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VetStem Biopharma is Pleased to Share the Success Story of AR River Playboy who was Treated at Santa Lucia Farm with Stem Cell Therapy

AR River Playboy, a cutting horse with injuries to both front suspensory ligaments, was successfully treated by Dr. Ian Campbell with VetStem Cell Therapy.

2018-02-20 --

Jena W. of Bakersfield, California knew AR River Playboy, aka Woody, since he was three years old. As his “babysitter” she developed a strong bond with him early on. At four years old, Woody was sold and Jena was saddened she missed the opportunity to purchase him. She asked for first right if he ever came up for sale again and finally ten years later, Jena was able to purchase Woody.

Woody was taken to Jena’s longtime veterinarian, Dr. Ian Campbell of Santa Lucia Farm, for a pre-purchase exam. Upon examination, Dr. Campbell noted lameness in both of Woody’s front limbs. Ultrasonic evaluation revealed irregularities in both front proximal suspensory ligaments. Woody is a cutting horse and in the cutting horse world, it is not common to purchase an injured competitor. Jena was distraught over Woody’s overall condition and having bonded with him at a young age, did not want to give up on him. Dr. Campbell told Jena that he could help Woody and recommended VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy followed by an extensive rehabilitation protocol. Jena and her husband, Rick, put their faith in Dr. Campbell and agreed to his treatment plan.

In October 2013, Dr. Campbell extracted a small amount of fat from near Woody's tailhead. This routine procedure can be done very quickly with minimal scarring. The fat was shipped overnight to VetStem Biopharma’s processing laboratory in San Diego, California. VetStem laboratory technicians processed the tissue and prepared injectable doses of Woody’s own stem cells. Quality checks were performed before sending the doses back to Dr. Campbell for treatment. Two days after his fat collection, Woody received an intra-lesional injection of stem cells into each of his injured suspensory ligaments.

Following the procedure, Dr. Campbell placed Woody on an extensive six month rehab program including aquatread therapy to help him become physically sound again. In April 2014, approximately six months after his stem cell treatment, Woody was cleared to resume cutting. In 2015, Woody and Jena went on to win the Central Coast Cutting Horse Association’s $15k Amateur Champion as well as the Kern County Cutting Horse Association’s $15k Amateur Champion. These championships were followed in 2016 with the Central Coast Cutting Horse Association’s $15k Amateur Reserve Championship. Though he was still healthy, Jena retired Woody in 2016 because he was getting up in age.

Now, nearly 4 and ½ years after Woody’s stem cell treatment, Jena still uses him as a practice horse. He remains happy and healthy and Jena states that he is the “best horse” and is “trained like a dog”. She praises Dr. Campbell and his staff for the work they put in to get Woody back to performance standards. She also commends her husband for recognizing how much Jena loved Woody and taking a gamble on a horse with debilitating injuries. It is clear that Jena and Woody share a strong bond and both are lucky to have each other.

Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types; they are able to reduce pain and inflammation, help to restore range of motion and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. In a clinical case series using VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy in horses with tendon and ligament and joint injuries it was found that regenerative cell therapy (adipose-derived stem cells) allowed horses to return to full work or to the activity level that the owner desired.

About Dr. Ian Campbell
Dr. Ian Campbell was born and raised in Annapolis, California. He completed his undergraduate and veterinary schooling at UC Davis. He joined the team at Santa Lucia Farm in 2008. Ian's specialties include lameness and podiatry. He currently spends two days a week shoeing specialty cases at the clinic. In his spare time Ian enjoys diving, spear fishing and riding his dirt bike.