What Are Stem Cells And How Are They Used?
Stem cells can be explained as your pet’s own repair cells. Stem cells have the ability to develop into different types of cells in the body. These cells serve as a type of self-repairing system that divides without limit to replenish other cells. There are two types of these cells: embryonic and adult. Stem cell therapy uses the adult version of these cells that can be found in high quantities in fat stores in the body and stimulates them to become other types of cells. These cells are then placed in areas in the body that can benefit from their ability to repair and their natural anti-inflammatory effects. Stem cells have a very unique ability to regenerate, offering new potential to treat disease, reduce pain, and improve mobility in arthritic conditions.
Facts About Stem Cells:
- Adult stem cells are highly concentrated in the fat tissue.
- There are anywhere from 50 – 1000 times more stem cells located in the fat then in bone marrow.
- The procedure to extract the fat from a patient is a much quicker and less invasive process than a spay procedure.
Uses Of Stem Cell Therapy:
The primary use of stem cell therapy is in the treatment of degenerative osteoarthritis which is very common in older dogs and cats. Many senior pets suffer from reduced mobility due to joints becoming worn out. This leads to a cycle of reduced activity, muscle loss, weight gain and ultimately early euthanasia in some cases where it had become too painful for the pet to move around. Stem cell therapy has value in younger animals for conditions such as congenital hip or elbow dysplasia. When a pet has poor joint conformation, the subsequent inflammation and wearing of the smooth articular cartilage leads to pain and lameness. Stem cell therapy can improve quality of life to ensure a longer, happier and more comfortable life of the pet with their family. Other conditions have also benefited from the use of stem cell therapy, including pancreatitis, allergies, certain eye conditions, and others.
Stem Cell Therapy Procedure:
This procedure can be completed in one day. The pet will undergo a short surgical procedure under anesthetic to procure 20-40 grams of adipose (fat). This may be taken from an area near the belly button, or just behind the shoulder. These areas are easy to access. Once the fat has been acquired, it is processed in an in-house laboratory. These purified stem cells are then ready to be injected. The pet is given a light and short lasting sedation. The main portion of processed stem cells are injected into the primarily affected area(s), with the remainder given through the bloodstream to benefit the body as a whole. Stem cells have an innate homing sense and they will travel through the body to go where they are needed. The pet is then awakened and goes home that afternoon.
What Is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) And How Is It Used?
Platelet rich plasma is a concentration of platelets from circulation in the blood stream put together with blood plasma. Platelets contain large quantities of growth factors and proteins that promote reparation.
PRP therapy is a simple procedure where a blood sample is processed in a way that concentrates the platelets and activates the proteins in the platelets. These repairative proteins are used to enhance healing. Essentially, PRP therapy speeds a natural process in the body by putting concentrated levels of these proteins in damaged areas, such as joints or any other area of inflammation.
This procedure can be completed in less than a half day, and only requires sedation. A routine blood sample is collected, and processed in-house. Under sedation, the PRP is put directly into affected areas, and your pet goes home shortly after.
What Are The Differences Between Stem Cell And PRP Therapy?
The difference between PRP and Stem Cell therapy is one of degree. PRP provides stimulation to improve the quality and speed of the body in providing a healing local response to an injury, whereas stem cells infer to the area an ability to regenerate tissues.
PRP can be done with sedation only; stem cell treatment requires a general anesthetic to surgically harvest the stem cell rich adipose (fat) tissue, and a surgical wound is created which will take a little time to heal.
Here at EVC we work only with the best quality in medical treatment and equipment. Stem cell and PRP therapies use new and proven technology to invoke the natural healing abilities of the body to reduce inflammation and chronic disease impacts. They are relatively non-invasive, have low risk, require little recovery time and are suitable for most animals. Because these processes are self-to-self donations of cells, they provide a safe and drug free way to manage trauma and other inflammatory diseases.