Olathe Animal Hospital performs 1st Stem Cell procedure on a dog in Kansas
Olathe Animal Hospital has made history! Thanks to our dedicated and compassionate veterinary team, the first stem cell procedure on a dog in the state of Kansas was performed at our hospital on Dec. 23, 2009. Our patient, Dr. Burcham’s own dog (Monty), is the lucky dog who is the first in Kansas and greater Kansas City to undergo stem cell therapy.
Monty, a geriatric shepherd mix adopted from Animal Haven in 2003, received an injection of stem cells that were processed from his own fat tissue, which is intended to help alleviate joint pain secondary to osteoarthritis. Monty underwent anesthesia and surgery on Mon. 12/21/09 to harvest stem cells from fat tissue behind his shoulder. The sample was sent by Fed-Ex overnight to the Vet-Stem lab in San Diego, CA, for processing, and then overnighted back to the hospital, and on Wed. 12/23/09, veterinarian Dr. Matt Peuser injected the stem cells into the dog’s painful hip.
Veterinarians must be credentialed before performing this procedure, and Drs. JC Burcham and Matt Peuser are now certified to perform stem cell therapy. This therapy is a form of regenerative medicine, and it is made possible by a company in San Diego called Vet-Stem.
“This is a breakthrough. The cells aren’t foreign to the body, engineered or modified in any way,” says Dr. Robert Harman, founder of Vet-Stem. “Fat stem cell therapy avoids the ethical concerns surrounding embryonic stem cell research because our process uses the animal’s own fat to isolate adult stem cells.”
A veterinarian who has completed Vet-Stem’s credentialing course can use fat stem cell therapy to treat arthritis, fractures, and tendon and ligament injuries in dogs. Drs. Burcham and Peuser join a pool of 650 vets in the USA and Canada who have performed this procedure. Monty is the first dog in the KC metro area and in the state of Kansas to receive stem cell therapy.
Clinical studies have shown 80 to 90% improvement in dogs treated with stem cell therapy. One third of all dogs treated in the clinical trials were able to completely stop giving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and another 28% were able to decrease the dosage after just 90 days. Dogs treated with stem cells were also shown to have increased range of motion in affected joints, decreased lameness, and decreased overall pain. The duration of the benefit from a single injection varies from several months to more than one-and-a-half years.
This technology has been used in horses, especially in race horses and other sport horses who have sustained joint, ligament and tendon injury, with amazing success. “We’ve seen stem cell therapy help dogs whose pain was previously so severe that they struggled to stand, jump into cars, chase balls or run up and down stairs,” says Dr. Robert Harman.
In the News
The Olathe News covered the story on Feb. 17, 2010. See the full article!
Fox 4 News covered this story on Feb. 19, 2010.
Here’s a short video Dr. Burcham made and posted on YouTube about Monty’s journey: