Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is often referred to as regenerative medicine in specialty veterinary care. It’s a relatively new technique that takes advantage of the regenerative capabilities of stem cells in repairing damaged tissues that may otherwise struggle to regenerate on their own. The stem cells used in the procedure are produced by your pet themselves. We offer stem cell-based treatments in our clinic for a variety of soft tissue injuries — such as muscle or tendon repair as well as wound and graft healing — osteoarthritis, and any condition with an inflammatory component. That includes immune-mediated polyarthritis, inflammatory bowel, and chronic kidney disease. While we cannot predict the exact outcomes of this form of therapy, there is a body of research that tells us which conditions are most likely to respond positively.

How Stem Cell Therapy Works

When a patient comes to us for stem cell therapy and has been confirmed to be a good candidate for the procedure, we start by collecting fat cells from a spot on the body that generally has some to spare. In the lab, we then extract and concentrate the stem cells to use in treatments. Once the stem cells are ready, we inject them into the affected area and let them go to work. Some of these steps will require placing the pet under general anesthesia, which means that they need to be healthy enough to undergo the procedure. We can help determine your pet’s eligibility for stem cell therapy in our San Mateo clinic.

Stem Cell for General Use

While stem cell therapy seems like it could be useful in any number of applications, only certain types of conditions are currently approved for this treatment. The most common use is in treating arthritis. We also use them in soft tissue injuries, to aid in bone healing and conditions where inflammation plays a major role.

Stem Cell for Compassionate Use

Compassionate use cases are where we are allowed to use stem cell therapy to treat terminal conditions even if there is not yet firm evidence of effective results using the procedure. This includes end-stage renal disease and spine trauma. We may discuss stem cell therapy with you if we believe it may help. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Stem Cell Use Under Current Investigation

Dr. Carlson performs clinical research as a veterinarian in FDA trials, including studying donor stem cells.

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