At the United Veterinary Center, our goal is to make sure that your pet lives a long and healthy life. While a large part of our job entails giving annual exams and administering vaccinations and medications as necessary, many clients choose us because of our choice to use stem cell therapy treatment.
Animal stem cell therapy is a technique that harvests the stem cells from an animal, isolates them, and then injects them directly into an animal’s troubled joins to regenerate the weak or dying tissues. It is used to treat tendonitis, arthritis, and other injuries in pets. Despite its foreboding name, stem cell therapy is actually a minimally invasive procedure and simply requires making a small cut and removing a few tablespoons of the animal’s fat. The fat, which contains dormant stem cells, are then activated using a platelet-rich plasma and light. They are then re-injected into the joint through the bloodstream via an IV.
As animals grow older, they suffer from many of the same crippling ailments as humans do, such as arthritis and tendonitis. In animals, these conditions can drastically decrease their quality of life, so much so that even moving from one room to the next can be a hardship. Once upon a time, the only way to treat these ailments was through countless surgeries and expensive pain medications, neither of which provided a long-term fix. According to one study, pet owners were paying as much as $3,000 a year to treat an ailment that wasn’t life threatening. In 2014, pet owners spent an accumulative $50.4 billion on veterinary expenses. But was it worth it? Many pet answers say no.
Despite surgeries and medications, animals with debilitating joint pain or chronic hip dysplasia only received temporary relief after a surgery or when on medications. After surgery, suffering animals were placed in weight loss programs and physical therapy, and were prescribed acupuncture and joint supplements. The result was sky-high medical bills for their owners. Stem cell therapy provides an affordable and effective alternative.
Stem cell therapy, on average, costs approximately $2,000. However, unlike with surgery and medications, it actually works. Step cell therapy uses an animals own cells to regenerate deteriorated ones. It is non-evasive and needs to be only done once to get results. Pet owners even have the option to store additional stem cells, just in case, for an extra $150 to $200.
Other stem cell therapies are also available for pets, such as adult umbilical cord stem cell therapy and bone marrow stem cell therapy. Adult umbilical cord therapy is a favored option as it does not require stem cell harvesting via surgery, making it even less invasive than typical stem cell therapy. Your veterinarian will simply harvest the cells from an unused adult umbilical cord after an animal gives birth and then inject those stem cells into a different animal in need. Not only is this process less invasive, but also it is more effective, as the cells are a purified population, unlike those from fat, which can contain as little as 1% stem cells.
Bone marrow stem cell therapy is used to treat cancers and other diseases that prevent hematopoietic stem cells from developing normally. Bone marrow is an amazing thing, as it can turn itself into more bone marrow or any type of blood cell, depending on what your pet’s body needs. Bone marrow is not typically used as the first resort, but if you’ve exhausted all other options, your veterinarian may recommend this course of treatment.
Like with all medical procedures, there are risks associated with stem cell therapy for pets, including cancer, organ damage, cataract, infection, infertility and even death. However, surgery and certain medications also come with their fair share of risks as well. Talk with your veterinarian about possible risks associated with any recommended course of treatment prior to signing off on the consent form.
As of yet, the United Veterinary Center is the only veterinary clinic that offers stem cell therapy treatment for pets. If you are tired of throwing away money on surgeries and medications that simply do not work, and if you are looking for a better and more affordable alternative, reach out to our team today. We’ll be happy to meet with your pet and assess them to see if stem cell therapy is right for them.