also laminitis to give you a flavor of the rapid progress in discovering new ways to use these cells!  They even showed how they can use advanced stem cell tracking to see how cells move around the body to do their miraculous healing jobs.  A dawn of the age of Regeneration has reached the veterinary world before human medicine.

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Nov 9, 2012

Pets Best Insurance covers Vet-Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under uncategorized

POWAY, Calif. – November 1, 2012 – Vet-Stem, the world’s leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine™ company, is pleased to announce that Pets Best Insurance plans provide coverage for our Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy.

Vet-Stem first offered stem cell therapy for dogs and cats in 2007 and is honored that so many pet owners and veterinarians have placed their trust in Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy to treat osteoarthritis, muscle, tendon and ligament injuries. Vet-Stem is proud and delighted to hear the stories of the reduction in pain, and improvement in quality of life, in so many dogs.

One of those stories is about Jetta, a member of the Pets Best Insurance family who was treated with Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy in 2011. “Our CEO had a wonderful experience utilizing Vet-Stem therapy in his twelve year old lab.  He loved throwing, and she loved chasing, a ball every evening. But as she aged, she just could not do it due to severe arthritis.  Surgery was not a viable alternative and he asked me about stem cell therapy.  I told him we had seen claims with the treatment and it was covered with our insurance.  He had it done, her condition very much improved and she was able to chase the ball again.  Pets Best Insurance provides full coverage for Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy, in fact we were early adopters of providing coverage and paying for the therapy. Any procedure performed by practicing veterinarians that helps pets, we are in favor of” said, Jack L. Stephens DVM, President/Founder of Pets Best Insurance

“We are proud that so many dog owners and veterinarians have placed their trust in Vet-Stem Cell therapy.  We feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that there are thousands of dogs and dog owners who have experienced the benefit of stem cell technology.  This practical and beneficial application of technology puts stem cell therapy into the present day instead of a future theoretical concept. The fact that Pets Best provides coverage for our therapy is an added plus and makes this a viable treatment option for many more pet owners”, said Bob Harman, DVM, MPVM, Founder and CEO of Vet-Stem.

 

More information about Vet-Stem can be found at www.Vet-Stem.com

More information about Pet’s Best can be found at www.petsbest.com

 

About Vet-Stem, Inc.

Vet-Stem, Inc. was formed in 2002 to bring regenerative medicine to the veterinary profession. In January of 2004, Vet-Stem introduced the first veterinary stem cell service in the United States. The privately held company is working to develop therapies in veterinary medicine that apply regenerative technologies while utilizing the natural healing properties inherent in all animals.  Vet-Stem has exclusive licenses to over 50 patents including world wide veterinary rights for use of adipose derived stem cells.

 

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Oct 22, 2012

Human Crohn’s Disease Trial Reports

Posted by Bob under dog arthritis, Stem Cell Industry

Human stem cell therapy succeeds!  As part of providing insights into the world of dog arthritis, I think it is useful for you to see what all is happening in the human stem cell world.  Crohn’s disease is a horrible auto-immune disease where the lower GI tract is being attacked by the person’s own immune system.  A group in Spain has been working for a number of years treating patients with this disease with adipose stem cell therapy.  There is a great report of clinical trial you should all see (link: Crohn’s Trial Results) where more than half of these patients had a great response to being treated with adipose stem cells.  There are so many new trials around the world using stem cell from fat tissue that it is hard to keep up with the literature.  Proudly, I believe that the success with using adipose stem cells to treat dog arthritis, like Tucker’s Story,  has helped generate interest and to show the safety of this type of therapy.

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