Vet-Stem Inc., located in San Diego, California, performs this service, called regenerative medicine. They have found that pain medications are often reduced or eliminated in patients who have stem cell therapy. Additionally, they now have a way to reculture a patient's stem cells for an "everlasting" supply of therapeutic stem cells without having to surgically collect the fat tissue each time.
Reducing or eliminating pain medications
From the results of a July 2009 survey by Vet-Stem: "62% of dogs with arthritis discontinued or decreased use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Further feedback from veterinarians and owners indicated that more than 75% of dogs with arthritis have improved quality of life after their treatment."
This is significant, as people are seeking more "natural" ways of helping their animals instead of daily medication. Especially since not all animals can tolerate the (usually gastrointestinal) side effects of NSAIDs.
Eliminating the need for repeat stem cell collection surgeries
Vet-Stem has launched a new service called Vet-Stem Culture. When a fat sample is sent in for stem cell collection, a small sample is stored at Vet-Stem. Scientists can now culture the sample to grow more stem cells for that particular patient. This eliminates the need for multiple anesthetic and surgical collection procedures.
"The Vet-Stem Culture service is a breakthrough in veterinary medicine, finally allowing pet owners to take preventative measures towards the future health of their pets," said Vet-Stem CEO Dr. Robert Harman. "This option is going to eliminate the need for these injured and arthritic animals to go through multiple surgeries to extract stem cells. Even more, the results we see in animals treated with fat-derived stem cells are exceeding our expectations. Now they can continue to be treated naturally, with their own cells, to feel young over and over again."
Veterinarians who perform stem cell therapy must attend Continuing Education (CE) with Vet-Stem to learn the technique and be certified by Vet-Stem before offering this service to clients. Pet owners can find a veterinarian and veterinarians can learn about training on the Vet-Stem web site.