Attention humans: Today’s lesson comes from Tanner and Blair — two hopeless cases that, together, found some hope.
Tanner is a two-year-old Golden Retriever who was born blind and with a seizure disorder. When Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue was unable to find him a home, he ended up at Woodland West Animal Hospital.
Blair is a one-year-old black Labrador mix brought to the same hospital after she was shot while living on the streets. While recovering physically, she was timid, nervous, and unlikely to find a forever home, either.
“One day they were exercising in a play yard together and they got together,” said the hospital’s director, Dr. Mike Jones. “Blair all of a sudden seemed to realize that Tanner was blind and just started to help him around.”
Seeing the connection, hospital staff began to board Tanner and Blair together, with amazing results.
Tanner began seizing less; Blair came out of her shell.
“His seizure disorder was really, really bad and nothing — no medications — seemed to be helping,” Jones told ABC News. “Anytime he [Tanner] seizes he expresses his bowels.”
Tanner had been seizing almost nightly, Jones said, but after two or three weeks with Blair, “we realized Tanner wasn’t seizing anymore. He’s not completely seizure free but it’s not constant anymore.”
If Tanner has a leash on, Blair will pick it up and guide her friend around. Tanner, meanwhile, has had a calming influence on Blair, making the former street dog — now that she has a mission – less timid and anxious.
Now the hospital and Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue are trying to find the two dogs a home together.
“They absolutely have to be adopted together,” Jones said. “But it’s going to take a special home with someone who understands their special relationship plus understands seizure disorder and is ready to take on the responsibility.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, animals, black, blair, blind, cure, disorder, dogs, each other, golden, help, hope, ills, lab, oklahoma, pair, pets, rescue, retrievers, seizure, shelters, shooting, shot, sooner golden retriever rescue, tanner, teamwork, woodland west animal hospital
Although still largely unavailable and heavily restricted for humans, stem cell treatments for dogs are becoming quicker, cheaper and more common.
Just ask an 8-year-old mutt named Jake, who, injured in pursuit of a UPS truck, underwent the procedure Tuesday in Winston-Salem.
The treatment involves siphoning off belly fat, isolating, filtering and condensing the cells, then injecting them into the area where the problem exists — in Jake’s case, his rear knee joints.
Where once the cells had to be sent to a laboratory before they were ready for injection, some veterinarians are using a new technology, developed by Kentucky-based MediVet-America, that allows the therapy to be done in one day without the stem-cell samples leaving the clinic.
The cost of the procedure has also dropped, from about $3,000 to as low as $1,800, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
At University Animal Hospital in Greensboro, about 20 grams of fat from Jake’s belly were harvested and placed in a small jar, and, after being isolated and concentrated, injected back into Jake, a beagle mix.
Stem cells can spark new tissue growth in the body, and they aren’t likely to be rejected, as sometimes happens with donor cells.
For humans, it’s a little harder to secure stem cell therapy, at least in this country. Among those who have benefitted from it is presidential candidate Rick Perry. Perry’s stem cells were harvested by RNL Bio.
That’s the same South Korea-based company that clones dogs, and which has successfully cloned them from the stem cells in fat.
(So if the day comes that Rick Perry is campaigning simultaneously on the West Coast and East Coast, don’t be too surprised. We jest. Or do we?)
Those human treatments that do take place have mostly been through experimental programs, or in cases in which patients have traveled to countries where the procedure is legal. About a dozen companies in America are now offering it, but some believe a crackdown by the FDA, whose regulations permit only “minimal manipulation” of harvested cells, is imminent.
For animals, the treatment is a little less controversial and easier to accomplish.
Dr. Christine Hunt, Jake’s veterinarian, said the dog — between his injury and arthritis — was a prime candidate for the procedure. Other treatments, including acupuncture and physical therapy, had been of little help.
Hunt has been certified in stem-cell therapy for about three years but hadn’t used the therapy, partly because the cells had to be shipped to the West Coast to be prepared.
Jake was the second dog to undergo stem cell therapy at the Greensboro clinic. The first, a 7-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi named Riot, owned by veterinarian Catherine Markijohn, underwent the same therapy this month for back spasms, arthritis and other problems.
Markijohn said that two weeks after the procedure, Riot, is moving much more normally.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: beagle, cells, christine hunt, cloning, costs, cure, dog, dogs, fat, greensboro, health, humans, injection, jake, medivet-america, mix, procedure, reinjection, rick perry, RNL Bio, stem cell therapy, stem cells, treatment, university animal hospital, veterinarian, veterinary, winston-salem
Bentley, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees with a torn ligament and an arthritic joint in his back leg, was reinjected with his own stem cells this week — a process veterinarians hope will have him running, or at least walking comfortably again, in a matter of weeks.
The procedure – performed on the 105-pound dog at the American Animal Hospital in Randolph, New Jersey — was described as the first one-day, animal stem cell transplant procedure in New Jersey history.
Vets hope the treatment will stimulate cell regeneration in Bentley, reduce inflammation and ease his pain.
“I just want to give Bentley some relief, just so I can walk him again. I’m not expecting him to be a marathon runner,” owner Erin McGuire, who drove her dog 80 miles from Brielle for the treatment, told the Newark Star-Ledger.
The procedure was overseen by Michael Hutchinson, a veterinarian from the Pittsburgh area who has performed similar ones on about 100 dogs, cats and even horses since 2008.
Although the procedure is approved only for animal ailments such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament injuries, it is being looked at — and used in some other countries — to solve human health problems as well.
“The basic procedure involves taking fat from the dog, extracting stem cells and injecting those stem cells back into the dog,” said Brian T. Voynick, owner and director of the Randolph veterinary hospital.
Voynick was the first veterinarian in New Jersey to use stem cell treatment with animals three years ago — a prolonged, multi-day procedure at the time.
After he removed 60 grams of fat from the dog, he’d have to send it to California to be processed, and wait for the stem cells to be shipped back. Bentley’s treatment, in which the stem cells were separated from the fat on site, took less than four hours at Voynick’s hospital Wednesday.
Voynick and Hutchinson removed 16 grams of fat from under the dog’s left shoulder, mixed it with platelets extracted from the dog’s blood and enzymes, incubated the serum, spun it in a centrifuge and finally exposed it to wavelengths of LED lighting under a process patented by an Australian-based company called MediVet.
Bentley was given a good prognosis Wednesday, but only time will tell if the procedure was successful, the Star-Ledger reported.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, arthritis, bentley, cells, cure, dog, dogs, dysplasia, erin mcguire, fat, great, health, medical, medicine, michael hutchinson, new jersey, pets, procedure, pyrenees, randolph, regenerate, reinject, stem cells, therapy, treatment, veterinarians, veterinary, white
RNL Bio, in cooperation with a team of Seoul National University scientists, created two black and white puppies this week using stem cells from fat tissue of a female beagle.
U.S., Japanese and New Zealand scientists have cloned mice, pigs and deer using stem cells, but the births on Tuesday were the first time stem cells were successfully used to clone dogs, according to the university team. Seoul National University cloned the world’s first dog, Snuppy, in 2005.
Snuppy was created using an ordinary skin cell. Stem cells are prized for their ability to grow into a variety of more specialized cells. RNL Bio, based on Seoul, plans to commercialize the stem cell technology, which will allow clients to store their dogs’ stem cells, which can be used to cure disease, or clone them after they die.
RNL Bio head Ra Jeong-chan said the approach would also help scientists study how to treat human diseases such as diabetes and arthritis by putting human disease-related genes into dogs’ stem cells and creating clones. Ra also predicted the new technology could lower the price of dog cloning, now $100,000 or more.
Lee Byeong-chun, head of the university research team, said stem cells offer an advantage over ordinary cells for such genetic research. Lee said his team has cloned about 35 dogs and five wolves.
The two new cloned dogs — named Magic and Stem — have been living with their surrogate mother, a golden retriever, in a university facility since they were born Tuesday.
(Photo courtesy of RNL Bio)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: beagle, biotech, clone, clones, cloning, cure, disease, dog, dogs, korea, pets, puppies, RNL Bio, seoul, seoul national university, south korea, stem cells, treatment