Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
Dragoon 45

Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritic BC's

Recommended Posts

I recently learned my vet has started to do stem cell therapy for arthritic dogs, he is one of only two vets in the state that is doing it right now. My oldest BC, Cody, is almost 14 and has multiple problems in his rear and lower back. I took him in for his routine check-up and discussed the stem cell therapy with my vet during the course of the appt. The vet seems to think Cody is a good candidate for this therapy as he does not have any other underlying health problems. Unfortunately the therapy is quite expensive and my knowledge of the pro's and con's of it is somewhat lacking.

 

The procedure uses the dogs own fat cells which are removed from a small incision in their belly area, the stem cells are then separated out and activated, and finally injected back into the problem joints. The procedure takes roughly 3-4 hours to complete with no over night stay. The dog has to stay fairly inactive for at least 3-4 days afterwards with the results normally starting to show up 1-2 weeks after the procedure is done, if I understood my vet correctly.

 

Does anyone else have any knowledge of this procedure or even better has had this procedure done on one of their dogs? I am trying to decide if this is something to help Cody with his arthritis or if it is something to pass on and continue with his med's and supplements. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With any procedure, one would want to know how many procedures have been performed in unit time, the success rate and complication rate of the person performing the procedure and how is "success" defined. Was there an objective measure of success or are you relying on the owner saying "Fido seems better".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some research into it for my dog with elbow dysplasia. Could find no double blind studies supporting the procedure. I know the treatment is very expensive, if I spent the money I would be walking behind my dog going, I think it worked, yes I think there is some improvement. I have done this with far less expensive treatments, so hoping for help finally to realize that there was no real improvement. Every article I found stating how great it was , produced by the companies selling the process. My vet, who does the procedure, says the one drawback is the length of time the procedure works ( if it does help your dog in the first place). I have yet to find someone who had the procedure done four years ago and found dramatic improvement. Hope you find such an endorsement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I investigated this pretty carefully recently and found the same thing as the person above; no good studies showing objective improvement in a properly designed clinical trial.

 

I also consulted with two surgeons at the U of MN and neither was convinced that it was effective in treating arthritis or other problems, particularly in the elbow joint. They did not thing that the environment in the elbow was favourable to stem cells developing appropriately.

 

They weren't against it, and both had seen some anecdotal evidence of mild to moderate improvement, but not enough objective evidence for them to recommend it as a course of treatment for a patient.

 

Pearse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had it done with Lou and I'm pleased with the results. However, I don't know that I would do it with a 14 year-old. The "small incision" in the abdomen is a full surgical procedure, and I am very leary of putting old dogs under.

 

I would def do it again with a dog if I felt that he would benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Former research scientist here. I was/am trying to be measured in my reponse. My vet offers this and I have quized the doctors and never received satisfactory answers to my questions. I, too, have seen the company sponsored articles. I have a 12 year old with polyarthritis and am not even considering doing this. I have had very good success with a specialist in veterinary rehab, totally non invasive and a heck of a lot less expensive then stem cell therapy. And keeping the dog THIN. At least in the procedure that my vet uses, the putative stem cells are injected intraartically (directly into the joint) which is not without risk. Joint infections can be very nasty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there are only two vets doing it right now- maybe there's a reason?

 

I mean, it could be perfectly safe and just difficult to do, but on the other hand it could be that there's inadequate evidence right now and most people won't touch it or can't justify charging for it.

 

It's often a good idea to wait for new therapies to be, not just proven, but shown to be safe. What's the old med school adage about letting the other doctor be the one to try out the new therapy on his patients?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a fascinating new approach to arthritis. I don't think I'd ever choose to go that route but I'm interested to see what develops over the next few years. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the input.

 

My understanding is this procedure is a relatively recent development, developed in the last 12 months or so at Oklahoma State School of Veterinary Medicine. Again I have just a very basic medical knowledge, but it is my understanding there are quite a few new twists in this procedure vice some of the others used in the past. Until about two weeks ago I did not know this procedure even existed for dogs. Cost is a factor, and since it is relatively new I was really curious if it had a proven track record of good results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The vet where we went has been doing this procedure for over 8 years.

 

My understanding is this procedure is a relatively recent development, developed in the last 12 months or so at Oklahoma State School of Veterinary Medicine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put stem cell in the search box upper right, brought a lot of interesting reading. Also, airbear is correct, procedure has some time behind it now. Makes me wonder even more why there are not double blind studies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that Dr Steven Canapp of VOSM has produced one or more papers on the topic (I can just find one "white paper" available from VOSM) and has been involved with this procedure for some years now. According to the VOSM website, "Dr. Canapp is currently researching regenerative medicine,including the use of stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma for the treatment of sports-related soft tissue injuries as well as osteoarthritis."

 

I am sure that if such a highly-respected canine sports medicine practitioner feels that this therapy yields positive results, there must be some benefit in multiple cases that is noticeable and/or measurable. It will be interesting to see what the research shows when there are results published.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to be at the finals, Dr. Sherman Canapp will be there to speak about common injuries and treatment in working dogs on Thursday night. I'm sure he'd be happy to answer questions about stem cell therapy.

 

Michelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Michelle! I had seen where he would be doing this and am looking forward to hearing from him. I know a number of people who feel he is the best in the field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the information about Dr Sherman Canapp. I looked up his practice and it is loaded with a lot of interesting information . I recommend it highly, hope others post how his presentation goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although not related to stem cell therapy, I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Canapp - and any information/papers/seminars he is involved in. He performed the surgery on my dog for a torn bicep tendon. From my very brief conversations with him, I felt he was very much on top of the latest and greatest, and more importantly, was very successful in diagnosing and treating orthopedic issues. He was able to correctly diagnose (based on 5 minutes of hands-on examination and watching my dog walk for about 40 feet) that my dog needed shoulder surgery rather than going the rehab route. We discussed stem cell therapy for shoulder treatment, but he felt that with the injury my dog had, the bicep release surgery would be better.

 

I wish I could go to his seminar at the Finals. Attend if at all possible.

 

Jovi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had this done 5 years ago on my dog, who needed shoulder reconstruction for osteocondritis dessicans (OCD). Here's what I've seen:

 

He healed really, really well from the surgery and so far does not show any signs of arthritis. But who knows if he would have done just the same without the stem cells.

 

The incision to harvest the cells from his stomach was NOT small, nor did it heal easily. Like a liposuction incision, they really get a sucker thing in there and move it around, so there was a fair amount of tissue injury from sucking out the fat cells where the stem cells are harvested from. It seemed to cause him more pain than the shoulder, which was so bad it could not be done laproscopically so the shoulder incision was almost as large.

 

If I had an older arthritic dog I think I'd try other therapies, personally - this is a pretty big surgical intervention IME.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...