Friday, August 19, 2011
Medical Reports: Dogged By Pain
For pet owners it's hard watching your dog age and suffer with arthritis or joint problems, but there's a cutting-edge procedure using stem cells that can help dog's avoid surgery and drugs. 7's Richard Lemus shows us a new way to help pets 'dogged by pain.'
WSVN -- Jordana Reid, Shayna's owner: "This is our favorite trick. Timber!"
To Jordana Reid her 9-year-old dog Shayna is just as special as any human she knows.
Jordana Reid: "Shayna is my best friend. She kept me company through school. My husband loves her as much as I do. She's like our child."
The Reids even picked out a two story home with a big back yard, just for their pets. They didn't know Shayna would not be able to enjoy the new home.
Jordana Reid: "We brought the animals over to see their new home and my husband and I were heartbroken, we realized she wasn't able to go up the stairs."
Shayna was suffering.
Jordana Reid: "She was limping a lot and we found out that she had torn her ACL in both back knees."
Vets suggested surgery, but Jordana was concerned it was too risky. So, she decided to try a cutting-edge procedure, a stem cell transplant.
Jordana Reid: "I did all my research on it and decided it was worth a shot."
Stem cells are healing and regenerative cells. Vets like John Willie are now using stem cells to treat dogs who have arthritis or bad joints.
Dr. John Willie, Veterinarian: "We're actually taking an animal's own stem cells and putting them back into their own body, so there is no rejection."
Vets remove a small amount of body fat from the dog. From the fat, they take and harvest stem cells and then inject those cells back into the dog.
Dr. John Willie: "We will inject it into their hip, their elbow, their wrist, their knee, where ever the arthritis is. The stem cells have the ability to go throughout the body and find the areas of inflammation and hone in on those areas."
The idea, the stem cells will stimulate growth of healthy cells and healing, so no surgery is needed.
Dr. John Willie: "Two to four weeks you'll start seeing an improvement and then around eight weeks you'll start to see a vast improvement."
In the past, doctors had to send the stem cells to an outside lab to be processed. A process that takes 48 hours and is very expensive. This new treatment by 'Stemlogix' is done right in the vet's office.
Dr. John Willie: "It's a one day procedure. The cells are more viable, they are more alive. I would say anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of the animals respond to this, so it has been a great success for us."
Shayna is one of those success stories.
Jordana Reid: "The outcome has been kinda miraculous. It's everything we could have hoped for. She healed really quickly from surgery, within two months we noticed her joints weren't cracking any more."
The dog is now climbing the stairs on her own and Jordana says she acts like a young pup again.
Jordana Reid: "I got my Shayna back."
The procedure is not cheap, it can cost $1,200 to $2,000, but that's a lot less than a three to five thousand dollar surgery and all the medications your dog would need.
Vets are hoping to start using the stem cell treatment on cats soon.
FOR MORE INFO:
Dr. John Willie
Welleby Veterinary Center
10008 West Oakland Park Boulevard
Sunrise, FL 33351
Office Phone: (954) 748-2002