Before anybody panics, let it be clear that this new therapy, harms no animals, nor does it involve harvesting them for their stem cells. This is far away from the controversial topic of embryonic stem cell research, as only the animal’s own cells are used.
Vet-Stem—a pharmaceutical company that strives to bring regenerative medicine technology to the veterinary profession—developed technology that derives stem cells from fat tissue by processing the tissue to concentrate it and then purifying it, which results in safe and usable stem cells.
More than 2,500 horses have already experienced the treatment, and it has proven very successful in repairing tendon and ligament injuries. Even more encouraging news: No significant side effects were reported in any of those cases.
While the therapy isn’t available everywhere yet, vets around the country are putting it into practice. Vets can harvest a sample of fat tissue, send the tissue to a laboratory in San Diego, CA, and receive the stem cells—ready for injection—in 48 hours.
Dogs or cats that have adverse reactions to anesthesia may want to stay away from this as the animal must be put under to harvest the fat and to inject the stem cells.
We don’t know yet if this research will help pet cancer.