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Stem cell therapy for pets gaining traction in Canada

Stem cell therapy for pets gaining traction in Canada

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Published on: Aug 23, 2016

Did you know? All of Petsecure’s plans cover stem cell therapy under Alternative Therapy (up to $350 per policy year) for any insured accident or illness. See full Policy Wording for details.

Peter Watson from Medivet Biologics Canada explains what it is and how it's used:

For pet owners, choosing the right veterinary treatments for their beloved pets involve more than just costs: pet owners care a lot about quality of life, and they care about side effects. Enter stem cell therapy.

In North America, regenerative medicine company Medivet Biologics has treated 10,000 companion animals to date, with over 500 vet practices in the United States currently using their treatments. With university studies and clinical trials continuing to showcase the treatment’s effectiveness, the popularity of the therapies is also growing in Canada.

Now, Alberta based distributor Medivet Canada is providing pet owners with a great all natural alternative to treating osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and more.
Stem cell therapy is an autologous treatment, meaning the donor and recipient of the cells are the same animal. Stem cell therapy deals exclusively with adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells, so there are no concerns regarding ethics or cancerous cell growth. Best of all, the treatment recruits the animal’s naturally occurring repair cells to do the heavy lifting.

So how does it work? 20-40 grams of adipose fat are sourced from the patient, often during a routine spay or neuter. Adipose fat is chosen over bone marrow and other cell sources due to the high concentration of dormant stem cells found in fat. Then, the fat sample goes through a 2 hour laboratory procedure where a certified technician will process, isolate, and activate the adult stem cells from the sample. Finally, from a whole blood sample, the technician will concentrate platelets found in whole blood and combine the platelet dosage with the final volume of stem cells. Your veterinarian will then inject the final volume into the joint sites.

The results? Significantly reduced inflammation in arthritic joints, and the promotion of new cell generation and healing in problematic areas. The key to stem cell therapy’s effectiveness is the release of growth factors, a chemical that a cell releases that stimulates cellular growth, proliferation, and healing.

For many pet owners with aging dogs that are plagued with arthritic joints, the increase in lameness scores, range of motion scores, and pain reduction are more than enough to want to proceed. In the vast majority of canines, stem cell therapy does provide a new lease on life, and the Before & After videos are ample evidence of this. In addition, Medivet’s cryo storage facility allows pet owners to proactively bank a young pet’s stem cells. Especially for breeds that are more likely to develop particular ailments later in life, this is a preventative step to combat future complications.

Medivet’s Stem Cell Therapy works well for cats, not just dogs and horses. Dr. Lupton from Family Pet Hospital Lethbridge describes the benefits seen in a feline patient treatment below:

“Tiger is not unlike many of my senior cat patients in that she suffers from osteoarthritis. She finds it difficult to manoeuvre up the stairs and her dedicated owner has stools around the home to allow Tiger access to higher vantage points. Over the course of treatment for her arthritis Tiger has tried anti-inflammatory medications however they upset her stomach. She eats a joint support food, takes glucosamine daily, receives monthly injections of a cartilage building medication and also comes for cold laser therapy on her sore joints.

"Tiger was never very thrilled about having her joints manipulated for her cold laser therapy because despite all this care she was still sore. Thankfully she was the perfect candidate for stem cell therapy and received her first intravenous and joint injections of the product 6 weeks ago. The obvious difference in Tiger's behaviour at home and at the clinic has been amazing. She is much less hesitant to proceed up the stairs and has starting using a vertical scratching post which she hasn't touched in over a year.

"There is far less protest when her joints are moved around for her cold laser therapy and she delighted me with some affection at her latest visit. I look forward to watching the continued positive effects of this treatment for Tiger and will incorporate it into my arsenal against arthritis in all cats.” 

For more information on Medivet Canada’s Stem Cell & PRP Therapy for pets, visit or call 403-360-7757.