Stem Cell Therapy

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Charlotte Street Animal Hospital offers Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy for the pets of western North Carolina. Stem cell therapy currently is primarily used to treat pets with osteoarthritis (OA) and tendon and ligament injuries. 

Benefits that are seen include:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation
  • Restore quality of life and range of motion
  • Regenerate tendon, ligament, and joint issues

To understand how this therapy speeds healing and reduces pain, it is necessary to first understand how stem cells function.  Adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells, are used in companion animal therapy. Broadly grouped as mesenchymal stem cells, they are found in mature animal tissues such as bone marrow, muscle, and fat. Also called MSCs, these cells serve to repair local tissue trauma. They mature into the various tissue cells needed for self repair. These MSCs can also signal other cells to assist the healing process, and overall can decrease inflammation. Over an animal’s life span, s/he uses increasingly greater numbers of the stem cells in daily life and for trauma repair—which is one reason healing becomes slower with age.

Contrary to popular belief, fat actually contains 1000 times more adult stem cells per gram than bone marrow. (Neither contains embryonic stem cells). Fat is also typically easier to collect, due to ample supply, and is generally less painful than bone marrow collection.

Regenerative cell therapy starts with grams of fat being sterilely collected from the patient under general anesthesia. This procedure can often be combined with a surgery such as dental prophylaxis, neuter, spay, or other soft tissue or orthopedic surgery. The harvested tissue is then processed to concentrate and activate the cells. This is done in hospital, and takes a couple hours. After the cells are processed then they are injected back into the animal. Depending on the condition being treated, these cells can be injected into a joint, into muscle or intravenously to be distributed throughout the body. 

Stem cells are powerful healing cells in your body that can become other types of cells.  There are many adult stem cells in fat tissue, however they are asleep.  MediVet’s stem cell therapy allows your vet to isolate stem cells from an animal’s own fat tissue, wake them up, and re-introduce the healing cells into the areas of need.

There also is an option of banking the stem cells for future use [read more about this below]. Owners can store the collected adult stem cells in the banking lab for a yearly fee. Banking ensures future treatment options for injuries or joint disease. And, as research evolves, the banked cells may help treat other internal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, environmental allergies, and immune mediated diseases. Stem cell therapy should be considered as a treatment option for any chronic inflammatory process. 

Relief through stem-cell therapy can vary animal to animal, but improvements in pain and lameness are expected a couple of weeks to a couple of months after the injection. For the best outcome, animals should undergo physical rehabilitation during recovery. In arthritis cases, studies have shown that 50% of dogs will be able to reduce or discontinue the use of anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDS) three months post-treatment, and about 60% of dogs will have reduced or discontinued NSAIDS eight months post-treatment.

Long term success can vary from one to two years with one injection, but some animals with severe injury or disease will require a second injection. Approximately 65% of older dogs and 75% of younger dogs do not need re-treatment after the first year post-injection.

Contraindications to stem-cell therapy include cancer, tumors, and active infections.  

Research using canine MSCs began in the 1990 and therapeutic use has occurred in horses since 2003. MediVet Biologics is founded on their dedication and quality innovative technologies, and is a preferred provider of Veterinary Regenerative Medicine and biological solutions.  MediVet Biologics developed the first in-clinic Adipose Stem Cell Therapy kit, which is a major scientific advancement in animal stem cell therapy that offers an economic solution for owners of pets suffering from osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament and cartilage injuries as well as numerous mobility ailments.  They continue to make advancements in veterinary regenerative medicine and biological therapeutic offerings for both equine and small animal applications.

Charlotte Street Animal Hospital is proud to offer stem cell therapy using a Credentialed MediVet Biologics veterinarian. You can read more about Stem Cell Therapy by visiting Medi Vet Biologic's Website here.

This article by Dr. Beth Rhyne, DVM CCRP appeared in the April-May 2013 issue of Asheville's PetGazette.

Stem Cells for Life

Why Store Stem Cells for Your Dog?

As your dog ages, he is likely to develop arthritis or injure a cruciate ligament.  The StemInsure service allows fat to be collected when your dog is undergoing an anesthetic procedure such as dental cleaning or orthopedic surgery, and stores your dog's own Stem Cells so that they can be cultured to supply a lifetime of stem cell therapy.  After the small sample of fat is collected while under anesthesia, the sample is then flown overnight to the MediVet Biologics lab for processing and then banked.  In the future, when your dog needs stem cells, we can order cell culturing to provide a lifetime of stem cell therapy for your dog. 

While already under anesthesia for a dental cleaning and two mass removals, our patient Ryder had a small amount of fat cells collected to go towards his future stem cell therapy.  Here he is after the procedure, relaxing at home with his new toy.

Banked Dose Processing

• We can order the banked doses of stem cells to treat your dog any time in the future after culturing.

What can be Treated with Stem Cells?

• Current uses include arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, muscle injuries, and allergies
• Consider using for any chronic inflammatory disease

Benefits of StemInsure

• Store stem cells while your dog is young and healthy.
• One fat collection can provide a lifetime of stem cell therapy for your dog.
• StemInsure can be an affordable way to store stem cells for your dog.

Important Considerations

• Cell culturing and banked dose processing incur additional cost. We can provide you with estimates of potential future costs for treatment.



What Results Have Dog Owners Reported?

• Greater than 80% of dogs with arthritis have improved Quality of Life
• Here are outcome survey results for Older Dogs & results for Younger Dogs
•Checkout the survey results for Dogs on Pain Medication

Stem Cell Therapy in Development

MediVet is currently evaluating the use of stem cells for treatment of:
• Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
• Kidney disease
• Liver disease
• Immune mediated diseases

Contact us at (828) 232-0440 to schedule a consultation to see if stem cell therapy is right for your pet.

Stem Cell Therapy:  FAQ's*

What is MediVet Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells are powerful healing cells in your body that can become other types of cells.  There are many adult stem cells in fat tissue, however they are asleep.  MediVet’s stem cell therapy allows your vet to isolate stem cells from an animal’s own fat tissue, wake them up, and re-introduce the healing cells into the areas of need.

What is so great about Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells treat the source of the problem by offering the ability to become new tissue to replace damaged tissue.  Other treatments, such as NSAIDs, merely attempt to reduce symptoms.  The treatment is very low risk, because it uses the animal’s own stem cells.  It offers an all-natural alternative to drugs and steroids.  In a recent randomized sampling of 155 canines sufferings from osteoarthritis > 95% showed improvements as reported by the treating Veterinarians. 

How long has this been available?

Stem cell therapy for animals has been commercially available since 2004.  MediVet was the pioneer in offering to the Veterinarian industry same day, onsite treatments and has to date completed over 10,000 treatments globally.

Why Ask for MediVet Stem Cell therapy?

For pet owners, there are two main advantages to MediVet.  First, the processing is all done  in your  vet’s office. This eliminates variability in outside shipping of the sample as well as offers a fresh is best approach to isolating, activating and re-administering your animals living cells back to the areas of need.  The MediVet process has been independently validated in a blinded university medical setting.

What is Activation, and why is it important?

MediVet has a patented technology in which your animal’s stem cells will be activated with Platelet Rich Plasma (from a blood sample) and photobiostimulation (light).This dual activation process provides an increase in metabolic rate thus giving the cells the highest potential to survive once placed in the environment (your animal) and potential repair.

Is it safe?

Yes, this procedure is very safe.  On a typical dog, this is easier than a spay, and the fat is collected in about 15 minutes by your vet.  Processing the sample is done carefully by a highly trained MediVet representative (or by a lab tech carefully trained by that representative).  In the thousands of animals treated, we have not observed any negative side-effects from MediVet’s stem cell therapy.

What happens to my pet when they come in for stem cell therapy? 

First, your vet will put your pet under general anesthetic.  Then, he/she will make a small incision and collect 2-4 tablespoons of fat (either in the belly or behind the shoulder blades). Then a trained technician will process the sample, right in the clinic, using MediVet equipment. The sample is activated then introduced to the patient.  The patient can then go home, same day.

What is the recovery period, and how long does it take to see results?

We recommend that the patient be kept quiet for the first 10 days.  Then, while they may feel a lot better, you will need to be careful so your pet doesn’t injure themselves until they build up some of their muscles.  Swimming and walking in water is great therapy.  We typically see improvement starting after 3 weeks, and then continuing up to around 2 months.

What conditions do you treat?

Our typical patient has osteoarthritis (hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, calcifications, common degeneration and inflammation), soft tissue injuries (cruciate injuries, tears, ruptures, Inflammation), or needs accelerated healing of fractures.  If your animal is suffering from something different such as Atopic Dermatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease etc. your Vet will consult a team in order to consider stem cell as a treatment option compassionately.

How long does a treatment last? What happens if my pet starts having trouble again?

We typically see about 1-4 years of relief after the initial treatment.  Most pet owners chose to bank cells, so retreatment is easy.  MediVet has a banking facility in Kentucky.  If symptoms return, your vet merely requests a dose of cells from the bank, and re-introduces the cells.  No surgery is necessary.

Are there any animals that you don’t treat?

It is MediVet’s policy to bring its customers the latest data and provide recommendations for the safety of all patients.  Currently, MediVet recommends that no animals with malignant cancer be treated with ADSCs