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February 16, 2019

5/11/2018 10:51:00 AM
Stem cell therapy now offered at Dodgeville Veterinary Service
Author Mira Grant has once said, "There is nothing truer in this world, than the love of a good dog." This quote beautifully summarizes the bond between a local Dodgeville woman and her four-legged companion, Chewy.
Since the passing of the honorable Judge Bill Dyke, Christine, Bill's wife, has carried on her true friendship with Chewy, who is a seven year old Chesapeake Bay retriever. Chewy came into both the Dyke's lives after they rescued her a few years ago. Chewy has a strong bond with her family and has been with them during harder times. In the final days of Bill's life, Chewy stayed by his side while at Bloomfield Manor.
"She loved Bill, and he loved her to the max," said Christine of Chewy. "We're carrying on for him."
For the past year or so after Bill's passing, Chewy had been having slight difficulties with arthritic pain, which can be very common for sporting dog breeds. It had started with slight achiness then progressed to her ankles swelling up from pain. Pain was mostly relieved through massage therapy and exercise. Although the pain wasn't insufferable, Christine wanted to bring Chewy to a more comfortable level with less pain.
"We have been through a lot together," Christine said. "If I can do something to help her, I am going to do it."
Christine had learned about an open house held by Dodgeville Veterinary Service (DVS) that has introduced a new line of care for pets. DVS is now offering ActiStem Stem cell therapy for dogs and cats suffering from osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia and other degenerative diseases. Stem Cell therapy for animals has been commercially available since 2004. DVS has partnered with MediVet Biologics, who has been offering kits in the U.S. since 2010, to offer this new option as an alternative solution to surgery.
When a client at DVS decides to pursue stem cell therapy as an option, they can expect a multi-step process. First, the pet will go through preliminary care to determine if the pet is in good health to proceed. A pet must not have any cancer of any kind, as not much is known whether or not stem cells help cancer progression. Once the pet is deemed healthy, the pet will be put under general anesthesia. Then the veterinarian will make a small incision to harvest fat cells from the pet on areas such as the belly or behind the shoulder blades. After fat tissue is removed, it goes through a process that separates stem cells from the pet's own fat tissue. After the separation, the stem cells go through a three-hour activation process. Once the stem cells are awake, a veterinarian will inject the cells into the pet's damaged areas. Stem cells can also be administered through IV. Pets are able to go home the same day of the procedure.
Dr. Alan Holter, owner and lead veterinarian of DVS has seen many pets come in with joint problems. Dr. Holter is specialized in pet chiropractic work, orthopedic surgery, and has practiced both lines of care for years. After learning more about the research conducted on stem cell therapy, it was deemed another good standard of care to add to the practice.
"This is just one more tool in the tool kit to help these dogs," said Dr. Holter.
Stem cell therapy is a safe procedure for dogs and cats that can recreate new tissue to replace damage tissue. It is low-risk because the procedure only uses the pet's own stem cells. Studies have shown through MediVet's technology, 95% of pets have shown improvement. Stem cell therapy through MediVet has also looked at "compassionate use" cases. While not much is known about them MediVet has also looked at other conditions such as gingivitis, liver and kidney failure, and allergies.
"It's nice to look at these other areas," Dr. Holter said. "I think it's a good non-drug option."
Pets may be able to see pain relief starting three weeks after the procedure and improvement can continue to up around two months. Relief can last one to three years after the initial treatment. Pet owners can "bank" their pet's stem cells for many years to avoid coming back to the clinic for another surgical procedure. If pain returns, a veterinarian is able to contact MediVet to retrieve the stored stem cells for reinjection.
DVS is one of the few veterinary practices in southwest Wisconsin that practices stem cell therapy with MediVet. Two clinics in Madison, along with a clinic in Lake Geneva have also used MediVets technology.
Christine has been an active client of DVS for many years and has had much respect for the staff in the care of her pets.
"We are so lucky," Christine said about having DVS near to help Chewy.
When learning about stem cell therapy as another option for Chewy, Christine did her research and jumped at the opportunity.
Chewy is the first client at DVS to have undergone this procedure0. It has been a few weeks, and both Christine and the staff at DVS have seen great results.
"It's hard to describe, but its almost as if she's a younger version of her self," said Christine about Chewy. "
Although there is a cost to do the procedure, Christine felt this was the right option for Chewy.
"If you can do it, I say do it," Christine said.
For information on stem cell therapy for pets, and to learn more about the procedure contact Dodgeville Veterinary Service at 608-935-2306.

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