Stem Cell Procedure Helps Ailing Dog

Reported by ; Emily Pritchard Page last updated at 12-11-10 16:40 CST

COLUMBIA – Veterinarians at Columbia Pet Hospital performed Missouri’s first in-house animal stem cell procedure Friday. The patient, Ellie, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever has early osteoarthritis and tendinitis. The procedure is the first of its kind in the state that both removes and processes the cells in the same location and day.

The manager of Columbia Pet Hospital said this procedure was a goal she was working towards. “This is something I wanted so badly for my dog who passed away and to have it here and to have it done and be able to offer it to other people so they don’t have to go through what i did,” said Caryn Fenton.

Stem cell therapy uses the subject’s own body to heal itself. Fat is removed from the dog, and then processed with plant enzymes to remove unnecessary cells.

Veterinarians stressed that this procedure doesn’t use products from other animals. Jefferson City veterinarian Sherri Russell said it was one of the reasons she was drawn to the project.

“I was especially excited that this was adult stem cell therapy and that it was on the same animal,” said Russell

After the cells process for a couple of hours, they are injected into the dog’s pain areas. Columbia Pet Hospital said Ellie should be pain-free and moving well in a couple weeks.

Friday’s procedure was taught by MediVet America director of lab services. Veterinarian Katherine Wilkie travels around the world training clinics how to perform this procedure on their own.

Wilkie said one of MediVet America’s goals was to make the treatment accessible. “We’ve refined it enough that the average technician can do it,” said Wilkie.

The Australia-based company said it is the only company performing this procedure and using the technology in America.