VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy Helps Arthritic Sun Bear at the World-Famous San Diego Zoo
VetStem Biopharma worked with San Diego Zoo veterinarians and local veterinary surgeon, Dr. Holly Mullen, to provide VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy for an arthritic sun bear named Francis.
A leader in the field of Regenerative Veterinary Medicine, VetStem Biopharma has been providing autologous adipose-derived stem cell services to veterinarians across the United States and Canada since 2004. The primary indications for VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy are osteoarthritis as well as bone and soft tissue injuries in the dog, cat, and horse. Recently, VetStem teamed up with the world-renowned San Diego Zoo to provide stem cell therapy for an arthritic sun bear named Francis.
In September 2018, VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, alongside local veterinary surgeon, Dr. Holly Mullen of VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center, assisted San Diego Zoo senior veterinarian, Dr. Deena Brenner, to provide stem cell therapy for Francis. According to an article released in the March 2019 issue of ZooNooz, a San Diego Zoo publication, Francis is a 21-year-old sun bear who was diagnosed with arthritis in multiple joints. The worst of Francis’ arthritis was in his elbows and hips, which helped to explain why he was increasingly stiff and moving slower.
Dr. Holly Mullen, a VetStem-credentialed veterinarian who has been providing VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy for over ten years, lent her expertise by administering Francis’ stem cell injections into his arthritic joints and also intravenously. After careful observation by several members of the Zoo staff, it was noted that Francis’ stiffness, gait, and activity level began to improve. By approximately two months after the stem cell therapy, Francis’ symptoms were reduced and only “mildly problematic.” In a 90-day follow up evaluation, it was reported that Francis continues to do well.
Vetstem founder and CEO, Dr Bob Harman, has authored several articles about the benefits of stem cell therapy. He also co-wrote a chapter on stem cell therapy for zoo animals with San Diego Zoo Safari Park veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Kinney, in the 9th edition of Fowler’s Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine Current Therapy. Though mesenchymal stem cell use in zoological medicine is in its infancy, successful cases like Francis’ help to broaden the potential applications of stem cell use as a therapeutic modality to improve the health of all animals.