Search and Rescue K9 Gets Back to Work after Treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy
Yana, a Search and Rescue K9, returned to work after being treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for a tendon injury.
Yana, a German Shepherd, is a Search and Rescue K9 with the California Rescue Dog Association. According to her owner, she has a very high drive to work. Unfortunately, Yana inured her iliopsoas while her owner was at work. The iliopsoas is a group of muscles that function to externally rotate and flex the hip joint, similar to the hip flexor in people. These muscles are connected to the femur via a common tendon. Iliopsoas injuries most frequently occur at or near the muscle-tendon junction, which is referred to as “the weak link.”
After several weeks and three misdiagnoses, Yana was taken to a board-certified surgeon and experienced VetStem user, Dr. Kim Carlson. Dr. Carlson used ultrasound to diagnose Yana with a grade 2, or partial, iliopsoas tear and recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.
To begin the process, Dr. Carlson collected fat tissue from Yana’s abdomen during a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. Once collected, the fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem laboratory in Poway, California. VetStem lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein and two stem cell injections were shipped to Dr. Carlson for treatment. Approximately 48 hours after the initial fat collection procedure, Yana received an injection of her own stem cells into her injured tendon as well as an intravenous injection.
According to her owner, the months following Yana’s stem cell treatment were not easy and Yana’s healing process took a bit longer than anticipated because it was difficult to keep her quiet. She had to be kept on leash for almost a year, which is not ideal for a high-drive working dog. Approximately three months after her initial treatment, Yana received a follow up stem cell treatment, identical to her first, utilizing the stem cells cryogenically stored from the original fat tissue process.
Fortunately, the difficult rehabilitation process paid off. Dr. Carlson confirmed, via ultrasound, that Yana’s injury was healed, and Yana was able to get back to her very important work. Her owner stated, “It was a very difficult year for us, but I am very happy to say it was worth it. Yana returned to her work 11 months after injury and is her old, agile self!”
Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types, reduce pain and inflammation, help to restore range of motion, and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. According to surveys answered by owners and veterinarians, greater than 80% of dogs showed an improved quality of life after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for orthopedic conditions.
About Kim Carlson, DVM, DACVS
Dr. Carlson received her DVM from the University of Illinois in 2001. She went on to complete a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center of New York, as well as a surgical internship at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center. Dr. Carlson completed her surgical residency at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 to become a board-certified surgeon. She has been VetStem Credentialed since 2007 and has provided VetStem services for over 250 patients.