What are stem cells and why are they important for pets?
Stem cells are characterized as forerunner cells that have the ability to self-restore and to generate multiple cell types. They have two interesting properties that empower them to do this:
First and foremost, they can divide again and again to create new cells. Also, as they divide, they can change into different types of cells that make up the body.
There are three different types of stem cells. One of them is the embryonic stem cells which supply new cells for an embryo as it grows and develops into a baby. They are pluripotent, which implies that they can change into any cell in the body.
Another one is called adult stem cells. They supply new cells as an organism grows to replace damaged cells. They are multipotent, which implies they can just change into certain cells in the body, for instance:
Epithelial stem cells can only replace the various kinds of cells in our skin and hair.
The last one is called the induced pluripotent stem cells, or ‘IPS cells’. They are cultured in the lab by taking normal adult cells, like skin or blood cells, and redesigning them to become stem cells. The fact that they are pluripotent means they can also change into any cell type.
Research into the use of stem cells to repair bones, ligaments, tendons, spinal cord injuries and in the treatment of kidney and liver disease, cardiomyopathies, and certain inflammatory diseases of the skin and gut is ongoing, However, stem cell therapy has been commonly used in the treatment of osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia in pets such as dogs and cats.
The procedure is the same in most clinics that perform stem cell therapy for pets. Generally, once you visit the veterinary doctor, they have to review the condition of your pet (including prognosis) with stem cell therapy. Your pet would be intubated and properly observed and monitored during the procedure.
The stem cell therapy treatment should average three to four hours. An intravenous catheter would be used to administer pet anesthesia and up to two tablespoons of fat are removed from the shoulder or abdomen of the pet. The stem cells are separated from the fat within 48 hours of extraction, and it is ready for infusion into the affected area. Asides from transforming into any cell type, stem cells block the formation of inflammatory molecules and scar tissue, and they signal the body to produce pain-reducing substances.
Improvement is usually noticed within 14 days of treatment. The risk of rejection is eliminated because these pets receive their own cells.
Although it is better for your pets to receive treatment within 60 days of injury, stem cell therapy can also be helpful in improving long term injuries.
There are lots of affordable pet clinics that perform stem cell therapy for pets. If your dog is in need of a stem cell therapy or you are aware of dogs in your neighborhood in need of one, all you need to do is to type the words, “dog stem cell therapy near me” and include your location using any of your favorite search engines.
Websites, clinic names, and contact details should pop up and from there you can easily pick the one that appeals most to you.