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Should you treat your dog with stem cell therapy?


I practice in a hospital where, all told, stem cell therapy costs about $2,500 and THR about twice as much. Clearly, they are both expensive, and both require general anesthesia. However, THR has been available for dogs since the 1970s and there are hundreds of independent, peer-reviewed scientific articles to back its use as well as define both its benefits and its limitations. If I too succumbed to the easy and powerful allure of the anecdote, I could tell you that the vast majority of dogs on whom I perform THR are taking 30-minute walks twice daily by three months after surgery (and I have observed Labs with normal, full, weight-bearing function the day after surgery!).

Today’s dog owners demand something more than the archetypal, scalpel- happy bravado of a typical surgeon, and rightly so. But please, when seeking alternatives to traditional options, ask questions and demand answers before you write off the proven in favor of something new and speculative. I will continue to entertain alternatives to surgery because I strive to be a surgeon who — as Dr. Abraham Verghese says in the extraordinary novel, Cutting for Stone — appreciates that “the operation with the best outcome is the one you decide not to do.”



This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 64: Apr/May 2011
Nick Trout is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons and a staff surgeon at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. facebook.com/DrNickTrout
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Submitted by Anthony | September 20 2013 |

Clinical trials are very expensive and not likely to be started when the treatment is allowed without them. The treatment of animals with stemcells extracted from adipose tissue is one on one equal to the same procedure for humane use. A study at the Academic hospital in Utrecht showed that there is no difference between dogs and people in their reaction to stemcells.There are many publications for humane purposes.

Submitted by Skip Middleton | August 27 2014 |

I have a now 7 year old bullmastiff that had stem cell therapy at the age of 3. Highly effective 42 days after, he is still better than before, but I want him in for 2nd treatment. He was not on arthritis medicine, actually he had had one ACLU replaced and this was an alternative for the other knee. Same price as ACLU surgery

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