Stem Cell and PRP Therapies for Your Pet
Compassionate use means something other than the aforementioned orthopedic uses. Stem cell therapy can have a tremendous effect on many other organs of the body including the kidneys, pancreas, heart, liver and spinal cord. In a study, a hypoplastic (smaller than normal) dog liver was regenerated and brought almost to normal size with abdominal and intravenous injections. This brings new hope to a variety of diseases once thought to be untreatable. The surgical removal of body fat, or harvesting, process is the same as the traditional uses of stem cell, only the application is different. Some common diseases that could benefit from compassionate use include diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, congestive heart failure and spinal trauma.
PRP therapy has been successfully used as treatment for feline inflammatory gingivitis. The root of disease can be varied, but the treatment options have remained unchanged over the past three decades: steroids in conjunction with teeth removal. When a cat has inflammatory gingivitis, the body sees the teeth as a foreign object, almost like a splinter, and will not heal until the object has been removed. Unfortunately, steroids are very dangerous for cats and can cause diabetes. Removing the teeth works well, but it can be painful and expensive. Platelet rich plasma can be swabbed and injected into the gums while the cat is sedated, thus healing them.
Platelet rich plasma can also used to facilitate healing of skin and surgical sites, eye problems, and joint injuries. PRP is a great option in many cases because the process is much less invasive than stem cell, is less expensive and very effective in correctly chosen patients. It does not require surgery to harvest fat; all that is required is a blood draw. The pet would be sedated for administration of the PRP, if necessary, to minimize any pain or stress.
A fantastic way to help ensure future health benefits for your pet is to bank stem cells during spay or neuter surgery. The overall success rate for stem cell and PRP is approximately 85%. Despite very high cell counts and viability numbers even with older pets, the fat harvesting surgery for the stem cell process can be very stressful for the patient. Therefore, it is recommended to eliminate this anxiety by banking the pet’s stem cells during the spay or neuter surgery while the pet is already under anesthesia. Additionally, younger pets often have quicker recoveries with fewer anesthetic risks.
There are many options for your beloved pets today, and a knowledgeable veterinarian will be able to discuss and help choose the best option for your family. Dr. Karin Derfuss, DVM, is a graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, and IVAS certified in veterinary acupuncture. In addition, she has completed all 5 herbal modules, advanced acupuncture techniques module, food therapy module and Tui-na module through the Chi Institute.
The Branchburg Animal Hospital, 1167 Route 28, Branchburg. 908-707-0045. BranchburgAnimalHospital.com.