Stem cell procedure performed at local clinic

Somerset County —


A local veterinary clinic is taking the first steps toward providing a stem cell procedure for horses in Somerset County.

The procedure, which was performed Thursday at the Brown Equine Hospital along Stoystown Road, Somerset, uses the body’s own regenerative power to help cure most joint problems, including osteoarthritis and tendon or cartilage injuries.

“This is very fascinating and exciting for the veterinary industry,” veterinarian Dr. Keith Brown said.

Brown has tested the procedure three times. On Thursday he performed the procedure on Cadence, a 10-year-old show horse who injured his left hind fetlock joint about a year ago after stepping on farm equipment buried in snow.

Cadence’s owner, Bayleigh McMenamin, of Wexford, said that after previous surgeries and other therapeutic procedures Cadence showed some improvement, but was not at a competitive level.

“In the fall we did a similar procedure and he showed some improvement, but he was still not 100 percent,” she said. “This was our last option for him to return to where he could be as comfortable as possible and to where I could continue to ride him.”

Brown said he expects at least two months of healing until Cadence can return to performance level.

The equipment used during the procedure is advanced technology from MediVet America. The treatment technique is an advancement from another technique developed in 2002. The main improvement of the newest stem cell kit is that the procedure can be completed entirely in a veterinary clinic in one day, rather than having to send tissue samples to an outside lab.

Brown said he is confident in the procedure and could see this technology eventually being used in humans as well.

“If this succeeds in the animal world, it will definitely help in the human world,” he said.

Read a more comprehensive story about the animal stem cell procedure performed on Thursday in Sunday’s Daily American.
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