Animal Stem Cell Therapy: Questions & Answers
For decades, researchers have touted stem cells as a potential treatment for a number of diseases. Doctors already use stem cells to treat people with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood disorders as well as for some solid cancer tumors.
Pets can also take advantage of stem cell treatments. The most common and successful veterinary use of stem cells treats horse tendon and ligament injuries and osteoarthritis in dogs, as well as injuries to bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and the spinal cord. And, since the interest in these kinds of treatments is growing really fast, we collected some frequently asked questions about animal stem cell therapy, giving some answers to them.
1. What are stem cells?
Stem cells can differentiate into specialized cells and are able to regenerate tissues such as cartilage, bone, tendon and muscle.
They occur naturally in the body and are drawn to areas that are damaged.
Stem cells reduce scar tissue formation. They exert trophic, immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects and activate the body’s own stem cells, modulating the local environment and thereby stimulating tissue regeneration.
Studies have shown that these stem cells help repair damaged cartilage and bone tissue, decrease inflammation and pain, heal damaged cells, prevent further cell deterioration, and promote active tissue regeneration.
2. What is animal stem cell therapy?
Pet stem cell therapy uses stem cells from the bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, or fat of either your pet (known as autologous stem cell therapy) or another animal of the same species (known as allogeneic stem cell therapy).
A veterinarian injects the stem cells into the diseased area, such as a knee joint damaged by osteoarthritis. The cells move to the inflamed or damaged tissue, suppress the inflammation, relieve pain, and cause new tissue to grow. This new tissue is more like the original tissue than the scar tissue that would typically grow in an untreated inflamed area.
Medrego offers both allogeneic (donor-derived) and autologous (patient-derived) stem cell therapy for animal treatment, but usually, we recommend to use Medrego CaniCell and EquiCell allogeneic therapy because of its main benefits:
- it is easy to store & apply
- usually, it is enough with 1 injection
- the treatment contains young, healthy and very active donor cells that can provide higher quality cells for treatment
- there is no invasive cell obtaining procedure
- therefore treatment is more cost-efficient
3. For how long has stem cell therapy been available?
Stem cell therapy for animals has been commercially available since 2003. A lot of improvement and studies have been done till now.
Medrego started stem cell research in 2010 and we have come up with innovative and market-changing solutions, using our unique stem cell source and obtaining technology. We successfully started with horse stem cell treatment, and today we also offer treatment for dogs, cats, camels or any other animal, offering our ready-to-use treatments on doctors order or making a custom treatment.
4. Is stem cell therapy safe?
Some researchers fear that it is possible that stem cell therapy could unwittingly pass viruses and other disease-causing agents to people who receive cell transplants. Some research has also raised the possibility that stem cells may turn cancerous. However, in veterinary medicine stem cell treatments have not shown any side effects yet.
In the thousands of animals treated across the world, veterinarians have not noted any side-effects caused by stem cell therapy.
As for Medrego, the safety of stem cell treatment is our top priority. Our most popular allogeneic stem cell therapy products Medrego CaniCell and EquiCell contain young and healthy stem cells, tested for all possible diseases and preparation is followed by our ISO certification protocol. It does not even have risks caused by collecting the cells since we use donor-derived stem cells instead of patient-derived cells.
For Autologous stem cell therapy, the biggest risk is using a general anesthetic in order to remove the fat tissue from which we isolate the stem cells. Our partner clinics always carry out a full pre-anesthetic blood test and use the safest available anesthetics. Typically, the fat is collected in about 30 minutes.
For more information on safety issues, please, visit the Science & Publications section – you can find there some safety confirming publications.
5. When can be seen the first results of the therapy?
Stem cell treatment will give your pet pain relief as soon as a few days to a few weeks after the injection with further improvement as healing progresses.
Your veterinarian should also see the first improvements in US (ultrasound) after ~2-3 weeks.
6. How to get stem cell therapy?
First of all, you should visit your veterinarian and confirm that stem cell therapy could really help with your pet treatment.
Stem cell therapies are most efficient in animal tendon, ligament, and other soft tissue, as well as joint and cartilage tear, rupture and other injury treatment.
There are some clinics around the world that already offer this therapy, many of them located in the USA and Western Europe. In Eastern and Northern Europe Medrego is the leading company that provides animal stem cell treatments. Your veterinarian can contact us at any time, and we deliver our stem cell therapy to your veterinarian for your animal treatment in 1-3 business days.
Also, you can always contact us and tell your story, and, if necessary, provide your veterinarian contacts, so we can discuss the therapy appliance protocol and send the treatment for your pet to your clinic. Ultrasound equipment will be needed in order to apply the treatment.
If you have any other questions that you cannot find an answer to, contact us. We will give you all the information needed regarding stem cell therapy for your animal treatment. Medrego CaniCell and EquiCell have helped several hundreds of animals, and they are ready to help yours as well!