You’ve likely heard about stem cell therapy in the news before: it’s one of the most innovative and promising treatments in the medical field. While the main focus is on potential use in humans, stem cell therapy can also help our furry companions. A local Coral Springs, FL vet offers some insight on this below.
Stem cells are basically the cellular edition of a blank page or a clean state. They can develop into any kind of cell. That versatility is key to their use in medicine, as they can be used to treat many different health problems. Stem cells are unique in that they have the potential to regrow tissue in different organs and body parts. This technology is extremely promising, and may someday be used to treat a whole slew of medical conditions in both people and pets.
The stem cells most often utilized in veterinary medicine are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These are popular for a few reasons. They’re incredibly versatile, and can be cultured in a lab, which removes the ethical concerns of some stem cell harvesting techniques. Generally, stem cell therapy utilizes cells from the fat, umbilical cord, or bone marrow of either the four-legged patient or another animal of the same species. Once ready, the cells are injected into the area of the body that needs treatment.
In humans, stem cells are often used to treat leukemia, lymphoma, blood disorders, and certain cancers. In veterinary care, stem cell therapy is often utilized to treat pets that have issues with their bones, joints, or ligaments, and sometimes spinal cord injuries. For example, a dog with osteoarthritis may benefit from having stem cells injected into his knee. Once the cells are injected, they boost the body’s natural healing process, reducing pain and inflammation, easing pain, and triggering the growth of healthy new cells.
The most outstanding benefit of stem cell therapy is its versatility. However, it has other appeals. The treatments are not overly taxing for our furry patients: pets often go home the same day, though some may require an overnight visit. Results usually become apparent after about two weeks or so. Side effects are rare, though not unheard of. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you want to learn more about stem cell therapy? Contact us, your Coral Springs, FL local animal clinic, today!