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Stem Cell Therapy - A Breakthrough for Dogs

by Carie Broecker

Training Corner

I sat down with Tom Boekbinder, DVM from Carmel Holistic Veterinary Clinic in Carmel, CA to talk about an exciting new therapy for dogs with arthritis or soft tissue damage. Dr. Boekbinder explained that regenerative cell therapy utilizes a dog’s own natural healing stem cells to help regenerate injured tissue. The cells are derived from your dog’s own fat layer where these cells are found in high concentration. These amazing, intelligent cells are naturally geared toward repair and are capable of differentiating into a variety of tissue types including: tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, smooth & cardiac muscle, and liver. They have the ability to recognize damaged tissue, and know where to go and where to attach and what to become! Once attached, the cells stimulate more healing cells to come to the area.

Although the therapy is currently only approved for use in cases of canine and equine osteoarthritis and soft tissue damage, it is now being studied for uses with canine and feline auto-immune disorders, liver disease, and renal disease.

Dr. Boekbinder has treated two dogs successfully with stem cell therapy. One case was an 8-year-old Labrador Retriever with arthritis in four joints and the other was a young Labrador with an injured joint. In both cases the dogs experienced increased comfort and mobility.

This amazing procedure is actual fairly simple with little to no side effects or potential complications. Fat cells from your dog are harvested from a simple incision. The cells are sent to a lab for processing and returned within 24 hours. They are then injected into the joint or point of inflammation. There is no concern about rejection since this is the dog’s own cells.

Dr. Jeff Hogans from Harden Ranch Veterinary Clinic in Salinas and Carmel Valley Veterinary Clinic has also performed stem cell regeneration therapy successfully on two dogs. One was a young dog with elbow dysplasia and the other was a dog with an accruciate ligament injury and arthritis.

Dr. Hogans and Dr. Boekbinder are both very excited about the benefits this emerging therapy will have for dogs and cats, as it becomes better known. Keeping your dog healthy through weight management, natural anti-inflammatories, exercise, and proper nutrition are, of course, your first line of defense. Rehabilitation therapies such as those mentioned in this issue’s Wellness section are also highly recommended. 

For more information about stem cell therapy or to find a certified stem cell veterinarian in your area visit www.vet-stem.com.

The following local veterinarians offer Stem Cell Regeneration:

Tom Boekbinder, DVM
Carmel Holistic Veterinary Clinic, Inc
26135 Carmel Rancho Blvd.

Hannah Good, DVM
Community Mobile Vet
Santa Cruz

Jeffrey Grudin, DVM
Ocean Animal Clinic
404 Ocean St.
Santa Cruz

Jeff Hogans, DVM
Harden Ranch Veterinary Hospital
27 San Juan Grade Rd.

James Holt, DVM
Carmel Valley Veterinary Hospital
13738 Center St.
Carmel Valley

David Horne, DVM
Companion Animal Hospital
2301 Mission St.
Santa Cruz

Kathy Martinelli, DVM
David Shuman, DVM
S.C. Westside Animal Hospital
411 Laurel St.
Santa Cruz

Hannah Pitstick
Capitola Veterinary Hospital
1220 41st Ave.

Evelyn Sharp, DVM
Creekside Veterinary Hospital
2505 S. Main St.
Santa Cruz


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