Stem cell therapy has shown to have success in treating animals diagnosed with arthritis and other degenerative diseases. Now, the treatment is more convenient and affordable.
Stem cell therapy for animals uses an adult animal's own stem cells to help them heal themselves. The first in-clinic stem cell therapy procedure for animals in Honolulu was performed Thursday.
13-year-old Kumba might think he's a puppy, but he shows his age when he walks and as he struggles to get up.
"He's so old that it just hurts all of us to see him like that," said family member Kelsea Hospodar.
Kumba's family is hoping stem cell therapy will be able to treat his severe arthritis and give him back his quality of life.
"I hope he'll be like a puppy cause I've never seen him like that," said family member Kian Hospodar.
More than 2,300 stem cell procedures have been performed by veterinarians across the U.S., according to MediVet America.
In the past, local vets had to send the stem cells to the mainland. But now, the entire process can be done in a single place.
"Here in the clinic, we can pull out the stem cells and then what we do, because they're still dormant, we get them revved up and turn them on in three different ways," said Carole Spangler Vaughn of MediVet America. "Then, we take the activated stem cells, we inject them back into the animal where there's places of damage and we're getting phenomenal results."
After a few x-rays, Kumba is sedated. Blood platelets were taken to be added to the stem cells, then the fat tissue is extracted. Then begins the process of separating the stem cells from the fat.