Pet owners now have a different treatment option to help heal their soft–tissue injured or arthritic animals; it’s called Pet Stem–Cell Therapy uses cells in an animal's fatty tissue to help rejuvenate cartilage and joint capsules.
The San Juan Veterinary Clinic in Montrose has two vets trained to perform Vet–Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy, Dr. Petterson and Dr. Franklin, they say it’s simple, "collecting stem cells from the patient and giving them back to the patient, there’s no medicine, you’re not putting anything foreign into their body."
The procedure isolates stem and regenerative cells from an animal's own fat and the clinic then sends the sample off to a lab in California where the cells are separated and sent back in about 48 hours for injection. Those cells can then become cells that produce cartilage on the joint and also cells that line the joint capsule, spurring healthy cell growth in injured area’s. Right now its used to treat ligament and tendon injuries and arthritis, but Dr. Franklin says he sees a big future with this therapy.
The stem cells are taken from the animal and put back only into the same animal. Dr. Franklin understands the controversy surrounding stem cells but wants to clear up misconceptions, "when people hear stem–cells they think embryonic or fetal stem cells and it becomes a hot button issue for some people, this is very different.”
Because the procedure is so new on the Western Slope, a training program just opened up in the beginning of the year, Dr. Franklin cannot speak of the long term effects, but Vet–Stem has been using the therapy since 2002 with promising results. Now because this procedure can be done on horses, dogs, and cats; a price range could not be given.
There are about 3,000 vets in Colorado and only 38 are registered to use this technology. Follow this link to find a registered vet near you.