Stem Cell Therapy
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem Cell Therapy is a regenerative medicine therapy. It seeks to harness the power of the body’s internal repair system. Stem cells are the body’s raw materials. They can generate new cell types. This means that stem cells derived from visceral fat cells (adipose mesenchymal cells) under laboratory conditions can be injected into an affected area to promote the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue.
What about safety?
Stem Cell Therapy is minimally invasive. It involves a same day procedure of short duration to inject the stem cells into the site(s) of injury. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are stopped for the four days before and the four days after the procedure. The process is carried out under general anaesthesia in a sterile surgical environment. Following the procedure patients require no special care other than rest and supportive measures in the first few days.
What conditions can Stem Cell Therapy help?
Stem cells have the potential to address many different disease processes, but by far the most recognised application in the veterinary field is the use of Stem Cell Therapy to address osteoarthritis, with the treatment also being used for ligament and tendon injuries, as well as spinal cord injuries. Stem Cell Therapy has been used to treat stomatitis and chronic rhinitis in cats. Currently in South Africa, we only have access to allogenic stem cells for dogs.
How often will my pet need treatment?
A single treatment is recommended, the effects of which may last for several years.
How will my pet feel after the treatment?
As already indicated, no special care other than rest and supportive measures are required in the first few days. Such measures may include veterinary prescribed pain relief medications as the patient may experience some soreness, often associated with the injection site(s).
The effects of the treatment may be seen within a few days in some patients, whilst in others it may require a few weeks, or even months before changes are observed. The success of the treatment varies from patient to patient, and so improvement may be dramatic in some cases and minimal in others. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict the degree to which a patient will respond to stem cell treatment.
Can Stem Cell Therapy be used alongside other modalities?
Yes! Although it can be used on its own, for many conditions it can be used as part of a multimodal approach and so it may be used alongside other forms of therapy including acupuncture, laser, tui-na, platelet therapy (PRP), physical rehabilitation (physiotherapy), veterinary chiropractic, massage, and hydrotherapy.
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