Husky Mix Rescue Gets a New Lease on Life with VetStem Cell Therapy
Kobi, a Husky mix, was successfully treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis in her elbows and wrists.
While many puppies are born in a warm and safe place with a nurturing mother, some are not so fortunate. Kobi had a rough start in life. As a puppy, she was discovered in Northern Ontario in November, huddled amongst her litter mates with no parents in sight. Unfortunately, only her and her brother survived the cold. Rescuers brought both puppies south to the shelter but shortly after arriving, her brother passed away from Parvovirus, leaving Kobi as the sole survivor.
Fortunately, Kobi was rehabbed back to health and went into a loving foster home. Her soon to be parents saw her adoption ad and fell in love with her and her tiny, curled Husky tail. Upon meeting her new parents, Kobi rolled over and showed her tummy, and her parents knew instantly that she was the one. When Kobi was introduced to her new sibling, a six-year-old German Shepherd mix, they formed an instant bond and began wrestling and playing day in and day out. It was about three weeks after arriving at her new home that Kobi yelped from the yard and began holding up one of her front paws.
Her owner immediately tended to Kobi and let her rest through the night. She seemed to improve a bit but then two days later, she yelped again and was holding up her opposite paw. That’s when her owners decided a trip to the veterinarian was in order. X-rays revealed that Kobi suffered from significant osteoarthritis in her carpi (wrists) as well as her elbows as a result of joint dysplasia. She was put on pain medications and within a few weeks, her owners took her to a veterinary surgeon 6 hours from where they lived.
The surgeon performed a procedure to clean up Kobi’s joints and remove the arthritis and damaged cartilage. Though expensive, this procedure was successful and Kobi’s owners were very grateful to have their happy, bouncy puppy back. The vet did say, however, that her arthritis was not mild, and that Kobi’s owners could expect about six years until it became too much for anti-inflammatories and pain medication to handle.
Fast forward several years, when Kobi was approaching five years of age, and she began showing signs of pain and discomfort again. A few veterinary visits resulted in the same recommendations: pain medication and laser therapy until those treatments no longer worked. Kobi’s owners refused to believe that was her only option and did their own research. That was when her dad discovered VetStem Cell Therapy.
Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types and have demonstrated the ability to reduce pain and inflammation, help to restore range of motion, and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. In a peer-reviewed study of dogs with chronic osteoarthritis of the elbow, it was found that treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy reduced pain and lameness and improved patient quality of life.
Fortunately, a veterinarian nearby, Dr. Julie Schell at Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital, was experienced in performing the procedure. After a consultation, Dr. Schell determined that Kobi was an excellent candidate for treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. To begin the process, Dr. Schell collected fat tissue from Kobi’s abdomen in a minimally invasive anesthetic procedure. The fat was aseptically packaged and shipped to the VetStem processing laboratory in Poway, California. Lab technicians processed the fat to extract and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Five doses of Kobi’s own stem cells were shipped to Dr. Schell for injection into both carpi, both elbows, as well as intravenously.
Kobi’s parents were very pleased with the results. Her owner stated, “After 3 weeks, it was clear that Kobi had never felt better. Literally! She'd NEVER been that comfortable before in her whole life. She played more and cuddled harder than ever before. It was incredible! Two weeks ago, we all celebrated Kobi's 6th birthday together. There was a point when we thought our time together would be up by now, but today she's got a lot of years left and we're going to make the best out of every single one of them.”
Kobi was treated with VetStem Cell Therapy nearly a year and a half ago. Though she’s still doing well, it’s important to note that osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and stem cells will not cure the condition. There is a possibility that Kobi will need additional treatments in the future, should her joints begin to bother her again. Fortunately, Kobi has several doses of her stem cells cryopreserved at VetStem. These doses can be used as needed in the future to bring Kobi additional relief.
About Julie Schell, BSc (Hons), DVM, CVA, CVCHM, CVC
Dr. Julie Schell, owner of Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital, received her veterinary degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Some of her special interests include surgery, diagnostic imaging, acupuncture, chiropractic. She has been providing VetStem Cell Therapy since 2009.