Stem cell procedure for dogs

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From repairing torn ligaments to rebuilding bones, stem cell procedures are helping mankind in many ways. Now, man's best friend is getting in on the action too.

The 2 ½ year-old English Bulldog was born with Severe Hip Dysplasia that made it difficult and painful for him to walk.

"He's had to be injected once a month the last two years to ease the pain in his joints and the, the hip bone," says Bob Cook, owner of Bubba's.

When Cook heard about a new stem cell procedure that could relieve Bubba's pain, he jumped at the chance.

Doctor Ashraf Gomaa extracted fat from Bubba's shoulder. Enzymes were added to the fat. Then, a machine separated the stem cells. Finally, the stem cells were injected back into Bubba to help decrease his painful inflammation.

"You want to inject it as closely as possible to the joint that is affected. Those stem cells react to inflammation and they have an affinity to inflammation so they go to any area of the body that has any type of trauma," says Dr. Ashraf M. Gomaa Veterinarian Abbott Animal Hospital.

The doctor says on average the treatment lasts one to two years and can be repeated as needed. Bob says it's put the bounce back in bubba's step and probably saved the dog's life.

"If it wasn't for this he would probably have been on some serious pain meds and probably wouldn't have lived much longer."

The stem cell procedure is approved for dogs and cats. The doctor says animals with joint, cartilage, tendon, or ligament pain are good candidates for the procedure.