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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Innovative Care for Your Pet, Stem Cell & PRP Therapies

A very innovative treatment option for arthritis and joint injuries (as well as other medical compassionate use diseases) is Stem Cell Therapy derived from your pet’s own fat and blood, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy using your pet’s own blood. Most have heard of stem cells extracted from a baby’s cord blood immediately after birth, however, fat based stem cells are equally useful, and are available throughout your pet’s life. The ideal time to harvest stem cells is during your pet’s spay or neuter surgery as your pet is already under anesthesia, and at the healthiest time of his or her life. These cells can be frozen and banked for future use from a single surgical procedure.

Stem cells are sleeping cells which are “awakened” and activated to provide healing and regeneration of injured tissues. As a naturally blank canvas, these cells can develop into whatever type of cell is needed for the body to heal. The process takes several hours and the cells must be used or packaged for banking within several hours of processing. The stem cell solution is used in several ways during the treatment process, depending on what area is being treated. Typically, part of the solution is injected directly into the affected joints (while under sedation, of course!), and the remainder is given intravenously with sterile saline solution.

When the body has an injury or disease, the inflammatory process emits a chemical signal, not unlike a distress signal. This chemical signal is what attracts the stem cells to the affected area, and why we can give the solution through an intravenous catheter. Once in the body, the stem cells race to the signal to start the healing process. This is great because it is less specific than, for example, a joint injection, and can heal areas not known to be a problem.

Although orthopedic issues are the approved use for stem cell therapy, compassionate use privileges may be obtained to treat skin problems, kidney disease, and diabetes mellitus, to name a few. A webinar offered by Medi-Vet Biologics demonstrated how a small liver was regenerated and enlarged with this amazing type of therapy.

A skill veterinarian is necessary when facing a decision to use stem cell therapy or PRP therapy on your pet. Which choice is best is determined through a solid review of variables including a suspected medical problem, e.g., a partially torn cruciate ligament is the ideal situation to use PRP therapy, age and condition of the pet, and financial considerations.

Stem cell therapy and PRP therapy have been available in the veterinary field for over 10 years. The process continues to be refined and new uses continue to be developed. Success rates average over 75% with these therapies, and are much less invasive than other types of surgery. There is currently a study developing autologous cancer vaccines utilizing stem cell technology. This is the exciting wave of the future for many medical treatments, available now!

WEB-ART_BranchburgAnimal_KD and Grace_cmykDr. Derfuss is a 1982 graduate of Cook College (Rutgers University), 1987 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, and IVAS certified in veterinary acupuncture in 2007. She has completed all 5 herbal modules, advanced acupuncture techniques module, food therapy module and Tui-na module through the Chi Institute. She continues her integrative studies through IVAS, CIVT and the Chi Institute. Dr. Derfuss utilizes the Medi-Vet Stem Cell and PRP therapy product system.

Location: The Branchburg Animal Hospital, 1167 Rt 28, Branchburg. For more information, call 908-707-0045, email [email protected] or visit BranchburgAnimalHospital.com.

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