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ANIMALS BENEFIT FROM STEM CELL TREATMENTS

Posted Jan 09 2013 12:00am

This past November, Mikey, a , was dealing with “the most progressive hip dysplasia I’ve seen in 13 years,” said Dr. Michael Herman, a veterinarian who owns South Charlotte Animal Hospital in Pineville. “His X-rays were just horrific, showing bone against bone.”

Dr. Michael Herman, one of the first veterinarians in Charlotte to offer stem cell therapy for animals, used an innovative stem cell procedure to regenerate growth in Mikey’s hips and leg joints.  First, Dr. Herman extracted fat tissue from behind the shoulder area of Mikey.  Then his technician at the hospital then adds enzymes to “photo activate” the cells, which in turn accelerates the regeneration of cells. Dr. Herman then injected the regenerated cells directly into the joint areas while intravenously administering any leftover cells.

“I normally take about two tablespoons of fat from either the shoulder area of the animal or the abdomen and within that fat is five to 50 times the amount of stem cells than what we can get from bone marrow.”  Stem cells are the body’s repair cells, and they have the ability to divide and differentiate into many different types of cells based on where they are needed throughout the body.  The cells can divide and turn into tissues such as skin, fat, muscle bone, cartilage and nerve, said Dr. Herman.

“Cells at the embryonic level can differentiate cells on a much higher level, even replicating human organs.  Contrary to embryonic cells, Dr. Herman said, “There are no moral or ethical concerns in harvesting these adult cells, activating them and reintroducing them back to the animal patients in areas where healing and regeneration is needed.”

 “Regenerative medicine is really the wave of the futures for veterinarians…It’s less invasive and will be a huge part of treating patients.”

“Mikey’s owners, Stephan Nadzam, 37 and his wife, Rosa DiSimone, 44, who live near , know how stem cell therapy has affected their beloved dog.  The pair rescued Mikey from a family that kept him crated nearly all day and night for four years, leaving Mikey’s legs in bad shape. He underwent stem cell therapy in 2009 performed by a veterinarian. It provided relief for nearly four years until they noticed the dog was having trouble with stairs.”

Dr. Herman performed the procedure on Mikey in the end of November and within the first 24 hrs he was up and mobile.  Mikey’s owners noticed continued Improvement over the following days and noted that since the treatment, they have not fed Mikey any pain medication.

“Katie Miller of Cotswold is just as equally proud of her 13-year-old Labrador mix, Sadie, who suffers from osteoarthritis.  In addition to having Herman perform therapy on the dog, Sadie also received a dose of platelet-rich plasma.  Miller shared a video of Sadie walking across her kitchen the night before the treatment. The dog hobbled and limped, breathing heavily. She then shared a video of Sadie trotting outside happily after 12 days.  I truly think it’s been a miracle for her. It’s allowed cells to regenerate and cartilage to rebuild. She and our younger dog play now, and Leila can sense how much better Sadie feels. Even her eyes look happier.”

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