Arthritis Cure for Dogs?

by Mary Haight on December 16, 2008

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Aging dogs can have such a terrible time doing the everyday things they are accustomed to: enjoying long walks, getting up on the family sofa to enjoy quality “pack” time, climbing the stairs to watch over and go to sleep with their people. I remember the trouble my 15 -year-old Springer Spaniel had for the last year of his life. It’s not easy to know that your dog is in pain and there is nothing more you can do. 

Many of the pain relieving, symptom masking medications cause significant damage to the renal system over time, and create yet another worry for the family.  There are millions of dogs suffering from arthritis, many become crippled from its effects.  Owners then opt for euthanasia when the pain becomes uncontrollable. 

So it was exciting to hear about the possibilities of a new treatment available for dogs who have an otherwise healthy profile: Stem Cell therapy! 

The Vet-Stem company uses the dog’s own fat cells to produce the stem cells that relieve this condition–no ethical arguments.  And it may be possible to completely sidestep medications that, over time, cause more health issues.  This is not a therapy widely available or easily and cheaply administered–yet.  The dog must undergo an operation to harvest fat, the fat is then sent to Vet-Stem in California to be converted to injectable treatments that cost approximately $2500.  There are no guarantees that changes will occur, but results have been good.  Doctors have noted that x-rays after treatment do not evidence improvement, so the stem cells are performing subtle changes in pain relief, range of motion that are not yet explained by tests applied.

Veterinarian Raj Salwan talks about this therapy and a comment on the page reveals where you can find veterinarians who use this procedure.  Read it here and discuss it with your own vet. 



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