Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a common condition in dogs. It can cause a dog an immense amount of pain and reduce its mobility drastically. Sadly, at the moment, it is a condition that is tough to treat. However, many people believe that stem cells may be the route to go down.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
Since osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, the initial symptoms can be tricky to spot. Over time, you may find that your animal is less keen to be active. They may also have lameness in their limbs. These symptoms may get worse when the animal is inactive for long periods of time or in the colder weather.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Typically arthritis is a problem seen in older dogs, but the condition can develop from an early age following problems with bone and joint development. Depending on the cause, arthritis may affect one or any number of your dog’s joints. Most cases develop as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability (e.g. after ligament damage), damage to or abnormal cartilage development, or damage caused by trauma (e.g. fractures). Like humans, signs of arthritis can often vary throughout the animal’s life and result in the early onset of joint problems in older age.
What Can Be Done to Deal with Osteoarthritis?
Sadly, treating the condition is notoriously difficult. In most cases, it is a case of giving your dog some painkillers. There are supplements which you can give your animal which may help to reduce some of their bone density, but these may not necessarily guarantee the success of treatment. In some cases, a medical plan can be devised to help build back bone loss by addressing any dietary deficiencies your animal has. This is going to slow down the condition but may not necessarily stop it progressing completely.
One area which has seen a lot of success is the use of dog stem cells. With dog stem cells, you will be taking cells from a part of a dog, sometimes another dog (donor – allogenic stem cells), sometimes the dog that is being treated (autologous cells). These stem cells will then be added to the areas where the dog is dealing with severe pain. The idea is that when these stem cells are added to the area, they will be able to take on the form of cells which can be used to repair the damaged tissue and bones.
While there has not been a lot of peer reviewed studies regarding the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs using stem cells, it is a treatment which has proven it self all around the globe with more than 10 000 dogs treated. Many experts have confirmed the safety and efficiency of dog stem cell treatment.
Experts report that the success rate is quite high (~85%).
Again, there is not something that will be able to necessarily stop the progression of osteoarthritis, there is a chance that the stem cells will be able to repair the damaged area to the point where there will no longer be any issue. Basically, your dog is going to be able to exercise and have just as much fun as they did before. It is unlikely they will be in any pain too!