Stem Cell Therapy is a form of regenerative medicine which uses stem cells from the pet’s own body to help treat degenerative conditions such as arthritis. Stem cells are pre-cursor cells and can differentiate into cells that make up tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, nerve, muscles, and blood vessels. Stem cells may be collected from abdominal fat or bone marrow.
With stem cell therapy, cells are harvested from the patient, submitted to a laboratory for filtration and amplification/activation, and then administered back to the patient both via joint injections and intravenous injections. The stem cells then migrate to areas of damage and differentiate into new tissue cells, helping heal damaged areas.
Quoting Dr. Sean Owens, associate professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary medicine and medical director for the school’s Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, “In the right instances, the results have already been astounding.”
The most common application for stem cells in companion animals is for treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs, as well as injuries to bone, joint, spinal cord, tendon and ligaments. In the future, stem cell therapy may be able to treat a variety of conditions both in animals and in people.