Portland vet using stem cells to treat arthritis in pets - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland vet using stem cells to treat arthritis in pets

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Veterinarians at Viking Veterinary Care in Portland are using stem cells taken from a Great Dane to help treat the dog’s arthritis. (KPTV) Veterinarians at Viking Veterinary Care in Portland are using stem cells taken from a Great Dane to help treat the dog’s arthritis. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A local veterinarian is performing a cutting edge procedure to help pets that suffer from arthritis that is also growing more popular with people.

Dr. Rosie Gilbert of Viking Veterinary Care in northwest Portland has been caring for Beau the Great Dane since it was a puppy.

The 8-year-old dog has arthritis in multiple joints, though, preventing activities like playing catch or great amounts of movement.

Gilbert said Beau will soon be feeling like a puppy again thanks to the healing power of stem cells.

“Today we are going to harvest fat right behind Beau's shoulder blade. Fat contains stem cells,” she explained.

After a minimally invasive procedure, the stem cells collected from Beau are injected right into the dog’s joints, triggering a repair process, rebuilding the cartilage and naturally reducing inflammation.

Similar procedures have recently been performed on athletes like Tiger Woods.

“On the human side of things, insurance doesn't cover it,” Gilbert explained. “So it's a little more of an elitist regenerative medicine program. You see a lot of athletes getting this.

Gilbert said the procedure will relieve Beau's arthritis symptoms for one to two years, but it may be enough to make the Great Dane feel better for the rest of its life.

There can be unexpected benefits, too, Gilbert added.

“We've had cases where animals have been treated for musculoskeletal issues, but as a side-effect, their allergies clear up, or their inflammatory bowel disease is gone,” she said

The procedure costs between $2,000 and $2,300, but Gilbert said it can be a better option for pet owners who are already paying for costly, ongoing medications and joint supplements.

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