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Veterinarians Achieve Success With Adult Stem Cell Therapy in Animals

ABC News Chicago, May 20, 2008

Dr. Cheryl Adams, a pioneer in veterinary stem cell therapy, is one of only two vets in the state of Illinois who are certified to treat animals with stem cells. So far, among the 30 dogs whom she's treated, she has achieved significant improvement without exception. In all cases, the stem cells used for the treatment were taken from the adult dog's own body.

Animals often share many of the same physical maladies as humans do, especially bone and joint problems that come with advanced age. Animals who suffer from such ailments are now offering strong clinical evidence for the efficacy of adult stem cell therapy. One case in point is an 8-year-old German Shepherd who had developed osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. After removing some fat from the dog's abdomen, Dr. Adams shipped the cells to the San Diego company, Vet Stem, where the stem cells were isolated from the fat and returned to Dr. Adams who injected the stem cells into the dog's joints. According to the owner of the dog, Chicago Police Lieutenant Jim Gantz, "This science actually gives a chance to rejuvenate tissue, tendon, ligament and bone. So the dog can actually get better." The procedure costs approximately $3,000, which is less than conventional therapies which may have to be repeated numerous times and are rarely completely effective. Adult stem cell therapy, by contrast, may only need to be administered once, after which results are often "spectacular and almost immediate", according to Dr. Adams. In reference to the 8-year-old German Shepherd, Dr. Adams describes that, "His energy level went through the roof, and we increased his range of motion by 20 degrees on his right hip." Similarly, a 12-year-old golden retriever also exhibited remarkable improvement after receiving a similar type of stem cell treatment. Previously unable to walk up or down stairs, the dog was treated with her own adult stem cells two years ago, after which time she regained her ability to climb and descend stairs. Now, two years later, she is still able to do so.

Vet Stem is currently also testing adult animal stem cells in the treatment of damaged kidney, liver and heart tissue in cats and dogs.



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