Stem Cell Therapy in Dogs and Cats
|Microscopic image of injected stem cells|
In 2004, Vet-Stem commercialized stem cell therapy for horses and dogs. Unlike the controversy over using embryos to obtain stem cells, these stem cells are derived from adipose or fat tissue. Vet-Stem works through a series of trained veterinarians. During a short surgical procedure, fat (typically from the shoulder) is removed from your dog. The fat is then shipped overnight to Vet-Stem in California where it is processed on day 2 and shipped back to your vet to deliver into a joint on day 3. Thus, the procedure must be planned on a Monday-Wednesday to enable delivery on Wednesday-Friday. Because the fat tissue is shipped to California where it is processed to remove unwanted fat cells and concentrate the stem and other supportive tissue cells, Vet-Stem had to seek FDA approval to market their product. Whereas fat is an attractive readily available source for stem cells in people using liposuction, the decreased fat-to-muscle ratio in our pets means they do need to undergo two surgeries for t Vet-Stem's FDA approved stem cell treatment . Fortunately, other companies have now entered the market to enable fat-derived stem cell therapy for treating orthopedic injuries or arthritis in your pet. The two biggest companies in addition to Vet-stem are Stemlogix, LLC and MediVet in the USA. The major difference between these companies and Vet-Stem is that the fat tissue is processed in your local vet's office. Thus, your pet only needs to undergo a single surgery/anesthesic episode.