Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy at Canterbury Veterinary Clinic

Sign up to our newsletter for all the latest pet related news both locally and Australia wide.
Google Maps location for Canterbury Veterinary Clinic and Hospital

Canterbury Veterinary Clinic and Hospital
721 Canterbury Rd
Surrey Hills
Vic 3127

Phone:
03 9836 2708

 

What are mesenchymal stem cells?

Mesenchymal stem cells are found in connective tissue throughout the mammalian body, including adipose tissue (fat). They are unspecialized cells capable of self-renewal with the ability to turn into other cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are also able to secrete powerful signaling proteins called cytokines. These cytokines have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as being able to stimulate surrounding cells into action.

 

Where do the mesenchymal stem cells come from?

The cells are harvested from the tissues obtained from female Seeing Eye Dogs when they are desexed. The mesenchymal cells associated with the uterus are processed in a special way and then suspended in canine serum that has been obtained from retired greyhounds. No donor dogs have died to support the production of these stem cells.

 

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common disease in older pets. It is the result of ongoing wear and tear of cartilage but can also be caused by injury, genetic makeup and excessive weight. Any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis however the joints we see most commonly affected are the hips, elbows, knees and spine.

The effects of osteoarthritis in pets are the same as those experienced by human sufferers. Joints are painful and stiff, leading to reduced mobility, endurance and quality of life. 

In the past osteoarthritis in pets has been treated with anti-inflammatories, pentosan (Zydax), glucosamine and chondroitin.

At Canterbury Veterinary Clinic and Hospital we are now pleased to also offer breakthrough technology in the form of mesenchymal stem cell therapy. 

 

What does mesenchymal stem cell therapy involve?

Once you have agreed to stem cell therapy, your pet will be booked in for a day procedure. Under general anaesthetic your pet will have affected joints clipped and surgically prepared. The mesenchymal stem cells will then be injected directly into the joint. This method has been shown to provide maximal benefit as it places the stem cells exactly where they are needed.

In some cases, where a joint injury has occurred, surgery may be performed to stabilize the joint. Mesenchymal stem cells can then be injected into the joint to aid the healing process and help prevent any further deterioration of the joint.

Mesenchymal stem cells can also be injected intravenously (directly into the blood stream). This method is useful for pets with multiple joints affected by osteoarthritis and high-risk patients where a general anaesthetic is best avoided. Here at Canterbury Veterinary Clinic and Hospital, we have observed that pets given intravenous mesenchymal stem cell therapy have shown a general improvement in mobility and quality of life.

 

How long does mesenchymal stem cell therapy last?

Within the first month of treatment a rapid improvement is often seen with increased mobility and decreased pain and lameness. This rapid improvement is due to the anti-inflammatory effect of cytokines released from the mesenchymal stem cells. Long lasting effects have been tracked since the first implantations and the improvements are still present 2 ½ years after treatment.

Until more dogs have been tracked over the years we do not know how long the effects will last but they are likely to be for years

 

Is mesenchymal stem cell therapy safe?

Mesenchymal stem cells have been used to treat osteoarthritis in dogs and horses around world for the past 3 years. There have been no reports of major side effects in this time.

When mesenchymal stem cells are injected into a joint, mild swelling of the area can occur in the days following treatment. This is easily treated with anti-inflammatories.

Canterbury Veterinary Clinic and Hospital staff have trialed mesenchymal stem cell therapy in their own dogs. No side effects were seen and the results were very positive. We are therefore happy to recommend the treatment to our customers, to improve the quality of life of their much loved family pet.

 

Stem cells are supplied by Regeneus and are referred to as’ CryoShot’ If you would like further information about the company and its products  visit  www.regeneus.com.au .

 

Dr Lynda Bonning BVSc (hons) & Dr Melissa Meehan BVSC (hons) MANZCVS & Associates