Sheabel Veterinary Hospital is now working with MediVet to provide in-clinic stem cell therapy. MediVet is an industry leader that continues to provide up-to-date treatment modalities that are scientifically proven and supported by evidence.
Stem cells have been utilized by veterinarians since 2003 to treat orthopedic cases. Innovation and improvements to the process have driven wider commercial appeal for the service.
Stem cells are the body’s repair cells that have the potential to divide and differentiate into tissues such as skin, fat, muscle, bone, cartilage, and nerves, among others.
What is MediVet Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells are powerful healing cells in your body that can become other types of cells. There are many adult stem cells in fat tissue, however they are asleep. MediVet stem cell therapy allows your veterinarian to isolate stem cells from an animal’s own fat tissue, wake them up, and reinject them directly into damaged areas. An example would be for arthritis—stem cells become new cartilage cells, thus reducing pain and increasing mobility.
What are the types of stem cells?
There are two basic types of stem cells: embryonic and somatic (adult).
Embryonic stem cells are found in the embryo and are called totipotent or pluripotent, meaning they have the ability to reproduce into any mature cell type.
Adult stem cells are multipotent, which means they can still differentiate into multiple different tissues, however unlike embryonic stem cells, they do not develop into teratomas.
Why do we use adipose tissue (fat)?
Adult stem cells are highly concentrated in adipose tissue—this fat is readily available in large quantities and easily accessible. Acquiring this stem cell is less invasive and less painful than aspirating a bone marrow sample from the hip or the sternum. In the small animal model the extraction is less invasive than a spay and in the large a standing lipo technique can be utilized.
What are the benefits of stem cell therapy?
Stem cells treat the source of a problem by offering the ability to replace damaged tissue with new tissue. Since the treatment uses the animal’s own stem cells, it is very low risk. With MediVet technology, over 95 percent of treated animals show improvement.
How long has this treatment been available?
Stem cell therapy for animals has been available since 2004.
Is it safe?
The procedure is very safe. The biggest risk is using anesthetic to remove the fat tissue. On a typical dog, this is easier than a spay, and the fat is collected in about 15 minutes. We have not observed any negative side-effects from stem cell therapy in the thousands of animals treated.
What happens to my pet when they come in for stem cell therapy?
When your pet comes in for stem cell therapy, the first thing your veterinarian will do is put your pet under general anesthetic. A small incision will then be made where two to four tablespoons of fat (from either the belly or behind the shoulder blade) will be collected. A technician will then process the sample in the clinic, where it will be activated then introduced to the animal. The patient can then go home in the same day.
What is the recovery period and how long does it take to see results?
It is recommended that the patient stay quiet for the first 10 days, then, while they may feel a lot better, you will have to take care that your pet doesn’t injure themselves until they build up some of their muscles. Improvement is typically seen starting after three weeks, and then continuing up to around two months.
What conditions do you treat?
Typical patients have osteoarthritis (hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, calcifications, common degeneration, inflammation), soft tissue injures (cruciate injuries, tears, ruptures, inflammation) or have needs related to accelerated healing of fractures. If your pet is suffering from something different such as Atopic Dermatitis or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, your veterinarian will consult a team in order to consider stem cells as a treatment option.
How long does a treatment last?
There is usually about one to four years of relief after the initial treatment. Most pet owners choose to bank cells, so retreatment is easy. If symptoms return, your veterinarian merely requests a dose of cells from the bank and reintroduces the cells. No surgery is necessary.
Are there animals you won’t treat?
Currently we recommend no animals with malignant cancer to be treated with ADSCs.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is blood plasma with concentrated amounts of platelets and growth factors. PRP provides high doses of the body’s own healing factors straight to the needed area, and is non-surgical.
Canine cancer treatment
Immunotherapy is a new treatment option for dogs with cancer. K9-ACV is an immunotherapy vaccine that is used to help the dog’s immune system recognize the cancerous cells as detrimental and attacks them. Common cancers that are treatable with this vaccine include:
- Mast cell tumors
- Hemangiosarcoma (spleen or liver hemangiosarcoma cancer)
- Dog skin tumors
- Mammary tumors
- Oral melanoma
K9-ACV immunotherapy is an affordable alternative to other canine cancer treatments.
What current universities are partnering with MediVet?
MediVet currently has partnerships with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, University of Tennessee Veterinary College, Kansas State University Veterinary College, and the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, among other institutions.