Stem Cell Therapy

The Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is proud to announce that we have recently been designated a Center of Excellence by Vet-Stem for our breakthrough work in Stem Cell Therapy (SCT).  Thousands of dogs have now been treated with stem cells for arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, and muscle injuries.  Malibu is just one of the many pets who have benefitted from Stem Cell Therapy [Click here to see his video].  Our clinic is partnering with Vet-Stem to evaluate and research new uses and applications for stem cells that may be available to the masses in the not too distant future.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem Cell Therapy is a form of Regenerative Medicine that uses the dog or cat’s own adult stem cells to treat traumatic and degenerative diseases such as the pain and inflammation from arthritis in the joints. SCT uses a concentrated form of adult stem cells removed from the patients OWN fat, to treat traumatic and degenerative diseases, including , osteoarthritis, tendon and ligament injury, and other joint injuries or diseases.

What conditions can it treat?

In dogs and cats,  other diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease IBS, select neurologic diseases, kidney disease, some liver diseases, and atopy (skin allergies) have also been treated. Research for other treatments is on going.  If you have horses, there has been great success with tendon and ligament injuries as well as with osteoarthritis.

What makes a good candidate?

  • Collection of stem cells does require a minor surgical procedure, so patients must be healthy enough for a short anesthesia.
  • Pets with Cushing’s disease are not good candidates for stem cell treatment because of the high levels of  steroids in the blood due to the disease.
  • Any pet with pain and inflammation, arthritis, chronic pain, tendon, ligament or muscle injuries

Who should not be considered for treatment?

  • Patients too physically compromised for the anesthesia needed for fat harvest.
  • Patients who have not had a proper diagnostic work up
  • Animals with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

Are there adverse effects?

Autologous (tissues from the patient’s body) stem cell treatment has shown excellent safety in the thousands of animals treated. No major adverse reactions have been reported; the most “severe” reported reaction is local inflammation, or discomfort at the injection site.

What medications are needed?

Because injection into joints or muscles may be may be slightly uncomfortable, pain medications may be sent home post injection. Antibiotics may be used with the joint injections, and hylauronic acid is often used with stem cells in joints as they act together to promote faster repair of damaged tissues.

How long do results take?

Results from injections may be seen as early as 72 hours. By 30 days the major effects will be seen but improvements can be seen for up to 3-4 months post injection. The degree of improvement varies from patient to patient.  The improvements can last from many months to many years, but many dogs will need future re-treatment.  In that case, there will be cells stored in the freezer that can be used, so no further fat collection will be needed.

If you have an interest in stem cell treatment for your small animal patient, contact ARWC AT 303-688-3660 to set up a consultation and estimate of costs. Please make sure to bring all recent records including lab work and x-rays to your consultation.

Additional information can be obtained at the web sites listed below:


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