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Stem Cell Therapy Provided by Pend Oreille Veterinary Service Helps Local Leonberger Get the Bounce Back in His Step and Avoid Knee Surgery

2014-05-22 --

Zeke was in pain from arthritis in caused by an old injury, and was facing possible surgery on both knees.  Christine Ponsness-Wetzel, DVM, at Pend Oreille Veterinary Service determined that Zeke was a good candidate for stem cell therapy by Vet-Stem, Inc. as an alternative, and just a few months later he now has a bounce back in his step. 

Zeke is a 125 pound Leonberger who lives in Idaho and enjoys going on back country ski trips.  Zeke's hobbies came to a halt two years ago when he was diagnosed with a partial cruciate ligament tear.  He had gone lame and two weeks of rest was recommended, but his owners did not see improvement.  After a month of rest x-rays revealed arthritis had developed in one of Zeke’s knees. 

After a year of pain medications to control the discomfort and pain, Zeke started having more difficulties.  He had a delayed ability to comfortably bend his leg, often needed help getting up from a laying position, and would whimper in pain.  This time x-rays would reveal arthritis in both knees.  After a few months of increased pain medications and only mild improvement, Zeke's owners opted for stem cell therapy with Dr. Ponsness-Wetzel.     

"Zeke was still quite active and happy, so the thought of double knee surgery and the long recovery time was not in my books, so we opted for stem cell therapy," Zeke’s owner explains, "It has been four months since the stem cell injections (both knees and an IV dose) and Zeke has definitely improved.  He no longer needs help getting up.  He does not whimper in pain.  His delay in bending his knee is non-existent, and his pain medication has been reduced by about 80%.  Hikes are no longer sheer drudgery and he has a bounce in his step that I forgot existed."

Pend Oreille Veterinary Services celebrates its 50th anniversary in the Bonner County, providing basic health care services to small animals and reptiles, as well as cutting edge therapies such as acupuncture, laser, and stem cells.  Pend Oreille Veterinary Services also offers boarding and grooming to the cities around their two locations in Ponderay and Bonners Ferry.  To find out more about Pend Oreille Veterinary Service and Vet-Stem Cell Therapy with Dr. Ponsness-Wetzel visit

About Vet-Stem, Inc.

Vet-Stem, Inc. was formed in 2002 to bring regenerative medicine to the veterinary profession.  The privately held company is working to develop therapies in veterinary medicine that apply regenerative technologies while utilizing the natural healing properties inherent in all animals.  As the first company in the United States to provide an adipose-derived stem cell service to veterinarians for their patients, Vet-Stem, Inc. pioneered the use of regenerative stem cells in veterinary medicine.  The company holds exclusive licenses to over 50 patents including world-wide veterinary rights for use of adipose derived stem cells.  In the last decade over 10,000 animals have been treated using Vet-Stem, Inc.'s services, and Vet-Stem is actively investigating stem cell therapy for immune-mediated and inflammatory disease, as well as organ disease and failure.  For more on Vet-Stem, Inc. and Veterinary Regenerative Medicine visit or call 858-748-2004.

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