Nicollet County K-9 Update

2013-10-25 -- Last week a Nicollet County Officer underwent a medical procedure to prolong his tenure.

Draeco, a nine year old German Shepard and Nicollet County's first and only K-9, is already feeling the benefits of stem cell therapy.

As time goes on, we all start to feel a few more aches and pains.

Deputy Sheriff and K-9 Handler, Paul Biederman says, "The one bad thing about dogs is that they don't live long enough."

And at nine years old, or approximately 63 in dog years, Nicollet County's K-9, Draeco was feeling the side effects.

Biederman says, "He's kind of started to slow down a little bit with his pain in his hips and with his age it's kind of been tough to see him slow down a little bit."

Serving his community since 2006, Draeco has developed arthritis in his left hip.

To help alleviate the pain he received fairly new treatment, stem cell therapy.

Biederman says, "I heard about the opportunity, I thought this would be a great chance for us to prolong his working career and give him some relief from some of the arthritis pain he's been having in his hip."

Doctor Joanne Kamper, the veterinarian who performed the procedure, says, "We know that it works, and that's what is so exciting about it. The stem cells are produced by the body and their job is to replace and repair damaged cells, like the cartilage that's in joints that gets worn away with arthritis."

To get the cells, Kamper made a small incision in Draeco's abdomen to collect about a half a cup of fat.

Kamper says, "It's taken out during surgery so it's sterile. Then it's packaged and shipped overnight to Vet–Stem, a lab in California and they purify and concentrate the stem cells."

Sending back highly concentrated stem cells to be injected in inflamed joints.

Performed just over a week ago, Draeco's joints already seem to have loosened up a bit.

Biederman says, "He seems a bit more spry, he gets up a little more quicker from laying down in the house, getting in and out of the car is a little bit easier for him already.

Draeco is expected to be feeling the full benefits of the procedure from six months to a year from now.

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