Surgery plus Stem Cells can make a Huge Difference

Question:
I have a 3 year old cockapoo and she was trying to jump and did something to her leg. She cried for about 30 seconds, it was horrifying. She was born with loose kneecaps. My vet was telling me about stem cells. I’m skeptical with any new procedures. Are there side effects or possibly future problems? She loves to play and I’m afraid it might happen again.

Dr. Nichol:
Knee pain is common in small dogs. If your cockapoo has somewhat bowed rear legs, one or both of her knee caps (patellas) may slip out of its groove at the lower end of her thigh bone. Some patellas dislocate (luxate) just occasionally. A dog may skip for a few steps and then use the leg normally again after the patella slips back into the groove.

If she has “luxating patellas” your girl’s knees are vulnerable to injury. Her missed jump may have strained the supportive tendons that guide her patella. Rest and anti-inflammatory medication can help in the short term but her anatomy will still be structurally unsound. The only permanent solution will be surgical remodeling of the attachment of her patella and the groove in her lower femur.

This “tibial crest rotation” surgery is a long-established procedure that many general practitioners are skilled at performing. But even with the geometric forces corrected some chronic damage to your dog’s tendons and cartilage will remain.  That’s what makes stem cell therapy so valuable.

While your girl is under anesthesia for knee surgery her doctor can make a short abdominal incision and remove a bit of fat for submission to the Vet-Stem lab. Your dog’s very own stem cells (no risk of rejection) will be extracted and shipped back overnight for injection into her knee. Over the following several weeks they’ll stimulate regeneration of chronically inflamed structures, resulting in a stronger and more comfortable joint. The sooner your cockapoo gets the right treatment, the faster she’ll feel better.