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Hips - Stem Cell Therapy


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Has anyone has had this done or are you considering it.

 

A little background:

 

Sid has now been a tripod for 7 years and is showing increasing signs of pain and reduced mobility. His single hind leg appears to be very strong, he's generally very well muscled (although his musculature is a bit unbalanced) and he still jumps into the car, mostly with no trouble. The floor pan is only 15 inches from the ground and there's no sill, or I wouldn't let him do it. As long as he gets a run up to it, he bounds in effortlessly. If he mis-steps or isn't given enough room, he'll struggle. He's stiff at the end of the day, and getting up from his bed is becoming more difficult. He's on Onsior 40mg once daily, with Tramadol for back-up if needed.

I am aware that he cramps up. Sometimes if he stops walking properly while we're out I can support his stump and extend his hind leg gently, rub it for a couple of minutes and he'll take off again, quite fast and easily. He gets a daily massage with an electric massager.

 

He's had that hind leg x-rayed from toe to ... well. Knee. :( Each time he's had an anaesthetic in the last couple of years I've asked them to include the hip and for whatever reason it hasn't been done. His spine has been x-rayed from neck to ... just in front of the hip! :rolleyes It's a little frustrating, but they're now thinking maybe it is his hip.

I read about the protocol where they take abdominal fat cells from your dog, culture them, and then inject them into the hip, where they grow into new cartilage. I asked about it last year, and the vet had never heard of it and was dubious. This time when I talked to a different vet, she knew about it and is willing to get the information for us. It's a very, very new procedure over here in England and I'm wondering what you guys know about it. Thanks for any information!

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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One of my granddogs (GSE) just had this done 6-8 months ago. It helped somewhat, but his problem is hip displasia. He manages with pain medication. It is just sad to see him struggle. I would have put him down a long time ago, but his eyes are bright, he loves his food and going outside to "play," and still wants to be in the middle of everything my 6- and 8-year old grandsons are doing. Until then, I guess he will keep on truckin.

 

ETA - it's very costly!!

Edited by greyhoundlov

Mary in Houston

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LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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Thanks Mary! So sorry to hear about your granddog. It's good to hear that he's still enjoying life - as is Sid. This is why I want to do something for him now, if at all possible.

 

How was the procedure for him? Was there a long recovery, or was he just a bit sore for a day or two? Cost is - fortunately - not a major issue since he is insured. I HOPE they'd cover it! :goodluck

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His recovery wasn't too bad - a little soreness - but I guess I expected more than we got. OTOH, he is 11 years old which is quite senior for GSE. He ignores the pain but sometimes has a bit of wobble and I think he's going to fall but he doesn't. Not yet, anyway.

Mary in Houston

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You might want to get in touch with Dr. Radcliffe in Wheeling, WV. I know you wouldn't be able to see him, but several years ago he spoke at Sandy Paws and he was really getting into the stem cell therapy. I would think you'd want to have an x-ray and some sort of dx before you'd be able to evaluate whether he's a good candidate though.

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Jen: Yes, we're going to get him x-rayed. What she said was she'd take some fat while he was under because it's a simple procedure, and would save him an extra GA. She's going to find out about how to do that, how much fat, how to care for it in transit etc before we do anything at all. I'll let my vet know about Dr Radcliffe. Thanks for that.

Mary: Good to know the recovery isn't too bad. Sid has fallen, usually when he trips over something, poor guy. He's so good and full of life and happiness most of the time that I really want to help him enjoy life for a while longer. Apart from this he's really a very healthy dog.

 

Thanks to both of you. :)

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I wanted to second Jen's suggestion, Dr. Radcliffe has done quite a bit with stem cells and may be willing and able to communicate with your vet. I considered it for Mandy, but it just wasn't in the cards at the time.

 

I hope you can get Sid some relief.

Edited by MandysMom

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Beverly. Missing my happy toy-flinging boy Sammy (Where's Mandrill), (8/12/2009-9/30-2021) Desperately missing my angel Mandy (BB's Luv) [7/1/2000 - 9/18/2012]. Always missing Meg the Dalmatian and Ralph Malph the Pekeapoo.

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I haven't heard about this in regards to dogs, but I know the new retail stem cell therapies cropping up for humans are basically a scam. Honestly I can't imagine the animal treatments are any different. I work in healthcare and just attended a seminar with a speaker who focused on this. His message was that we should be shutting these clinics down because they are not medically certified at all and take advantage of desperate people. Also I can't imagine your insurance would cover it as it's experimental :( Sorry to be so negative, but I think you'd be better off using that money to make him more comfortable.

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Interesting. You may find this website useful. Just took a quick look based on the above post because I was curious.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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We wouldn't be using random stem cell clinics set up only for this purpose. We'd be using qualified vets. It's been done here by a few practices now, the first patient was treated by a vet from the University of Florida, apparently. And surely Dr Radcliffe in Wheeling isn't a charlatan??

 

This is a quote from the site of one of the veterinary practices which now offer in-house stem cell therapy:

 

"Given the right conditions, Adult Stem Cells (ASCs) found in fat tissue, have the ability to differentiate into cell types such as cartilage, bone and muscle. The fat tissue is harvested from the chest area in a short surgical procedure under general anaesthetic. At the same time we take some blood and it all sent away to the lab to arrive the next day, where the tissue is broken down using enzymes, filtered for sterility and washed with a mild antibiotic. Some of the stem cells are kept frozen for use at later times but some of them are delivered back to the practice the following day and can be injected into the affected joints under sedation only. This procedure can be repeated as many times as necessary and on different joints, until the stored cells run out."

If I could make him more comfortable without going for stem cell therapy I'd do it. But he already has massage, head pads, a variety of soft or supportive beds, and an arsenal of three different types of painkiller, and has been on all three at once when he's been really bad. Short of keeping his weight down, I can only think of two other options if he gets worse: buy him a cart (not easy, we've already looked into this) and euthanasia.

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Continuing to research, following the link that Needlenose Jake posted, I found this and this.

 

Clinical trials are the basis of evaluation of new medical procedures so I did a search for them in relation to stem cell therapy/dog/arthritis. It seems proven that adipose tissue can indeed yield several different types of stem cell, some of which will form new cartilage and meniscus, measurable on MRI. So that's good news! :)

Edited by silverfish

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest LittleGreys

My Greyhound has this done 2 years ago by Dr Radcliffe. Her recovery was very good. Unfortunately, my girl had erosive polyarthritis and nothing we tried could reverse or stop the joint erosion. She was only 6 years old, and she only lived 6 months after the procedure. I can say however, that she had a couple extremely good months following the procedure. She could do things she had not been able to do for quite some time, and she seemed in less pain. My own thoughts were that it was from the fluid that was injected into her joints. I think that provided lubrication and cushioning that she no longer had and that in itself provided pain relief. I am glad I did it, and thankful for the time I had with her. I'm sorry I can't provide any long term recovery information for you. Best wishes for you and your Grey!

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Thanks for all your comments, thoughts and information.

What is good to know is that recovery isn't bad. I wouldn't want to put him through something that might or might not help if it was going to be awful for him.

 

Littlegreys - I am so sorry to hear about your girl. What a horrible thing to suffer from. :( I suppose it may have just been the fluid, although according the to paper on the trial that I read last night, the stem cell group did hugely better than the control group which just had saline injections into the joint, so ... who knows? I'm glad to hear you had a couple of good months with her though.

Seeh2o - Darn it. I suppose we all want to see improvement if we have something done to help our loved hounds, don't we?

 

Well, I'm going to wait and see what the vet says when she rings back, and I suppose part of the decision will be on how much it costs and if the insurance will cover it. :goodluck

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Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Please keep us posted, I hope Sid is a candidate and it works well!

 

Actually, my friend's dog's procedure was a bit different and they injected stem cells into her hips. She did live a year or two after that and was mobile, slow, but mobile (I think she lived to be 15).

Edited by seeh2o

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Guest BiancasMom

My friend had this done with her Doberman but it was in his elbow. He had fantastic results. I would find a specialty clinic who does the procedure. My friend went to a surgeon. If it is indeed the hip and this procedure is an option, i say definitely try it!

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Thanks - yes, it's his hip that they think is the problem. If it is proved to be rough, I think I'll say go ahead. I'm waiting now for the vet to get back to me with more information. :thumbs-up

Any news?

Mary in Houston

Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film.

LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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