What’s Involved In Stem Cell Therapy For Arthritic Dogs

Pet owners who have dogs with osteoarthritis know how heartbreaking it is to see their four-legged children suffer from painful joint stiffness and mobility loss. The standard treatments of losing weight, exercising, and using NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) don’t always work. That’s why some dog owners are reaching out to stem cell therapy as a solution. If you have a dog that struggles with osteoarthritis, here’s what you need to know about stem cell therapy.

The Treatment Process

First, a veterinarian collects some fat cells from your dog’s body. Your dog is anesthetized for about 15 minutes, which is how long it takes for a vet to remove about two tablespoons of fat cells.

Next, the fat collection is sent to a lab, where it remains in isolation for about 24 hours. After the regenerative cells are returned, the vet injects the cells back into the dog’s affected arthritic joints. Hopefully, the regenerative cells will release chemicals that help reduce inflammation and restore damaged tissue.

Success Rate

Because each dog is unique, there aren’t any guarantees. However, clinical improvements have been noted in 95 percent of cases, throughout the United States. While some pet owners witnessed an improvement in only a week, others didn’t see a difference for one to two months. In most cases, it’s expected a dog will show improvement within 90 days after being treated.

Considerations and Warnings

  • The best candidates for stem cell therapy are dogs that have overall good health, other than canine osteoarthritis.
  • Depending on your location, the treatment can range in cost from $1800 to $2800. Surprisingly, many pet insurance policies cover the cost.
  • Multiple injections may be needed if your dog has exceptionally severe osteoarthritis. Therefore, it’s a good idea to bank some additional stem cells.
  • A common misconception is that stem cell therapy can cure canine osteoarthritis. Instead, the purpose of this treatment is to lower anti-inflammatory effects on a long-term basis and slow down cartilage deterioration.
  • You don’t have to worry about cell rejection, allergic reaction, or disease transmission. This is because the cells are not synthetic as they come from your dog’s own cells.
  • In rare cases, a dog may have a mild immune reaction in an injected joint. Fortunately, this should subside within one to two days.
  • Dogs that undergo stem cell therapy can pave the path for humans who may need similar treatments.

You don’t have to stand by and watch your dog suffer needlessly from uncomfortable symptoms. If your dog hasn’t responded to traditional treatments for osteoarthritis, ask your vet, such as at Meadow View Veterinary Clinic, about stem cell therapy for dogs.