Stem cell therapy for pets available in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY) -- We hate to see our elderly loved ones start having trouble getting around. The same goes for our pets. They're part of the family too. Now there's a procedure that could help pets across the valley, in just one day.

For Tasha, Wednesday was a big day. The 12 year old black lab has a tough time getting around. She has hip dysplasia and arthritis. But this visit to Whitesburg Animal Hospital, should change that.

"In a week, they're better. Even in the first day or two, you'll see noticeable improvement," says Whitesburg veterinarian Dr. Mark Russell.

The hospital teamed up with MediVet America to offer a one-day stem cell procedure, the first in North Alabama. It can now activate sleeping stem cells in an animal's fat, then inject them right back into the damaged areas.

"The stem cells will repair and regenerate cartilage, tendons, whatever is lacking in that area," says Trey Smith, the Director of Lab Services for MediVet America.

In the past, the cells had to be sent to California to be activated. This quicker procedure has another benefit.

"We've relied on medications to try to control this, and that's pretty much all we had. And you get to a certain point, when the medication doesn't work anymore, and their quality of life is bad. That's not hardly worth it for them. This gives them a whole new option," Dr. Russell says.

"Probably 20 to 25 percent of dogs are arthritic and they're not very good at telling their owner they're hurting," adds Smith.

So, what should you look for?

Russell says, "When your pet starts slowing down, it may not be because they're getting older, it may be because they're hurt."

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Stem cell therapy for pets available in Huntsville

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