Stem Cell Therapy- Is it right for your pet?

Stem cell therapy is a very exciting, relatively new treatment for arthritis. It has only became available in Canada about 18 months ago, and is definitely living up to the hype!

Large joints such as the  elbow, shoulder, hip, and knee are currently available to be treated in private practice. The spine is in investigational treatments at this point, as techniques are being refined.

But is is not the right procedure for every pet. It requires a general anesthetic for the initial tissue harvest, then sedation 2-3 days later for implantation of the stem cells in the joint. Pets must be in good health other than the arthritis, as evidenced by blood tests.

Other requirements are a stable joint, as instability as is the case with an anterior cruciate (knee) ligament (ACL) rupture will interfere with the effectiveness of the procedure. The joint also needs to be accessible- the stem cells are injected into the joint space through a needle- so very obese patients or those with calcifcation of the joint capsule can be much more difficult for correct placement of the injection.

Comments are closed.