Archive for the ‘Dog Stem Cells’ Category

Aug 31, 2018

Advice for Those Considering Stem Cells for Their Dog

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Has your dog been diagnosed with osteoarthritis?  Are you considering stem cell therapy?  In an effort to help you make your decision, we reached out to a few of our stem cell advocates to inquire about their decision-making process.  Below you will find some words of advice from actual VetStem customers that may help you with your decision to move forward with stem cell therapy.

After researching the various options to help Maverick and trying acupuncture and aqua therapy, we were willing to invest in Stem Cell Therapy.  Our only hope was that he remained at the same stage he was at before the treatment.  We wanted to stop the progression and if he received any other benefits, that would be a bonus.”

 “I recommend people do the research, speak to the experts, listen to first hand experiences and make an informed decision. I will never regret having gone down this path. The end result was more quality time and improved quality of life for my girl.” 

 Yes, the cost was also a factor, but we found that CARECREDIT can be used for this treatment and it’s interest free for 12 months.” (Side note: several pet insurance companies also cover all or a portion of stem cell therapy!)

I think that we didn’t have high expectations for a drastic change or a specific timeline or benchmarks for progress.  We just didn’t want him to get worse.  But after 6 to 7 weeks, the improvement in his mobility and stamina was significant.  We couldn’t believe the change from a slow-moving senior to very active younger dog.”   

Any time a senior dog has surgery, it’s always a concern.  The procedure was shorter than we anticipated, and his recovery was very quick with no side effects.”

“The post-op physical therapy which we did faithfully for 2 weeks, really was one of the things that we found most important for a successful treatment.  Also, we continued with acupuncture and aqua therapy after the two weeks.  Maverick still goes for aqua therapy (swimming) once a week and acupuncture once a month.”

There are some key points that stand out from the above advice.

  • Do your research. Speak with your veterinarian, have him/her do an in-depth lameness exam and X-rays if not already done. Determine where the arthritis is located, how severe it is, and if your dog is a good candidate for the procedure.  Keep in mind VetStem veterinarians are available to consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s case if needed.  If your veterinarian is not VetStem Credentialed, you can take this letter to help him/her understand more about VetStem Cell Therapy.
  • Look into financial coverage options such as CareCredit and pet insurance. Some veterinary hospitals even have internal payment plans.
  • Work with your veterinarian to set realistic expectations. What do we mean by this?  Let’s say you have a 12-year-old Labrador with severe arthritis in several joints.  An unrealistic expectation would be for him to return to bouncy, puppy-like behavior.  A realistic expectation would be for him to move around more comfortably and be in less pain thus having a better quality of life.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s advice for post-treatment physical rehab. Routine rehabilitation exercises may enhance your dog’s recovery.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue stem cell therapy is yours and yours alone.  But you’re not alone in the decision-making process.  Your veterinarian, along with VetStem experts, can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have regarding stem cell therapy for your dog.  You can email us or call 858-748-2004 (Toll Free: 1-88-VETSTEM1) and we would be happy to speak with you about your dog’s specific case.

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Aug 24, 2018

Adopted Golden Retriever Gets a New Lease on Life

At 8 years old, Maverick found himself in the unfortunate situation of being at a local humane society.  Fortunately for Maverick, Irene had just lost her beloved 13-year-old golden retriever, Zeke, and was searching for a companion for her other dog, Reilly.  Though Maverick was listed as dog aggressive, he and Reilly became best friends straight away and Irene took Maverick home.

Shortly after adopting Maverick, Irene realized he was showing symptoms of arthritis: he couldn’t jump onto the bed or couch and he bunny-hopped up the stairs.  X-rays revealed that Maverick had hip dysplasia which, over the years, led to severe osteoarthritis in his hips.  After some research, Irene contacted VetStem to request a list of VetStem providers in her area and took Maverick for a stem cell consultation and treatment with Dr. David Monti of Ridge Animal Hospital.

A few months after treatment, Irene noted that Maverick’s mobility was improving.  He was no longer bunny-hopping up the stairs and began jumping on the sofa.  He also began playing fetch with much greater stamina!  You can read the rest of Maverick’s story here.

We recently checked in with Irene and she reported that Maverick continues to do great.  He still goes for his weekly swims and his monthly acupuncture and according to Irene, “going to the dog park and playing

fetch in the pond is still his favorite.”  She also said, “Maverick’s quality of life has improved tremendously. He has a new zest for life and is making up for all the years when he was in pain and so limited in his mobility.”

One might wonder why, at 8 years old, Maverick ended up at the shelter.  Whatever the reason, he and Irene are lucky they found each other.  It is clear they share a special bond.  Irene said, “we’re so grateful to have him. He’s the love of our life.” If I had to guess, I’m sure Maverick feels the same.

This picture is a bit blurry but the expression on Maverick’s face with his ears flapping in the wind says it all!

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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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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 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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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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Jun 1, 2018

KC’s Quality of Life Improved After Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

KC was a fortunate golden retriever.  Though his breed is prone to osteoarthritis, KC managed to make it to 10 years old before he began to show symptoms of the disease.  His owner, Krista, noticed he was limping and knuckling on one of his back paws.  Having seen a news segment on stem cell therapy for animals, Krista visited Dr. Lillian Rizzo who determined KC had hip dysplasia in addition to osteoarthritis in his right hock. 

In 2008, KC was treated with VetStem Cell Therapy and Krista reported it took less than 2 weeks before he started to show signs of improvement such as swimming, running, and chasing his ball.

Approximately 1 year after KC’s initial treatment, he received a second round of stem cell injections because he had begun to slow down a bit.  Stem cell therapy helped him to live comfortably for the last 5 years of his life.  Read more details about KC’s stem cell therapy here.

Contact VetStem for more information about stem cell therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis or to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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May 18, 2018

Baxter Experiences Long-Term Relief After Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Just another day, just another golden retriever with arthritis…

Today’s blog is about Baxter, a golden retriever that was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both of his hocks, or ankles, at just 1 year of age.  He began displaying some of the common symptoms of arthritis early on such as trouble with stairs and jumping, difficulty getting up from a lying down position, and not wanting to go on walks.  Luckily his owner sought treatment and at 2 years of age,  Baxter received VetStem Cell Therapy under the care of Dr. Joey Yazer at Cobequid Animal Hospital.

After treatment, Baxter was able to resume his normal activities including walking on the beach and jumping on the couch to snuggle with his canine companions.  Baxter responded so well to stem cell therapy, that he hasn’t required a re-treatment since March of 2015!  According to his owner, he continues to live a normal and happy dog life.  Read the rest of Baxter’s story here.

Golden retrievers are not the only dogs that are prone to arthritis.  Statistics show that an estimated 1 out of 5 dogs will get arthritis.  If your dog is displaying some of the symptoms of arthritis or has already been diagnosed, contact VetStem today to get a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

 

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Apr 20, 2018

Bernese Mountain Dog Successfully Treated for Arthritis

Our stem cell success story this week hails from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Meet Sheldon, a 4 year old Bernese mountain dog.  Sheldon suffered from pain and lameness in his front legs since he was a puppy.  His owners recognized his discomfort and took Sheldon to be examined by Dr. Robert Landry of Colorado Center for Animal Pain Management.  Dr. Landry determined that Sheldon had arthritis in both elbows as a result of Fragmented Coronoid Process (FCP).  As part of Sheldon’s treatment plan, Dr. Landry recommended VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy so in December of 2016, Sheldon received stem cell injections into each elbow and also intravenously.

Fast forward just over one year later and Sheldon’s owners remain pleased with his improvement since receiving VetStem cell therapy.  He is more active and is able to participate in some of his favorite activities once again.  His owners state they “are so happy with how the stem cells worked for him.”

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

Does your dog suffer from orthopedic pain, lameness, or discomfort?  Has your dog been diagnosed with arthritis?  If so, contact VetStem to find VetStem providers in your area.

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