Stem Cell Therapy

stemcellWhat is 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 dormant.  Roscoe Village Animal Hospital’s stem cell therapy allows our veterinarians to isolate stem cells from an animal’s own fat tissue, activate the stem cells, and re-inject them directly into damaged areas.  For example, in the case of arthritis, stem cells become new cartilage cells, thus reducing pain and increasing mobility.

Actistem Animation Video

Listen to Dr. Rovner discuss cases and protocol on Medivet’s Podcast

What is so great about Stem Cell Therapy? 

Stem cells treat the source of the problem by becoming new tissue to replace damaged tissue.  Other treatments, such as NSAIDs, merely attempt to reduce symptoms.  The treatment is very low risk because it uses the animal’s own stem cells.  With stem cell technology, over 95% of animals treated show improvement.

How long has this been available?

Stem cell therapy for animals has been commercially available since 2004.

Is it safe?

Yes, this procedure is very safe.  On a typical dog, this is easier than a spay, and the fat is collected in about 15 minutes by our veterinarians.  Processing the sample is done carefully by a highly trained Roscoe Village Animal Hospital technician.

What happens to my pet when they come in for stem cell therapy?

First, our veterinarian will put your pet under general anesthesia.  Then, the surgeon will make a small incision and collect 2-4 tablespoons of fat (either in the belly or behind the shoulder blades). Next, our certified technician processes the sample at Roscoe Village Animal Hospital using our own equipment.  After about 3 hours, the cells are ready for injection into areas of damage.  In addition, some cells are administered by IV.  For the administration step, your pet will either be locally anesthetized or lightly sedated depending on what’s best for your pet. You can pick up your pet later that same day.

What is the recovery period, and how long does it take to see results?

After surgery, we recommend that the patient is kept quiet for the first 10 days.  After that, they may already feel a lot better.  However, you will need to make sure they slowly return to their normal activity so they do not injure themselves until they build up some of their muscles.  Activities such as swimming and walking in water are great therapies to help the patient rebuild their muscles.  Typically, we see improvement after 3 weeks, and the patient reaches full improvement after 2 months.

What conditions do you treat? 

Our typical patient has osteoarthritis (hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, calcifications, common degeneration, and inflammation), soft tissue injuries (cruciate injuries, tears, ruptures, inflammation), or needs accelerated healing of fractures.  We know a lot about these conditions, and over 95% of these patients get better, with Roscoe Village Animal Hospital’s Stem Cell Therapy.  Please talk to our veterinarians if you have questions about any of these conditions.

How long does a treatment last? What happens if my pet starts having trouble again?

We typically see about 1-5 years of relief after the initial treatment.  Some pet owners chose to bank cells, so re-treatment is easy.  If symptoms return, we will requests a dose of cells from the bank, and injects them. No surgery is necessary.

Are there any animals that you don’t treat?

Yes.  Because we don’t know exactly what happens when cancer patients are treated with stem cells based on human studies, we do not treat those patients.

For More information, please visit Ardent Animal Health