Early results of a pricey stem cell
procedure are giving some pet owners hope their aging or
injured pets might
get a new leg up on life, according to a story by the
Banner, an 8-year-old Jack Russell
Terrier, belongs to Lori Erwin. He had surgery to repair a
torn ligament in his leg. He then under went a relatively new
stem cell procedure at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital in W.Va.,
that veterinarians say helps regenerate cells. Ideal
candidates for surgery include dogs who have osteoarthritis,
degenerative joint disease and ligament problems, but are
otherwise mostly healthy.
"He was tentative on his leg before,"
Erwin said. "He wouldn't jump up. Two days after the surgery,
he was ready to go."
His veterinarian thought the stem cell
surgery might help him fully recover from stiffness and
tentativeness in the affected leg and chose him as a patient
for a trial of the new technology, developed by
MediVet-America. Cheat Lake Animal Hospital also performed the
surgery March 18 on the first cat in West Virginia to receive
Heidi Heller said full results are
expected in a month or two post-surgery, but both Banner and
the cat, named Brother, started seeing changes within a few
MediVet's inhouse procedure costs about
$1,800 for dogs and cats, and $2,400 for horses, spokesman Bob
MediVet's Rebecca Courtad said the stem
cell procedure has been used in veterinary offices across the
country for about a year now.
"To see these dogs come in - most of
them are on their last leg, literally. Most of them are going
to be euthanized, there's nothing else you can do for them,"
Courtad said. "They were in so much pain and now they are