Pet Stem Cell Treatments
Stem cell treatments are based upon the use of adult mesenchymal stem cells. Currently mesenchymal stem cell are recommended to treat the following conditions in companion animals:
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Tendon/Cartilage Injury
- Surgery – Adjunct therapy to enhance recovery after joint surgery
Where do Stem Cells come from ?
The stem cells used at Eltham Veterinary Practice are obtained from the excess fatty tissue from donor animals. Donor fat is often collected at the time that the animal is sterilised at a distant location. This tissue would otherwise have been discarded. The tissue is collected aseptically, before being processed and cultured to isolate and increase the regenerative cells (including stem cells) before being cryogenically frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen. Every batch produced is subject to stringent safety and quality control procedures. The stem cells are then shipped to Eltham Veterinary Practice still in cryogenically frozen form and stored onsite in liquid nitrogen containers. Once we require the Stem Cells, a vial is removed from the liquid nitrogen, thawed and injected under sterile conditions.
What do Stem Cells actually do?
Based upon work done at the Stem Cell producers and review of the literature, it would appear that:
- Cells embed in joint/synovium
- They secrete molecules that activate neighbouring and/or target cells to secrete.
In combination these:
- Stimulate vascularisation
- Recruit other cells to the site of the injury
- Prevent cell death
- Stimulate tissue regeneration
- Improve the function of cells in the joint
- Have an immune-modulatory/anti-inflammatory effect
- Effects are long lasting
What do I need to do afterwards?
Always follow the advice of your treating veterinarian.
Most often exercise will be very limited for the first 24-48 hours while anaesthetic wears off, with a slow gradual increase in exercise over time. If you are in doubt, please consult your treating veterinarian before allowing your animal to resume their usual activity levels
Are there any side effects?
Swelling and inflammation of the joint is always possible after a joint injection. This inflammation often goes down after 24-48 hours. However, if the injection site gets very hot or swollen or your animal goes very lame or stops eating, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
Early results for CryoShot Stem Cells have been very positive. These early results have been measured based on description of pain documented by owners of animals who have been treated with CryoShot. Each owner was provided with a validated questionnaire relating to pain; the description of pain, how the pain interferes with normal functions, and overall quality of life. Owners have noticed dramatic effects on the reduction of pain in their animals. This appears both in how owners would describe pain, and also how that pain interferes with normal daily functions like walking, running and climbing stairs.
Most of this effect happens within the first ten days, but improvement continues past the two month mark.