We have a very beloved 11 year old Lab who we are running out of options with. So, far in his life we've repaired both cruciates with TPLO, he's on thyroid and is being treated/managed for Cushing's. Now, his left hip is dysplastic.. literally bone on bone and clicking. He's on Deramaxx, gabapentin daily and occasional tramadol for pain, monthly Adequan injections and glucosamine so there is nothing more we can give him medicinally.
Our vet suggested stem cell therapy from fat-derived stem cells to be injected into his arthritic joints. There is a nearby specialist who could do the procedure for us, and although expensive, we are willing to do it to keep the old man happy. Of course, I want to be fair to our dog. He seems in good spirits and is otherwise pretty stoic and silly-Lab acting.
Does anyone have experience with this therapy for their dog? We are going to see the specialist on Friday afternoon, but any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
With the greatest of respect, you might want to consider consulting with a few different veterinarians to get different opinions. Your guy is undoubtedly happy with everything that you have done but he's 11 years old and a large dog. Every additional therapy and needle in the joints is difficult on them. You can't keep a 90 year old person feeling like a 30 year old, and you can't keep an 11 year old lab with dysplasia feeling like a 3 year old. You are already keeping him comfortable with your medicine regimine but fact is that he IS old and IS going to feel like an old man. Stem cell therapy isn't going to turn back the hands of time like it sounds like your vet is telling you. I would suggest considering supporting him in his old age rather than subjecting him to therapies that will not turn back time. THis is coming from someone who has spent a lifetime with large breed dogs. Please don't take offense.
Thanks to you both for your responses. No offense at all, Kaluna. Your post is exactly the internal fight I'm having. I'm going to go for the consult on Friday just to see what the internist has to say, but I know that it's not miracle work. We're doing everything we can to keep him comfortable considering his age and afflictions. He definitely hasn't told us that "it's time" yet, so I'm weighing our options.
Our vet did say that the stem cells can be injected into arthritic spots (his hip and both of the TPLO sites have arthritic changes) and that pain relief occurs pretty rapidly after treatment, usually between 2 to 6 weeks. Supposedly the therapy is most beneficial for older dogs as well.
On the other hand, I don't want to do anything too invasive that will make him more miserable. Thanks for your opinions.. I appreciate it!
A friend of mine used stem cell therepy for his dog. She is elderly and could barely go up and down stairs. She can now run and climb the stairs. He is really pleased with the results. They were even featured on the T.V. news along with another dog that had success.
If you want to email me questions I can ask him directly.
By the way he is a Neurosurgeon so he researched it before they tried it.