As most people are aware, arthritis is a painful condition in both people and pets. Traditionally arthritis has been treated with a combination of therapies including pain relief, anti-inflammatories and medications such as cartrophen and glucosamine. At Anstead Veterinary Practice we have recently added a new weapon to the arsenal. After intensive training we have achieved accreditation and are pleased to be able to offer stem cell therapy for arthritic joints in dogs and tendon injuries in horses.
A stem cell is an unspecialised cell that is able to self renew as well as differentiate into a specialised cell. There are 2 major classes of stem cells – embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are the ones that pose ethical questions and do not form part of the therapy now offered at Anstead Veterinary Practice. Adult stem cells are found in all of the tissues in the body but are particularly concentrated in fat.
A sample of fat is collected from the patient and is processed in our dedicated on-site laboratory. The stem cells are extracted, washed and resuspended in a media before being injected into joints. The procedure is very safe and side effects are minimal since the cells being injected have come directly from the patient. A sample of the collected stem cells is forwarded to an external laboratory for rigorous quality assurance procedures.
Most dogs show rapid improvement. This is thought to be due to the potent anti- inflammatory proteins produced by the stem cells once they have implanted into the joint. Dogs that have been treated by other clinics nearly 3 years ago are still going strong and to date none have required repeat treatment.
Not every dog is a candidate for stem cell therapy but if you think your dog may benefit or if you would like further information, please feel free to give us a call on 3202 7300, have a look at our website and/or find us on Facebook. Alleviating your pet’s pain can vastly improve their quality of life.
Ann Anstead Veterinary Practice