Stem Cell Therapy Helping Dogs With Arthritis

American Dogs Can Use Stem Cell Treatment, Americans Can Not
While Americans must go overseas to be treated for heart disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and arthritis using their own adult stem cells, at least American dogs can be given stem cell therapy in the United States. The treatment using the dogs own stem cells is helping the dogs recover from arthritis and various other ailments.

Adult Stem Cells Help With Arthritis
In 2008, Carol Ball had a springer spaniel named Joey who was suffering from arthritis. Carol had already had another dog euthanized due to the pain of arthritis a couple of years earlier and did not want to lose another one to the same condition. However, this time, her veterinarian was offering a stem cell treatment using adult stem cells taken from the dog's fat.

From the stem cell news story:

In the therapy, stem cells, which produce chemicals that reduce inflammation and pain, are extracted from the animal's own fatty tissue. The cells are then injected directly back into the arthritic joints, where they can develop or change into other cells necessary for repair.

Pets that receive the treatment typically find relief within a month or two, says Keith Clement, the veterinarian at Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital who cared for Joey, but results have been observed as early as within three days of treatment.

Before the stem-cell therapy, Joey used to lag behind during walks. Since the treatments, Ball says 4-year-old Joey simply doesn't wear out and keeps busy roughhousing with her other dogs.

"He has had absolutely no problems," she says. "He's a very active dog. We do a lot of off-leash running and hiking together. His life is wonderful."

Although some countries use the same stem-cell therapies on humans to treat conditions such as arthritis, it has not received Food and Drug Administration approval for human use in the U.S.

Since April 2008, Clement has treated 45 to 50 dogs and one cat. All but five of the pets were treated for arthritis, he says, the most common application for the stem-cell procedure. Vet-Stem also approves experimental use of the treatments for issues such as liver disease and kidney disease.

About 85 percent of patients respond to treatment, Clement says, and it's unknown why it's ineffective in some animals.

The therapy has no side effects, Clement says. The only risks are those faced anytime an animal receives anesthesia, which is required for Clement to surgically remove the samples of fat from the patient's abdominal area before sending them to Vet-Stem.
The veterinarian, Keith Clement, also has used the stem cell research to help his very own dog.

On average, stem-cell therapy costs $2,700 to $3,000 for the treatment of three to four joints, Clement says. B

The veterinarian, Keith Clement, also has used the stem cell research to help his very own dog.

For many pet owners, the treatment is worth the investment, Clement says. His own golden retriever, Buster, who suffers from severe hip dysplasia, had the treatment when he was 7 months old to slow and curb arthritic changes.

"If you have to put a dog to sleep because of chronic joint pain, it's horrible. To be able to offer something that will extend their life and their quality of life ... is a good thing," he says.

Can Americans Get A Better Quality of Life Too?
It is sad that this therapy isn't available to American people who suffer from arthritis and other conditions on a daily basis. This treatment is available overseas, but the US FDA wants to "protect" us from receiving a better quality of life with little risk and no side effects and does not allow stem cell treatment in the USA.

You can see this whole story on stem cell treatment for dogs with arthritis

Well, I'm glad that dogs have enjoyed the benefit of using their own stem cells to cure painful ailments. It's about time dogs and other animals, who contribute to our growth and knowledge of medical treatments, get to enjoy those benefits. For example, dogs have been used to research knee and hip joint replacements and truly it's a wonderful treatment for humans. But the implants are so expensive, that one can't afford to pay for the treatments. Humans have health insurance to cover those expenses, but even pet healthcare coverage (if you have it) doesn't cover the cost of these implants if it is due to a hereditary deficiency, which it usually is. The implants themselves cost several thousand dollars, and I know this because I used to be a surgical buyer in a hospital. The implants for a ONE knee or hip replacemeent would cost the hospital $4500-4800 and that was about 10 years go, from Johnson and Johnson for example. Then of course, the hospital has to in turn, bill the patient/insurance for the implants. I would think it couldn't have gone down by much, if it didn't actually get more costly. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't afford that for one of my dogs and yes, they don't cost much different. The last time I had to put a dog down for severe arthritis I was quoted $3500 for each hip.

So I am of the opinion to say that I appreciate that dogs can benefit from the research they painfully help us with...even though their participatio is not even voluntary. Why can't they benefit from it? They did all the sufferering to get us there.

Now, why can't Americans use their own stem cells to treat ailments? I don't know anything about stem cell research. I always thought that stem cells were fetal and neonate cells? That's not one of the things we cover in class - at all.

Stem cell research goes on everyday in the United States people are medically treated here with stem cells every day.

As Catholics we are against Embryonic Stem Cell research.
http://www.ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183

The company that does this procedure is called Vet-stem. They claim a nominal success rate of 75% I did some research on this a few years ago when one of my dogs was Dx with osteoarthritis. It was a little too expensive. But I had the feeling when I read up on it. That once approved for humans by the FDA. It might slam the door on Embryonic stem cell research once and for all. :shrug:Time will tell.

Here’s a couple links.
vet-stem.com/technologies/regenerativecells.php

vet-stem.com/services/

ATB

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