Stem cell therapy is a cutting-edge field that has all sorts of applications in the medical world. In the last 10 years or so, veterinarians have begun to use this technology for pets. We have seen tremendous success using stem cell technology and are excited for you to get to know more about it.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are immature cells that have not yet determined what type of tissue they will become. When they are placed in an area of the body, the cells around them can influence them to develop into the type of cell that is located there. This is very helpful in areas that have been damaged due to injury or disease. By utilizing stem cells we can regrow the damaged tissues.
Where do stem cells come from?
Stem cells can come from several places. Most people think of embryonic stem cells when they hear about this technique, however this is not the type that we use. There are some stem cells located in the bone marrow, but the most easily available source is within fat, or adipose, tissue.
What types of problems can stem cell therapy treat?
In veterinary medicine we are using stem cells to help treat traumatic and degenerative musculoskeletal problems. Some examples include tendon or ligament injuries, arthritis, or developmental bone disorders. Human researchers are learning more and more about stem cells every day, and over time it is possible that we will be able to use them to treat many more diseases and illnesses.
How is stem cell therapy done?
A veterinarian must take some fat cells from the pet receiving the procedure. This is done under anesthesia during a relatively quick procedure. The fatty tissue is then sent to a laboratory where the stem cells are separated from the other cells and concentrated into an injection. The stem cells can then be injected directly in the needed area by the veterinarian.
Who performs stem cell therapy?
Dr. Best has undergone training in order to be able to perform stem cell harvest and injection procedures on your pets. Should your pet have an injury or condition that may benefit from stem cell therapy, she is more than happy to discuss the option with you.
Is stem cell therapy expensive?
Stem cell therapy is not as expensive as most people think! In reality it is a very quick, noninvasive procedure. It can also be a useful alternative to surgery for some pets. Please call or schedule an appointment for more detailed information.