After successfully treating more than 2,500 horses for tendon and ligament injuries, Vet-Stem, Inc., the world leader in Veterinary Regenerative Medicine, is now expanding the commercial use of its Regenerative Stem Cells in dogs. Buzz, a border collie show dog who herds cattle and sheep, is one patient treated with his own fat (adipose) stem cells and now back to work.
Buzz was 2 years old when he tore a tendon. He could still walk, but only on three legs. Buzz’s veterinarian reattached the torn tendon to the bone and removed fat cells from Buzz’s belly. The cells were sent to Vet-Stem for purification. The purified cells were injected into the site of the injury over a period of a few weeks. Meanwhile, the injured leg was immobilized in a cast.
The bill for all of Buzz's care was about $3,500, estimating that a third of it was the cost of Vet-Stem's treatment. Some dog owners might blanch at a multithousand-dollar veterinarian bill. But many owners are happy to pay to return their animals to health, said Dr. Julie Ryan Johnson, Vet-Stem's vice president of sales and marketing.
Stem cells are found throughout the body, Johnson said, and help repair injuries by turning into the required types of replacement cells. If more stem cells of the right kind are placed at the injury site, they make the body's natural repair process more potent.
"The fat's easy to get out, and nobody misses it," Johnson said. "We isolate here in the lab the stem cells, then we concentrate them, then we put them back into the lesion. The stem cells signal other cells to come in and help heal the injury. They increase healing. They decrease scar formation."
Regenerative Stem Cells are commercially available for veterinarians to use in treating osteoarthritis, polyarthritis, tendonitis, desmitis, and fractures in dogs. Veterinarians collect a sample of the dog’s own fat, that is then processed in the laboratory where the regenerative cells are isolated. These stem and regenerative cells are then administered back to the dog. Basic science and clinical research in the area of adipose-derived adult stem cell use in humans is ongoing with hundreds of scientific papers published since 2001.
Illustration: Buzz at work. – Waldo Nilo, North County Times Staff Photographer.
PR Newswire (08/28/07)