Stem Cell Therapy (STC) has been around for years…we have all heard of people needing bone marrow transplants after cancer chemotherapy, and parents keeping their new born babies’ umbilical cord blood….but recent studies in both human and animal medicine has seen this therapy branch-out to treat a whole range of other conditions including heart muscle disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and even brain or spinal cord damage.
Osteoarthritis is the main cause of joint pain in animals, and involves significant cartilage destruction. Natural cartilage regeneration is very limited in adult animals, and until now, NO current drug therapies were curative…..they aimed to preserve cartilage, and reduce pain and inflammation, thus improving mobility.
SCT is a new and exciting therapy which can actually heal the joint, and reduce the need for conventional arthritis treatments.
In fact, a recent study showed 75% of dogs improved after STC!
What are Stem Cells?
Stem Cells are the cells that divided into specialised cells which formed all of the different organs in our bodies when we were an embryo. In adults they are found in bone marrow, fat (adipose), skin and blood, and their numbers reduce with age.
Stem cells have the power to go to damaged areas and regenerate new cells and tissues by performing a repair and a renewal process, which restores function. In veterinary medicine, Stem cells are harvested from adipose from donor dogs and stored at a Stem Cell Bank, similar to how our blood is stored at the Blood Bank.
This is fantastic for our patients because it means Stem cells are available when we need them to treat Osteoarthritis.
If a one or two joints are involved, the Stem Cells are injected directly into the affected joints under a quick anaesthetic.
If multiple joints are affected, or our patients are too old for an anaesthetic, the Stem Cells can be given intravenously by a drip.
Once injected, the Stem Cells head to damaged joint tissue, and differentiate into the cells that make up bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, thus healing the joint.
Pretty amazing really!
We are Accredited to perform Stem Cell Therapy
We have had great success with both methods. Please contact Dr Melanie Irvine to discuss whether Stem Cell Therapy would benefit your pet, or if you have any questions.