Dog & Cat Success Stories

Ava - Partial Cruciate Ligament Tears & Arthritis in Both Knees

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Ava is a 115lb female Newfoundland who at the age of 3 had a partial tear in one CCL, and then a year later a partial tear in her other CCL. She's a pretty mellow dog so the injury somewhat stabilized and she was pretty comfortable and active to her normal level for a few more years. At about the age of 6 she was running hard one day and noticeably started limping and not wanting to put any weight on her left leg. She struggled to get up and once standing did this little hop back and forth between her two hind legs and put all her weight in her front legs. It was very painful to watch and didn't improve over a few weeks. I talked to her vet and he mentioned a Tibial Plate Leveling Osteotomy, and also the idea of maybe stem cell therapy. I looked into TPLO surgeries and with the cost and risk of a full tear in the other ligament I didn't want to pursue that invasive of a surgery. I have grown up with horses and had seen success stories of using stem cell to help ligament and tendon tears in them and started researching into VetStem, after all a Newfoundland is really a mini pony. July of 2014 I talked to my local vet who knew a traveling vet Dr. Luck who did stem cell injections and TPLO surgeries. After he evaluated her and her xrays and saw the amount of arthritis that she had, he believed stem cell therapy would be a good match. Ava had her first injections in both back knees May 2014. It took about 4 weeks to see significant change in her lameness and mobility, mind you she's a giant dog. After 6 weeks there was a very noticeable change and I was able to completely discontinue anti inflammatory medicine, she could get up from laying down and walk normally, no mini skips or awkward weight shifting adjustments. At about 9 months after the injections, I took her back for a normal checkup and to the best my vet could tell, he felt like both knees felt very strong and stable, comparatively to prior the stem cell treatments. She went about 2 years before another mishap while playing and began limping and avoiding putting weight on her left leg again. I waited a couple months to see if she would bounce back, but she didn't. I had thankfully banked Ava's stem cells for future use and was able to schedule another injection. In February 2017 Dr. Luck injected her back knees and her front elbows as there was some development of arthritis in her elbows, along with an IV dose. Similar to the first time it took about 4 weeks to see her mobility improve. Ava was able to trot and play in the mountains and with her sister Newfoundland again. She loves her walks and could finally go for her normal 30 plus minute walk vs barely 5 min. I can't recommend stem cell therapy enough. Ava is now almost 10 and it's been almost 2 years since her last injection and she hasn't had any anti inflammatory medicine since 4 weeks post operation number 2. She still moves around very well, and so many people who know her also were able to see the difference in her level of comfort, which only validates her story in my eyes even more. Thank you VetStem, you truly saved my bear's life and I will always be thankful for that!