Regenerative veterinary medicine refers to the repair of tissues by using the body’s own intrinsic healing mechanisms. We activate the body’s cellular, neurological, and blood born healing capacities with side effect free therapies like Class IV therapy laser and acupuncture and the results have been remarkable. With increasing momentum of stem cell and platelet rich plasma treatment (PRP), we are now taking regenerative medicine to another level.
Stem cells are progenitor cells that can differentiate into any tissue cell type. By harvesting the patients’ own stem cells, activating them, and injecting them into injured areas, we are able to repair tissues at the cellular level. In the past, the harvesting of stem cells has required a minor surgical procedure with general anesthesia where fat from the body is sampled and sent off to a lab to have the stem cells extracted and processed into an injectable media. Since injection of joints, one of the most common uses of stem cell therapy in veterinary medicine, almost always requires sedation, the costs and client perceived invasiveness associated with anesthesia, minor surgery followed by sedation, clients have often been reluctant to consider it for their pet. As a result, although most veterinarians are strong advocates of this branch of medicine, to date we have found it a tough sell for pet owners.
With new technology from PrimoStem, the general anesthesia and surgical portion of stem cell therapy has been taken out of the process. Their new technology does not require tissue harvest for collection of stem cells, but instead is able to extract and activate stem cells from a simple blood draw. The blood is sent off to their lab and within 2 business days arrives to the clinic ready for injection. Thus, your pet can now enjoy the benefits of stem cell therapy for any number of conditions with a simple blood draw, gentle sedation, and injection into damaged areas of the body, all within a 3 day turn around and two outpatient visits.
Stems cell solutions are directly injected into damaged joints and acupuncture points to seek out, differentiate into the given tissue cell type, and repair it. In addition to direct injection, the patient is given an additional intravenous bolus of stem cells to provide systemic regenerative benefits throughout the entire body.
The applications of this type of treatment is poised to go far beyond orthopedic repair. As I write this article, there are currently studies in process to assess the benefits of this treatment for chronic degenerative disease such as kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and several degenerative neurological conditions that traditional veterinary medicine previously had no answer for. Conclusions are still pending as the data continues to be collected, but initial results seem very promising.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and highly regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.