Stem cell therapy used to treat pet arthritis - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Stem cell therapy used to treat pet arthritis

Posted: Updated:
  • Melissa's HealthworksMore>>

  • How to reduce those food allergies

    How to reduce those food allergies

    Monday, July 14 2014 4:28 PM EDT2014-07-14 20:28:55 GMT
    Ask the DoctorAsk the Doctor
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
  • A surprising health boost

    A surprising health boost

    Monday, July 14 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-14 18:56:08 GMT
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
  • Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Monday, July 7 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-07 19:00:50 GMT
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.
DECATUR, Ga. -

Veterinarians are using stem cell therapy to treat joint pain and stiffness in pets.

They first started using stem cells to treat injured horses, now they're using that same treatment for dogs and cats with arthritis pain.

A couple of years ago, Mike Timms and his wife, Candace, noticed their yellow lab, Sarah, had slowed down. The 12-year-old dog's joints had become stiff and painful.
        
"Every time she would sit down, of course she would grunt. And it hurt; you could tell it was hurting," said Mike Timms.

The vet put Sarah on medication, but it didn't help. So Candace Timms went online and found a company called Vet-Stem in California, who sent them to Clairmont Animal hospital Decatur.

The Timms hope a stem cell procedure will help lessen Sarah's joint pain and buy her a few more good years.

In a two-part treatment, veterinarian Dr. Michael Smith used Sarah's own cells to try to repair the damaged joints in her lower back, and hips and ankles.

First, Sarah is taken back into the operating room and placed under general anesthesia.  Then, Dr. Smith collects fat from her abdomen -- rich in adult stem cells -- and places the tissue into sterile tubes that will be shipped overnighted to Vet-Stem's lab in California for processing.

Two days later, Michael and Sarah are back are Clairmont, and so are her now-concentrated stem cells, which had just arrived from Vet-Stem.

Now, it's time for part two of the treatment.

"We're going to be injecting in the back of the ankle near the Achilles tendon," Smith said.

Smith re-injects Sarah's stem cells into five targeted areas where her joints are abnormal.
        
"Well, the hope is that this will stimulate some healing," Smith said.

Like most medical procedures, there's no guarantee this will work for Sarah. Vet-Steam says about 3,500 dogs have been treated since 2006. Roughly 80 percent of owners surveyed report their pet's symptoms and quality of life improved after the treatment. But 20 percent saw no improvement, so the Timms know this is a bit of a gamble.

But six weeks later, Mike Timms says Sarah seems to be moving more easily.   

"We're starting now, probably within the last week, that we can see some improvement," Timms said.

Sarah is no longer struggling to keep up with her sister Sophie and mother Jasmine.

"Now she's right there with them walking, so I think it was worth the cost of having it done," said Timms.

Timms is hoping that this is just the beginning of better days for Sarah.

"I think her quality of life has actually improved.  She feels good again, which she hasn't felt good in probably in two years," Timms said.

Sarah's cells have been banked. The Timms paid about $2,500 for the stem cell procedure.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • FOX Medical Team

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:44:51 GMT
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
  • Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers

    Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:00:32 GMT
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
  • Summer camp helps kids with Tourette's syndrome

    Summer camp helps kids with Tourette's syndrome

    FOX Medical TeamFOX Medical Team
    A summer camp for children with Tourette's syndrome is helping children embrace their disorder.
    A summer camp for children with Tourette's syndrome is helping children embrace their disorder.
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices