While there is much furor over the use of stem cells in humans, animal researchers have been powering on and using veterinary stem cell therapy for all sorts of injuries. There is the hope that success in animals could lead to human treatment options, but it is likely that there would still be some debate about that.
What is veterinary stem cell treatment?
You can think of stem cells as a blank canvas. When placed in certain situations, stem cells can ‘mutate’ into the cell that is needed there. For example; if stem cells are put in an area where there is damaged tissue, then the cell would be able to mutate to help to repair that tissue. It is a very complicated process.
Stem cells will normally come from another animal. These are known as donor stem cells (allogeneic). The animal, of course, has to be the same species. We doubt you would see that much success if you put cat stem cells in a dog. In other cases, the stem cells could be taken directly from the animal that is being treated. These are known as autologous stem cells.
Efficacy of using donor (allogenic) or autologous stem cells for veterinary stem cell therapy is similar, but we see more benefits of donor stem cell treatments.
How is Stem Cell Therapy Being Used?
A lot of the work is being focused on helping animals have their joints and tissues repaired. Take horse stem cells, for instance. We know that we can use stem cells to speed up and increase the success of the healing of tendons. This ensures that the animals can lead a quality life.
We have seen dog stem cells used to treat arthritis, boost the speed that joints heal, as well as help with hip replacements.
None of this is up for debate – we have genuine evidence that all this works.
If we can repair organs, our animals will be able to live longer, healthier lives.
Veterinary stem cell therapy is able to undo the damage that naturally comes with age. We may also be able to undo the damage caused by inherited conditions.
There is no real limit to what can be accomplished. Basically, we could increase the lifespan of these animals. As long as we continue to see the success of treatment in the animal world, we have no doubt that stem cells really are the future. We may be able to undo the damage that naturally comes with age.
Can Animal Stem Cells Be Used In Humans?
The most common answer you can get is a big NO! But…
There is not enough research about that to conclude beyond any doubt as to whether it is possible or not. We need more intensive research about this until we get a definitive answer to this question.
If we look at this logically, then, probably, even after deeper research, the answer will still be no, because animals need other animal stem cells to treat injuries. And humans need other human cells, to do the same.
There is also a big chance that our human body will reject something like that. The same as with transplantation – not all cases of organ transplantation is successful because our bodies do not accept the new organ.
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