Stem cells: Therapy for dogs and horses could translate to humans

(Stem Cells News image)

It may seem surprising, but more than 1,700 dogs in the USA with arthritis have already been treated with their own stem cells.

Remember the saying “Patient Heal Thyself?” We all — human and animals — carry around a stem cell repair kit that is used every day in helping heal the minor bumps, bruises, cuts and more serious injuries.

These stem cells are called “adult” stem cells and are found throughout the body. They sit there waiting for the signal that they are needed and they rush to the scene of the injury and begin the healing process.

So we really do heal ourselves with our own supply of stem cells (…)

How stem cell therapy works

So how does stem cell therapy really work in these conditions? The key appears to be getting a higher number of active stem cells placed at the injury site all at once.

To do that you need to collect stem cells from somewhere in the body, concentrate or expand them to obtain adequate numbers, and then inject them into the area of injury or disease (…)

Stem cell therapy on dogs and horses

In the U.S., more than 1,700 dogs and 3,600 horses have been treated for tendon, ligament and joint problems over the last six years with their stem cells from fat.

It’s not approved for us in humans yet, however we all carry around an enormous supply of stem cells in our storage tissue, fat. This is not an editorial on how fat our pets have become, but a scientific statement on the very large concentration of stem cells in fat.

This was discovered at the University of Pittsburgh in the late 1990’s and now in human clinical trials all over the world. Just Google “fat stem cell” and you will find thousands of articles on the research and clinical use of these incredible cells for treating joints, multiple sclerosis, and many other conditions.

The published results in dogs and horses indicate that more 70 percent of these pets have significant benefit and improved quality of life. This means they can return to running, jumping, swimming, or whatever their normal lifestyle might demand.

San Diego is a hotbed of stem cell research in this category. Cytori Therapeutics is already in clinical trials using stem cells from fat in humans to treat heart disease, liver failure, and in plastic surgery!

The Burnham Institute and UC San Diego are deeply involved in the basic research of the use of stem cells in a wide array of diseases such as spinal cord injury, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease and heart disease.

NovoCell, another San Diego star, is making progress in using stem cells to treat diabetes. This is an amazing consortium striving to bring this technology into the clinics and to begin treating real patients.

Vet-Stem, the veterinary stem cell company in Poway, is helping move the field ahead by sharing its data and experiences in treating real diseases in our animals.

For now, we know that our beloved pets with bad arthritis can be treated with their own stem cells. Your veterinarian may already be credentialed to offer this service or they can become credentialed through a training course.

Until next time, do your online homework and learn more about adult stem cells at the McGowan Institute and the Adult Stem Cell Research Network.

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