Stem cells are the internal building blocks of all organs, tissues, blood and the immune system within the body. As early, or undifferentiated cells, stem cells are able to mature and grow into an internal repair system by regenerating tissue in any part of the body where disease and damage has occurred. Unlike other cells, stem cells can replicate and multiply for many months, dividing without limit to replenish other cells.
How are stem cells collected?
Stem cells can be extracted from various sources including bone marrow, fat or peripheral blood. The development of newer technology has allowed for the extraction of stem cells following a simple blood draw, eliminating the need for invasive procedures that were previously required (anesthesia, surgery to remove fat, or bone marrow biopsy to remove cells). Dr. Pope works with the latest technology and most advanced techniques to provide a collection method that is simple, minimally invasive and effective. Peripheral blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of human diseases since July 2014, followed by animals in January 2016.
How are stem cells administered?
Following a blood draw, which is performed in the comfort of our practice whiel your pet is awake, blood is submitted to our company’s lab in Texas. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) as well as platelet rich plasma (PRP) are extracted from your pet’s blood and returned to our practice. The stem cells and plasma are then injected via intravenous and subcutaneous routes. These cells move to the inflamed or damaged tissues, decreasing inflammation, supporting repair and encouraging new tissue growth. Adverse effects of the stem cells have not been reported and risks are low when administered by trained individuals. Occasionally, certain conditions require injection into specific locations, such as close to the spinal cord, around the kidneys, or within the joints. If this technique is recommended, Dr. Pope collaborates with the best veterinarians, to perform this technique for your pet.
What conditions do you treat with stem cells?
Various conditions have been treated with stem cells, given their unique regenerative abilities, with additional conditions being investigated daily. Currently, some of the most commonly treated conditions include;
- Hip Dysplasia
- Tendon, ligament and cartilage damage
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Wobbler’s Disease
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Auto-immune disorders
Dr. Pope is currently participating in clinical trials investigating the use of stem cells for the treatment of;
- Feline Asthma
- Canine Bronchitis
- Chemotherapy resuscitation (improving blood cell numbers during chemotherapy)
Please contact our office for more information about this, and any other treatment option or clinical trial offered at our practice.