The Veterinarians and staff of the VCA Animal Healing Center are here to restore and maintain your pet's health through a combination of the highest-quality holistic medicine, conventional medicine and surgery. We will always treat your pet as if they were our own with compassion and dignity. We are committed to respecting every person and animal who comes through our door, and providing kind and individualized care, along with open and honest communication.
We are excited to offer you a new procedure called stem cell therapy for arthritis and ligament injuries!
This concept fits right in with holistic medicine as it involves using your pet's own fat cells to heal cartilage, tendons, and arthritic joints. Stem cells are a cell that can become any cell type depending on where they are placed in the body. Surprisingly, fat has the greatest number of "precursor" cells than any other tissue in the body.
Here's how it works:
If your pet is determined to be an appropriate candidate, your pet will be anesthetized to have fat cells collected from the abdomen where there is plenty of available fat. The small incision is similar to that made for a spay. The cells are then sent overnight to the lab where the fat is processed and isolated by technicians trained to culture stem cells from the fat. These stem cells are then sent overnight back to Animal Healing Center to be injected into the affected joints. For this second procedure (two days later) most pets can just be sedated and the injections given over 15-20 min. Cells are also given intravenously as well to give the opportunity to help other areas that may not have been targeted.
80% of owners feel their animals are significantly improved in comfort and mobility by 3 months after the procedure is performed.
Extra stem cells may be stored on an individual pet for later use so they will not have to be anesthetized for collection of fat cells in the future.
Also an option is collecting fat cells on young animals when they are already anesthetized for another procedure such as a spay or neuter. These cells may be stored for many years later when needed!
Stem cells offer many promising uses for regenerating damaged cells in one's own body in the future; but for now, it is one more tool for helping heal injured and arthritic joints.
Please call us if you would like some more information on this exciting treatment.
Dr. Sharon Marx