Stem Cell Therapy, Changing Pets Lives
Over recent years, stem cell therapy has changed the lives of many dogs and cats, with different conditions being improved through the advancement of this field of science.
Stem cell therapy has been shown to be successful whereas other traditional therapies have failed to restore quality of life. An essential part of the treatment is the initial assessment, during which the pet’s health is thoroughly assessed before undergoing an extremely detailed examination of orthopaedic pain and function loss. There is often more than one area causing the symptoms and, following this examination, treatment of all discovered issues will drastically improve the success of the procedure. Diagnostic imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound scans are carried out if these have not already been performed.
Stem Cell Harvest
During the stem cell harvest, a small amount of fat is acquired from the patient. This is taken to a specialist laboratory where the cells are cultured and multiplied before being transplanted into affected joints or tissues where they regenerate into healthy tissue. Stem cell therapy provides an alternative treatment that really can improve the quality of life of pets where more traditional therapies have failed. In many cases, the need for long-term painkilling medications is reduced.
Osteoarthritic conditions can respond very well to stem cell therapy. Therapy aims to enable pets to be able to enjoy exercise and reduce the need for painkilling medication.
Conditions which are commonly treated with stem cell therapy can include:
- Degenerative joint disease
- Tendon injuries or tendinopathies
- Ligament injuries
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Certain spinal conditions such as spondylosis, Lumbosacral disease and intervertebral disc disease.
- Fracture repair
- Osteochondral defects
Tendon and ligament injuries in sports and working dogs.
Tendon and ligament injuries are very common in active dogs and can take a long time to heal due to the low blood supply to these tissues. Conservative treatment often results in scar tissue formation, with the risk of re-injury being high as strength and flexibility are affected. Stem cell therapy aims to heal the tendon or ligament through the regeneration of normal fibres without scar tissue.
In these cases, ultrasound guidance is used to target the stem cells directly into the site of injury, as well as being used to monitor the repair process. For severe tendon and ligament injuries, that have resulted in ruptures or complete tears, surgical intervention is required - injecting stem cells around the damage results in fibres regenerating, which strengthen over time, rather than scar tissue forming. Using regenerative medicine for these injuries increases the chances of the dog returning to full athletic activity.
Some examples of commonly treated tendons and ligaments include:
- Supraspinatus tendon
- Biceps tendon
- Iliopsoas tendon
- Achilles tendon
- Carpal, tarsal and stifle collateral ligament
- A cranial cruciate ligament (partial tear) or used alongside surgery for a full rupture
In addition, stem cell therapy has also been used to treat a small number of animals who have suffered from the following conditions:
- Renal failure
- Chronic nephritis
- Liver failure in Liver cancer
- Auto-immune disease
- Lupoid onychodystrophy
- Skin defects
- Allergic skin disease
- Feline diabetes
- Feline gingivitis stomatitis complex
- Nerve damage
- Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Gracilis/Semitendinosus Contracture
Please contact us to discuss the suitability of treatment in these cases.