Petside Items: Guest Blogger Jo Singer on Stem CellsPublished June 3, 2008
Having owned a horse with severe arthritis many years ago, requiring massive doses of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications, my veterinarian and I felt helpless to give her a dramatically improved quality of life. Today I learned about an innovative treatment, which holds the potential to regenerate damaged tissue and cartilage. Stem cell therapy may still be light years away for humans, as the debate around the ethics of embryonic stem cells continues, but our pets may be able to benefit today. While still a new therapeutic modality in the veterinary field, it shows great promise at this time in the treatment of Arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries in dogs as well as horses. Fat stem cells taken from the injured animal negates the use of embryo cells. Special guest contributor, Jo Singer It is really a simple process. Your veterinarian extracts two tablespoons of fat from your dog or horse and ships them to Vet-Stem laboratory, located in San Diego, California. These cells are isolated. Once processed, the isolated cells returned to the veterinarian in ready-to-inject syringes. The animal is then treated by a series of injections. Clinics participating in the study have reported show the benefit of each injection lasting from a few months to over a year. According to Vet-Stem, 3000 horses with tendon and ligament injuries have been treated successfully since 2004. Treatment is offered by Vet-Stem trained veterinary surgeons through their company. The cost is approximately $2,000, a hefty price tag, but as far as I am concerned, it may be the answer to a prayer in keeping a beloved dog or horse free of pain, therefore able to resume a normal lifestyle. While long-term affects of this therapy remain unknown, I would have jumped at the chance to treat my horse utilizing fat stem cells. Preferable to extended drug therapy, (which does little to heal damaged tissue, as far as I am concerned) this remarkable therapy is hands above more traditional methods. What are your thoughts about fat stem cell therapy for pets? Leave a comment and let us know.
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