Pain medications and surgery can only do so much to help your pet get back up on their paws after suffering a musculoskeletal injury, or falling victim to a degenerative disease. However, regenerative veterinary medicine can provide that extra boost, and enable your pet to feel like their old selves. In addition to stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, Marina Village Veterinary and Integrative Care offers AniCell injections, a novel regenerative medicine product designed to be less invasive, but as equally effective as other therapies.

What are AniCell products?

Ready-to-use AniCell products encourage the patient’s own regenerative abilities to proliferate. These drug-free products are derived from processed canine amniotic material, which contains macromolecules, proteins, hyaluronic acid, and other naturally occurring nutrients.

This non-invasive procedure does not require harvesting of bone marrow or fat, or sedation or anesthetics. Amniotic material is regenerative fetal components safely collected during parturition, versus culturing aged adult cells, and includes the basic building blocks of the extracellular matrix (ECM), such as collagens, carbohydrates, lipids, hyaluronic acid, laminin, fibronectin, and other complex growth factors. These materials form the basis of a covering that is biocompatible with the wound tissue, and gives protection from the outside environment. We have created immune privileged, amnion products that don’t require tissue harvesting, and can be used the same day as a diagnosis.

What is amnion and where does it come from?

Amnion is the tissue that makes up the innermost membrane of the birth sac that surrounds the developing fetus. The amnion tissues are considered “immune-privileged,” since they do not evoke an immune response from the mother’s system that would cause rejection during pregnancy. This special characteristic means the patient who receives an AniCell injection should not reject the product. 

Amniotic tissues are also rich in structural building blocks, like collagen, hyaluronic acid, and carbohydrate-rich proteins, that are important to nearly all tissues. Amnion is collected non-invasively when healthy animals are birthed. Pregnant pets’ owners consent to the collection during the normal birthing, under a veterinarian’s supervision.

How are AniCell injections different from stem cell and PRP therapy?

Other regenerative therapies, like stem cell and PRP therapy, are still popular options to help heal damaged and diseased joints, wounds, and other pet afflictions. However, these therapies are more invasive, and require sedation or general anesthesia to collect fat, bone marrow, or blood samples, and to administer treatment.

After collection, processing and growing stem cells can take weeks before they can be used. AniCell products, on the other hand, are kept in stock to be used as needed, including at the time of diagnosis. 

What are AniCell injections used for in pets?

Similar to the conditions treated with stem cell and PRP therapy, AniCell injections help repair tissue injured by trauma, damaged by disease, or worn by time. AniCell injections can be used for specific conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Synovitis
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Cranial cruciate ligament tears 
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) 
  • Degenerative joint and nerve conditions

Overall, AniCell injections have many of the same applications as stem cell and PRP therapy, helping repair damaged tissue, bone, and joint cartilage.

What are the benefits of AniCell injections in pets?

As an immune-privileged product, AniCell injections are not rejected by the patient’s immune system. Also, since these products can be kept on hand, no fat, bone, or blood needs harvesting prior to treatment, and an injection can be given the same day as a diagnosis. AniCell injections are a safe alternative to corticosteroids, pain medications, and surgery, and generally cause few, if any, side effects.

What can I expect after my pet receives an AniCell injection?

After your pet receives an AniCell injection, they may exhibit a state of euphoria that lasts for 24 to 48 hours, and feel overly content, or they may become lethargic and inappetent for 24 hours. A few pets display swelling and soreness at the injection site for 24 to 48 hours following a treatment. Regardless of how your pet feels after an injection, restrict their activity for the next 48 hours. Leash walk your dog outdoors, and refrain from instigating games and excitement. 

Depending on your pet’s treatment response, they may experience an almost immediate improvement, improve steadily over the next six weeks, or see no substantial improvement. Some pets may show no marked response for four weeks, and then experience a huge jump in improvement in weeks five and six. Typically, we expect to see improvement over a six-week period, but some pets show a slow, continual improvement over six months. 

Is your pet suffering from a painful joint condition, but they are not a good candidate for sedation or anesthesia? If so, AniCell injections may be the solution to their pain. Contact our Marina Village Veterinary and Integrative Care team for an appointment.