Archive for April, 2010

Apr 28, 2010

21st Century Medicine is here:Stem Cells for Dogs

Am I too old for stem cells for my arthritis?

Recently there was a segment on 60 Minutes entitled “21st Century Snake Oil” that profiled the use of stem cells in humans for conditions that were over represented, over promised and understudied.  The segment showed how people suffering from ALS were taken advantage of because they were so desperate for a cure.  Unfortunately, it is companies and clinics like these that inhibit the progress of stem cell medicine.

Vet-Stem Lab

As one of the first veterinary stem cell companies in the world, Vet-Stem sets the standard for other veterinary stem cell companies. The reason why Vet-Stem has a mandatory training class for veterinarians who want to use stem cells for dogs with arthritis is to teach them the science behind regenerative medicine.  Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 21, 2010

Sudden Pain and Lameness? Your Dog May Have a Ruptured ACL

 One of the most common injuries a dog can get is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).  The tearing of the ligament happens in healthy athletic dogs as well as overweight dogs when they are running and suddenly change direction.  The ACL and the posterior cruciate ligament are two ligaments that cross each other as one travels from the front to the back of the knee joint, and the other travels from the back to the front. What does the ACL do?  This ligament is a fibrous band of tissue that attaches your dog’s femur with their tibia, making the knee joint a hinge. 

What are the signs of a torn cruciate?  Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 19, 2010

Sam’s Story – Stem cells even help old dogs with arthritis!

Sam Szabo - Forever Remembered

GUEST BLOGGER: Ms. Julia Szabo – New York City.  In 2008, my pit bull Sam had a tremendously successful experience with Vet-Stem: The brilliant Dr. Bob Harman and his team basically “Benjamin Buttoned” my beloved dog.

Sam’s stem-cell saga started two years ago, in April of 2008, when he collapsed on the sidewalk during a routine outing. He’d had mild arthritis since his ACL surgery several years before, but his joints grew progressively more stiff. Eventually, both of Sam’s hind legs gave out and he collapsed on the sidewalk in a humiliated heap. I got him home and immediately began researching Sam’s options.

That’s when I learned about the high-tech hope for dogs with arthritis (and horses and cats): Vet-Stem, the incredible therapy pioneered by Dr. Bob Harman of San Diego. I brought Sam to the vet for an exam, which determined that he was OK to undergo anesthesia even at his advanced age (14 years). It was a risk, but it was one well worth taking. My dog seemed depressed. He used to urinate by lifting his leg with an extension to rival the young Baryshnikov’s – but his limbs were now so weakened that he was relieving himself with all four feet on the ground, looking resigned and sad. Sam was not living; he was existing. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 16, 2010

The Adipose-derived Stem Cell:Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Stem Cell Therapy

Over a decade has passed since the discovery of stem cells in fat tissue.  Dr. Pat Zuk at UCLA has just published an incredible review article on the history and current status of the adipose stem cell.  This review covers the discover and the rise of the adipose stem cell to be one of the “most popular adult stem cells currently being explored today” according to Dr. Zuk.  There is an excellent review table that shows the many, many articles on the research activity around the adipose stem cell, but more importantly, also shows the many current and past human clinical trials in real diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis.  This quote says it all:  “Looking back, the isolation of the ASC (adipose stem cell) seemed to preface a decade that could easily be named the “decade of the adult stem cell.”  I have emailed Dr. Zuk copies of the Vet-Stem published clinical trials with hopes she will include them in future publications since our data shows the striking clinical benefit in dogs and horses with arthritis and improvement in their quality of life.  Please check out the related blog post on the Vet-Stem Dog Arthritis clinical trial. Also you can download the actual paper on the clinical trial at

Apr 14, 2010

Pets Improve Our Health

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

Dr. Bob's Border Collie Buddy, Ritz

In my previous blogs we have spent a lot of time talking about how to help pets that are in pain from arthritis by using their own stem cells as a therapy.  It has been incredibly rewarding to work towards solutions that help relieve pet’s pain.  In this blog, I want to share a great slide show that illustrates how pets can help us with pain relief, depression and many other issues.  Take a few minutes to watch this great slide show from WedMD that shows you great examples of how pets improve the quality of our lives.

Dr. Bob and his polo buddy

Apr 9, 2010

Big Love: Pet obesity and dog arthritis expands in United States

I have devoted previous posts to the important subject of pet obesity and the effects on canine and feline arthritis.  I would like to revisit the subject again with some great new information  from veterinarian and author Dr Ernie Ward.  I pulled some interesting facts out of the article but if you would like to read it in it’s entirety click here.  Dr Ward is passionate about educating pet owners about pet obesity. Why is obesity in pets on the uprise?  Part of the obesity problem is lack of exercise and poor portion control.  According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), when it comes to expressing our affections with food, we are doing our animals a lot more harm than good. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 5, 2010

Stem Cell Treatment for Arthritis in Horses

Ted Robinsob and Stylish - treated with stem cells for arthritis

Arthritis is a painful, debilitating joint disease that can develop in any animal. It can be the result of a traumatic injury to the joint or can develop so slowly that many pet and horse owners may not even recognize the progression of the disease.  While this blog is focused mainly on arthritis in dogs, I thought that I would spend a little time discussing arthritis in horses.  According to the AVMA 2007 pet ownership and demographic study, there are about 7.3 million horses in the US.  It is estimated that 60% of the lameness issues in horses are due to arthritis, which extrapolated out is about 4 million horses!
Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 2, 2010

Gogo’s progress, three weeks post stem cell treatment


In previous blogs  I introduced you to Gogo, a male German Shepherd who was recently retired from the bomb squad.  Gogo’s job was  to keep the airport safe from terrorist threats.  The sad thing is that Gogo loved his job and would still be out there working hard if his arthritis in his hips and elbows hadn’t been so painful. Despite trying all the latest in pain killers, Gogo just could not tolerate the

medications.  His handler had heard about stem cells and there happened to be a very experienced veterinary surgeon that used stem cells on many of his patients just down the street.    Dr Gassell examined Gogo and felt that the stem cells might reduce the pain and inflammation that the arthritis in Gogo’s hips and elbows was causing.  This first video shows Gogo before his stem cell treatment.   Note the difference in Gogo’s attitude, energy level and how he moves 3 weeks after stem cell treatment in the hips and elbows for arthritis.