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Stem Cell Therapy for Pets is Offered at Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital

veterinary stem cell treatment for pets What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are unspecialized cells with the ability to differentiate into specialized building blocks of organs and tissues.  They are the natural repair cells in the body of your furry friends. All animals have them and they are the way we repair injuries such as a torn ligament or a broken bone.  The main job of stem cells is to reduce inflammation, scar tissue, pain, and damage.  They are located everywhere in the body and are small, unspecialized cells. Unlike a heart or liver cell, a stem cell can function to repair all the tissues of the body, not just one single type.

What are the types of Stem Cells:

There are two types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and postnatal stem cell (somatic or adult stem cells) which are found in most adult tissues.  Embryonic stem cells are totipotent—capable of differentiating into any cell type—adult stem cells are multipotent, capable of differentiating into more than 1 but not all cell types.  During normal fetal development, embryonic stem cells differentiate into all the specialized cells necessary for a complete organism like a person or pet. Adult stem cells are normally activated following an injury or insult.

Stem cells for therapeutic uses can be derived from the same animal (autologous), a different individual of the same species (allogeneic), or an animal of a different species (xenogeneic). Adult stem cells can be further categorized as either hemopoietic (derived from the core or peripheral blood) or mesenchymal (isolated from the mesoderm layer of different tissues, such as bone marrow, fat, dental pulp, tendons, and skeletal muscle).  Here at Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital, we have the capability to harvest both hemopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells for your particular pet’s needs.

stem cell therapy for dogs at Meadowlands Veterinary HospitalWhat are the Uses of Veterinary Stem Cell Therapy:

Stem cells have long been a controversial topic of conversation. Embryonic stem cells, which show a tremendous promise because of their ability to work in different areas of the body, have been shunned by many for ethical reasons. Another concern is that embryonic stem cells have been shown repeatedly to form cancers. The stem cells from the Vet-Stem process are from animals own fat. These cells have been shown to have the ability to turn into various tissue type and they help animals with arthritis and other conditions to have an improved quality of life.  They can be used in almost any time of inflammatory condition, however, they cannot be used in infected tissue or cancer.

Because the fibroblastic phase of tissue healing occurs within a few weeks after an injury is sustained, stem cell therapy is most efficacious when administered during that time. Stem cells have been used successfully during the acute inflammatory stage of an injury, but once the bone has remodeled or tissue has matured, the utility of stem cell therapy falls significantly.  This means they are most effective during the first two weeks of an injury.


In veterinary medicine, stem cell therapy is used most often for degenerative disorders in pets and companion animals. A study of 93 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis of the hips, elbows, stifles, or shoulders was conducted at sites across the United States.  After 2 months, dogs treated with allogeneic adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells exhibited greater improvements in owner-assessed activity and greater decreases in veterinary-assessed pain compared with dogs that received placebo treatment.  In another randomized study of 39 dogs with hip osteoarthritis, intra-articular adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy improved function, the range of motion, and quality of life, with results maintained at 6 months.  However more research is needed.


Overall, the procedures have been associated with minimal systemic adverse effects and few local reactions (<1%).  Nevertheless, local pain at the site of injection can be significant, and mild to significant local inflammation has been observed.

Stem cell therapy is still in its infancy, and positive outcomes cannot be guaranteed and may even be elusive or temporary for many that undergo the procedure. In addition, even though adverse events are rare, the procedure requires anesthesia, which brings associated risks.


If you think your pet may be a good candidate for Stem Cell therapy or are interested in getting more information please contact us at Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital 201-646-2008 or www.meadowlandsvethospital.com


By |June 27th, 2018|

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