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Tag: procedure

Will stem cells bring Bentley’s legs back?

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.

Banfield ceases docking, cropping, debarking

DSC03408Banfield, the largest network of animal hospitals in the nation, has announced it will no longer do tail docking, ear cropping or devocalization on dogs — unless medically necessary.

The announcement drew praise from the Humane Society of the United States, and other animal welfare groups.

Headquartered in Portland, Ore., Banfield is the nation’s largest general veterinary practice, with more than 730 hospitals and 2,000 veterinarians nationwide.

Tail docking and ear cropping have become increasingly controversial over the past few years, and last year the American Veterinary Medical Association passed a resolution opposing the procedures when done solely for  cosmetic purposes.

Banfield came out strongly against the procedures, according to USA Today.

“After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures,” said Karen Faunt, vice president for medical quality advancement. “It is our hope that this new medical protocol will help reduce, and eventually eliminate, these cosmetic procedures altogether.”

There have been numerous attempts in several states — opposed by the American Kennel Club — to outlaw the practices.

The AKC says that “as prescribed in certain breed standards, (they) are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character, enhancing good health and preventing injuries,” and that “any inference that these procedures are cosmetic and unnecessary is a severe mischaracterization that connotes a lack of respect and knowledge of history and the function of purebred dogs.”

Tail docking involves cutting off the majority of a dog’s tail, generally within days of birth. It’s mostly done on terriers and hunting dogs. Ear cropping involves cutting a notch out of a floppy ear and bandaging it so that it heals in a more upright, “alert” position. It’s done on more than 50 breeds, including boxers, great Danes, schnauzers, Doberman pinchers and terriers.

You can read the full Banfield press release here.