Stem cell therapy has been available for years to treat joint issues in horses, dogs, and cats, but additional advancements now make faster pain relief and tissue healing possible. By eliminating the need for outside laboratory processing, and performing the process from start to finish in-house, your pet can experience stem cell therapy’s positive effects much sooner. Here are six advantages your furry pal can enjoy with our in-house stem cell processing.


#1: Your pet has to undergo anesthesia only once

Harvesting your pet’s stem cells requires general anesthesia, since the process is considered a minor surgery. During the procedure, we will make a small abdominal incision, and harvest about 40 grams—a little over two tablespoons—of fat. This small amount of fat can yield 800 million stromal cells, and any unused extra cells can be banked for later use.


While your pet is recovering from the general anesthesia and minor procedure, a veterinary technician will process the adipose tissue, separating the stem cells from fat. While processing the stem cells, which takes a few hours, we also take a blood sample that will be centrifuged, to break down the blood into separate components. These components are then used to create platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is often used in conjunction with stem cell therapy. PRP is rich in many growth factors used to aid in tissue healing. PRP also can be added to stem cells, which become more prolific once the mixture is activated under an LED light. Activating the PRP and stem cell mixture also enhances the amounts of anti-inflammatory growth factors that help reduce pain and inflammation.


Once the stem cells are ready, your pet will be lightly sedated for treatment. Oftentimes, they will require a much lower dose of sedation, since they were already placed under general anesthesia earlier in the day. Using lower doses and piggybacking on an earlier anesthetic event helps reduce the potential for side effects, and keeps your pet healthier.


#2: Your pet doesn’t require multiple visits

Multiple veterinary visits, especially when the appointments are spaced weeks apart, can be tough to fit into your busy schedule. By using in-house stem cell processing techniques, we can have your pet in and out in a single day, rather than you needing to return for multiple appointments. Using an outside laboratory for stem-cell processing would take about 10 to 14 days before we could treat your pet. This means your pet would have to return for an additional appointment in a couple of weeks. 


#3: Stem cells are much fresher and more viable when processed in-house

With any treatment, top-notch products grant the best results. When we process stem cells in our hospital, and administer them directly to your pet, you can guarantee they’re receiving the healthiest, most viable stem cells, and will obtain the most effective results. If your pet’s stem cells require shipping to an outside laboratory and waiting to be processed, they will naturally become less viable. We are proud of the 97 percent to 99.5 percent viability rate that we achieve with our in-house processing technique.


#4: In-house stem cell processing improves quality control

We’ve all been in this situationyou order an item online that goes through multiple shipping channels and departments, and you end up receiving a tattered, smashed box containing items you didn’t actually order. When your pet’s stem cells are sent out for processing—and then sent back—many things can go wrong during transport, handling, and processing. We eliminate all these potential problems when we process stem cells in our hospital, and ensure we meet the highest quality control measures.  


#5: Your pet will receive relief much faster

When adipose tissue is sent out to be processed for stem cell therapy, the stem cells can take up to two weeks to come back. This means your pet is suffering in pain for an additional two weeks, rather than receiving treatment the same day. Most pets who receive stem cell therapy experience improvements in range of motion and mobility in 3 to 10 days, which means your pet likely will be more comfortable in as little as three days, instead of 17. 


#6: Increased savings means more treats for your pet

By cutting out the outside laboratory and performing stem cell processing in-house, we can benefit you directly with cost savings, and indirectly with extra treats and toys for your pet. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved, and we are sure your pet will be appreciative. 


Would you like to know more about stem cell therapy, and how your pet could benefit? Contact our Marina Village Veterinary and Integrative Care team to schedule a consultation.