Aug 10, 2018

Cattle Dog Experiences Years of Relief After Stem Cell Therapy

Those of you who have been following our blog all of these years may remember our friend, Whisper, the Australian cattle dog who is an agility champion and one of our stem cell advocates.  She was initially treated in 2009 for osteoarthritis and OCD in both elbows.  She was treated a second time in 2011 and this time had both elbows along with her right knee and right hock (ankle) treated.  You can catch up on Whisper’s story and outcome here and here.

Recently, Whisper’s mom, Elise, contacted VetStem and provided us with an update.  Whisper just turned 12 yesterday, on August 9th, and according to Elise, ”she’s still nutty!”.  She stated that her elbows are “perfect” and that her hock is thickened however it is holding up well and is not a problem day-to-day.  Whisper enjoys swimming and running in the forest daily.  As you can see from the picture her mom sent, she’s enjoying life!

Since her last treatment in 2011, Whisper has not required further stem cell treatments.  This however is not the case for all dogs treated with stem cells.  It is important for pet owners to understand that each pet responds differently to stem cell therapy, much like every person responds differently to medications.  Your veterinarian will be able to determine if your dog is a good candidate for stem cell therapy.  Or, if you are looking for a veterinarian who can perform VetStem Cell Therapy, click here to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Aug 3, 2018

VetStem Reaches Milestone: Over 14,000 Patients Treated

Posted by Bob under stem cell therapy, VetStem Biopharma

From our first patient in January 2004, a thoroughbred race horse named Xpress Xcess, to the 32 new patients that were treated in July, VetStem has reached a milestone: over 14,000 patients have been treated with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy!

As the first company to provide adipose-derived stem cell services to veterinarians across the United States and Canada, VetStem has been a leader in the field of regenerative veterinary medicine for over a decade.  Through peer-reviewed studies, multiple case reports, and numerous success stories, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis as well as tendon and ligament injuries.

The VetStem team works hard to remain relevant and reputable.  We take pride in our strict procedures and protocols, which are guided by FDA regulations.  Our R&D and Clinical Development teams work tirelessly to research new uses for stem cells and create new stem cell protocols.

VetStem continues to contribute to the growth of the rapidly developing regenerative medicine market.  We would not be where we are today without the nearly 2,500 veterinarians and over 10,000 dog, cat, and horse owners who have entrusted us with their patient’s and their animal’s stem cells.  For that, we thank you!

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Jul 27, 2018

Golden Retriever Regains Her Mobility After Stem Cell Therapy

This week’s blog is about a golden retriever named Harley.  Harley, like many golden retrievers, had arthritis and was living a restricted lifestyle.  Harley was treated two years ago with VetStem Cell Therapy and had great results.  Many dog owners think that traditional arthritis medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medications are the only treatment available for canine arthritis.  These success stories can be a good reminder for some pet owners searching for relief for their arthritic canine companion.

Harley was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her carpi (wrists) when she was 5 years old.  Approximately 3 years later, she suffered partial cruciate ligament tears in both of her knees which led to severe thickening and arthritis in both joints.  She was on several pain medications and her exercise was restricted.  She had trouble standing up, lying down, and could barely get into a sit position.  When she would go on walks or go to the beach, she would be stiff and sore for several days following.

Harley’s pain was hard for her owner, Jordan, to watch.  Jordan, a veterinary technician, had heard about stem cell therapy form a friend.  Fortunately, the veterinarian that Jordan worked for was already credentialed to perform VetStem Cell Therapy and thus, Harley was treated in December 2015.

Approximately 8 months after her initial treatment, Jordan felt that Harley could benefit from a second round of injections.  At that time, she was working for a different veterinarian who was not VetStem credentialed, Dr. Sunshine Riehl of Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo.  After completing the VetStem Credentialing Course, Dr. Riehl administered Harley’s second round of stem cell injections in August 2016.

Jordan reported that Harley’s quality of life improved greatly.  Her need for pain medication decreased and she was able to participate in some of her favorite activities like fetch and swimming at the beach.  You can read the rest of Harley’s story here.

If your dog has arthritis, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy may help.  You can discuss the possibility of treatment with your current veterinarian or contact VetStem to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jul 20, 2018

Meet VetStem CEO and Founder, Dr. Bob Harman

Posted by Ashley under VetStem Biopharma

Dr. Harman received his bachelor’s degree, his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and his Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis.  He worked for a brief time in the dairy cow industry, but then decided to use his knowledge to start a preclinical research company for veterinary and human pharmaceutical development, HTI Bio-Services.

His fascination with stem cells began when he saw a video of stem cells beating in a petri dish.  He recognized the potential of stem cells and a need for alternative therapies in veterinary medicine.  Dr. Harman co-founded VetStem in 2002 and in January 2004 the first horse was treated with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.  Since then, over 14,000 animals have been treated.  Dr. Harman remains active in the veterinary and stem cell community, attending conferences all over the world, delivering lectures on stem cells and platelet therapy.  He has also authored 14 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Dr. Harman is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys backpacking with his dog Ben. He also played polo for many years.  Dr. Harman is a true proponent of stem cell therapy, having treated several of his own animals, including some of his polo ponies and his dog Ben. He continues to drive research and investigate new stem cell treatment protocols.

Thank you, Dr. Harman, for all of your hard work and dedication!

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Jul 13, 2018

Ruger Reduces NSAID Use After Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under dog arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Ruger began experiencing symptoms of arthritis at just four years old.  Being a Labrador retriever, this is not entirely uncommon.  He was primarily limping on and favoring his right rear leg.  An examination and X-rays determined that he had osteoarthritis in both of his knees.

After some online research, Ruger’s owner contacted us via our Locate a Vet website to find veterinary stem cell providers in her area.  From there, she visited Dr. Robert Pierce of North Idaho Animal Hospital who confirmed that Ruger was a good candidate for stem cell therapy.

In March of 2017, Ruger received stem cell injections in both knees and also intravenously.  After some rest, Ruger was able to slowly build up his activity level and his owners reported he was able to get back to some of his favorite activities like swimming.  Approximately six months after his treatment, Ruger’s owners began to reduce his use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until they were “all but gone.”

We checked in with Ruger’s owners recently and they reported the he continues to do well.  He recently enjoyed a camping trip with his family and his canine brother and lab buddies.

Click here to read the rest of Ruger’s story.

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Jul 6, 2018

How Do Stem Cells Work?

Posted by Bob under stem cell therapy

Most of us know how the VetStem Cell Therapy process works: fat is collected from your pet, the fat is shipped to the VetStem laboratory where it is processed into injectable stem cell doses, and those doses are shipped back to your vet for injection into your pet.  But do you know how stem cells themselves work?

Stem cells are like little homing devices.  When an injury occurs, the stem cells home to the site of injury via the bloodstream and begin their work.  They start by releasing specialized molecules that help to grow new blood vessels, reduce swelling and pain, and also send a signal to additional healing cells to replace the lost or damaged cells.  These specialized repair cells are known as progenitor cells.  In addition to this, they produce special “drugs” that help block the formation of scar tissue.

While stem cells are very capable, some factors may lead to the body being unable to fully repair itself.  Sometimes an injury is so severe that surgical repair is required to help the body heal.  Sometimes the body’s natural healing needs some help to do the job quickly and efficiently.  That’s where stem cell therapy comes in.

When injuries like partial cruciate ligament tears occur, delivering a concentrated dose of stem cells directly to the injury may help to speed the healing and reduce scar tissue formation.  By reducing scar tissue, arthritis is less likely to form in the affected joint.

In a case where an animal already has osteoarthritis, introducing a concentrated dose of stem cells to the affected joint may help to rebuild the cartilage that cushions the joint.  The stem cells signal to the cartilage progenitor cells to come and heal the damaged cartilage.  By repairing the cartilage, the joint becomes more cushioned thereby making the pet less painful.

If you think that your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak with your veterinarian or contact us to find a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jun 29, 2018

Veterinarian Treats Her Own Dog with Stem Cells

Cooper is a 6-year-old Labrador retriever owned by Dr. Valerie Warmuth of Red Hills Veterinary Hospital.  When Cooper was around 4 years old, he began to show signs of osteoarthritis in his hips.  His hind limbs were becoming lame and he was slowing down on walks.  Dr. Warmuth had started Cooper on NSAIDs but knew this would not solve the issue and that the medicine came with potential dangerous side effects.

She decided to try VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.  She had recently become VetStem credentialed and Cooper was her first stem cell patient.  Within the first 30 days after treatment, Cooper’s lameness decreased.  Three months after treatment, X-rays revealed improvement in his hip joints.

We recently checked back in with Dr. Warmuth and she reported that Cooper is still doing well and enjoys playing with his canine brothers.

You can read the rest of Cooper’s story here.

Cooper is one of many dogs that have had successful results with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.  You can read more stories like Cooper’s here.  If you think your dog may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact us today to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jun 22, 2018

Stem Cell Therapy and Pain Relief

Posted by Bob under pain in pets, stem cell therapy

In our recent blog about Ben receiving stem cell therapy after having bladder stones removed, we briefly mentioned the effect of stem cells on inflammation.  We know that stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties.  By reducing the inflammation, the stem cells are also reducing pain associated with the inflammation.  Just like when you take ibuprofen for your headache or aching joints.

Several recent studies have pointed to the effects of stem cell therapy on pain.  Not only are stem cells anti-inflammatory, they have also been shown to have pain blocking cytokines (small, secreted proteins), which can have opioid-like effects.

Experts point out that the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that we give our dogs do not provide complete relief from the pain associated with osteoarthritis.  We also know that NSAID use can lead to gastrointestinal upset and organ damage, which is why most veterinarians advise against long-term use of NSAIDs.

So where does stem cell therapy come in?  While current literature supports that stem cells have multiple modes of action that can address both acute and chronic pain, it’s generally not the first “tool” that a veterinarian reaches for.  Autologous stem cell therapy, where a patient receives his own stem cells, has the advantage of being a readily available and natural source of anti-inflammatory and pain controlling factors.  When administered aseptically, autologous stem cell therapy has almost no risk of reaction.  Our goal is to inform both pet owners and veterinary professionals about the capabilities of stem cells so that they become a first line of defense, rather than a last-ditch effort.

If you’re wondering whether your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact VetStem for a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jun 15, 2018

In Loving Memory of Knuckles, The Bubble Chasing Bulldog

It’s always a sad day when we learn of one of our patients passing away.  We recently learned that Knuckles, an English bulldog, passed away suddenly in early April.  This particular passing pulled on our heartstrings a little extra, as some of us were lucky enough to meet Knuckles and witness his success with stem cell therapy and platelet therapy in person.

Knuckles’ case was a bit different than our standard osteoarthritis case in that Knuckles was also dealing with a chronic infection in the affected joint.  This is known as septic arthritis.  His right stifle, or knee, had become badly infected after a failed surgery to repair a torn cruciate ligament and luxating patella.  Knuckles spent 2 years in pain, taking various medications, and going to rehabilitation appointments.  While his rehab helped him regain some muscle mass in his bad leg, he continued to be lame and in pain so his loving owner, Sarah, took him for a consult with Dr. Holly Mullen at VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral.

Dr. Mullen recommended VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy along with the Pall V-PETTM, a platelet enhancement therapy system that is distributed by VetStem.  After a month of antibiotics to clear the infection in his knee, Knuckles received stem cells and platelet therapy.  In his follow up appointments, it was apparent that he had a terrific response to the therapy.  He became more active and was in less pain, so much so that he was able to discontinue his pain medications.  You can read about Knuckles’ experience with stem cells and platelet therapy here.

At first this blog was meant to be our usual “success story” blog.  When I began writing it, I pulled up Knuckles’ record in our database and saw that he was deceased.  It immediately made me sad, as he is well known around the office and has been a VetStem “poster child” so to speak.  That’s when I thought that perhaps a memorial to Knuckles would be nice.  He was certainly a special pup, loved very much by his family and all those who were lucky enough to know him.

One of his favorite activities was chasing bubbles.  Before his stem cell and platelet therapy, his leg kept him from being able to do this.  After the treatment, he was not only back to chasing bubbles, he began chasing lizards and squirrels in his new backyard!  He loved running around the yard and chasing the critters, all the while digging up mom’s plants.  She didn’t mind though.  In fact, when I reached out to Sarah to get her permission to write this blog, she informed me that he passed doing just that.  While sad, I couldn’t help but smile envisioning Knuckles’ big bulldog face covered in dirt with that silly bulldog smile.

Knuckles will be sorely missed, that is for sure.  But perhaps his legacy can live on in his story and his experience with stem cells and platelet therapy.  If his story reaches just one person who is searching for treatment options for their dog with a similar condition, then we’ve succeeded at carrying on his legacy.

Run free big guy!

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Jun 8, 2018

Dr. Harman’s Dog, Ben, Treated with VetStem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Stem Cells

As you have all gathered from past blogs, Ben is my border collie hiking buddy and also my hearing assist dog for my high frequency hearing loss!  He is an expert at detecting rattlesnakes on the trail.  I was all set for a great 4 day hiking adventure in the Sierra Nevada mountains when he got his first bladder stone urethra block.  That means he had bladder stones and several plugged up his urethra and he could not urinate.  He just lifted his leg and looked at me asking, “What is wrong Dad?”

After the first check with a specialist it was determined that he had a rather rare type of stone that was likely caused or made worse by bladder inflammation.  They unblocked him.  Within a week he blocked again and this time needed surgery in which we flushed out 50 stones!  Wow.  Very rare in such a young dog (5 years old).  Since we had to do a surgery, I took the opportunity to have fat collected to isolate his stem cells.  And because the surgeon said his bladder was inflamed and possibly infected, we gave him an IV dose of his own stem cells 2 days after the surgery.  As you all know, stem cells migrate to areas of inflammation and help “turn it off” and are also great at producing natural antibiotics.

It has been nearly a year now and Ben is back hiking (and lifting his leg on everything).  No signs of infection or stones.  Chronic inflammation of any kind is hard to control and causes fibrosis, or in this case, stones to possibly form.  I believe in the coming years we will begin using stem cells for many more types of inflammation like in the lungs, kidneys and even liver.  Two recently published studies show that stem cells can be given for dry eye in dogs and mouth inflammation (gingival stomatitis) in cats!

Check with your vet and find out what kinds of conditions might respond to stem cell therapy and keep your walking or hiking buddy in top shape for new adventures!

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