Stem cells are saving pets - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Stem cells are saving pets

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(06/18/13) - Stem cells are increasingly becoming a source of medical miracles - and not just for humans. They are working wonders for our four-legged friends, too.

One of the most painful things a dog can face is called hip dysplasia. It is debilitating and potentially life-threatening. It can strike early in life.

Bubba, a two-and-a-half-year-old English Bulldog, was born with severe hip dysplasia that made it difficult and painful for him to walk.  

"He's had to be injected once a month the last two years to ease the pain in his joints and the, the hip bone," says Bubba's human, Bob Cook.

When Bob heard about a new stem cell procedure that could relieve Bubba's pain, he jumped at the chance.

Dr. Ashraf Gomaa extracted fat from Bubba's shoulder. Enzymes were added to the fat. Then, a machine separated the stem cells. Finally, the stem cells were injected back into Bubba to help decrease his painful inflammation.

"You want to inject it as closely as possible to the joint that is affected. Those stem cells react to inflammation and they have an affinity to inflammation so they go to any area of the body that has any type of trauma," Dr. Gomma said.

Bob says it has put the bounce back in Bubba's step, and probably saved the dog's life. "If it wasn't for this, he would probably have been on some serious pain meds and probably wouldn't have lived much longer."      

On average, the treatment lasts one to two years and can be repeated as needed. The stem cell procedure is approved for dogs and cats. Dr. Gomma says dogs or cats with joint, cartilage, tendon, or ligament pain are all good candidates for the procedure.

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