South Reno Veterinary Hospital is Prolonging Pet Quality of Life with Stem Cell Therapy and the Ability to Bank Cells for Future Use with Vet-Stem, Inc.
South Reno Veterinary Hospital and Mathew Schmitt, VMD have discovered the secret to prolonging a pet's quality of life with the use of stem cell therapy, and the ability to bank stem cells for the future care of a pet. Since 2008 they have been offering stem cell therapy and stem cell banking through Vet-Stem, Inc. for small animal osteoarthritis and partial ligament tears.
As many as 65% of dogs between the ages of 7 and 11 years old will be inflicted with some degree of arthritis. For certain specific breeds the percentage is as high as 70, such as Labrador Retrievers. Barley, a Labrador mix, was treated using cells from a sample of his own fat and some stem cells are also stored or banked with Vet-Stem just in case he needs future treatment with Dr. Schmitt. Those banked stem cells do not have to be used for the same use as they were originally used for either. For example, if a pet has stem cell therapy initially for osteoarthritis pain and inflammation, the banked stem cells can be used years later for an acute injury.
After rupturing the canine cruciate ligaments in both of his stifles, or hind knees, Barley's pain was managed by medication but then medication was finally not enough and he was facing the possibility of surgery. Dr. Schmitt reported shifting lameness in Barley's hind end, which was a sign of severe discomfort. Barley's owner did not want to put him through surgery on both knees. Instead, Barley's owner elected for stem cell therapy.
"I fully believe stem cell therapy has significantly prolonged Barley's quality of life and I am so glad I found out about the therapy when he was injured at six years old. He just turned 13 and his legs are still doing well. It truly is a miracle of science and I tell all my friends about it," said Barley’s mom.
Vet-Stem, along with countless research and academic institutions, is working to support additional uses for stem cells which may include treatment for liver disease, kidney disease, auto-immune disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease in animals. These uses for stem cells are in the early stages of development and may provide additional value to the ability to bank stem cells to ensure a pet’s quality of life into the future.