Stem Cell Therapy

South Paws Veterinary Specialists

Regenerative stem cell therapy allows for our specially trained doctors to harness the body's amazing tissue healing ability to aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis, muscle injury, and ligament/tendon injury. Stem cells can be harvested in-house, here at South Paws, using bone marrow or fat, by way of a short, minimally invasive procedure. The stem cells are then processed, concentrated, and prepared for injection into the damaged tissues or arthritic joints. This procedure uses only your pet's fat or bone marrow for collection of stem cells. There is almost no risk or complications associated with stem cell therapies.

Also of great importance, we use the Companion Regenerative Therapy (CRT) system which has been tested and validated for dogs in veterinary medicine. This ensures that you are getting the most optimal stem cell or PRP treatment for your pet. At South Paws, stem cells are always administered in combination with PRP (platelet rich plasma). The growth factors in PRP are potent activators of the stem cells and help to guide the stem cells to the damaged tissues in need of repair. We will often combine hyperbaric oxygen treatments and class IV laser therapy to improve the results, by increasing stem cell production, activation, and circulation in the body.

Dr. Hancock is VetStem Certified, MediVet Certified, and was specifically trained to use the Companion Regenerative Therapy system.

What are my options for acquiring Stem Cell at South Paws?


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What are stem cells?

Stem cells may be classified into two groups based on their origin: embryonic and adult stem cells. For all intents and purposes, here at South Paws, we only focus on adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in every tissue of the body including bone marrow, adipose tissue, skin and the liver. These cells have the ability to differentiate into any type of tissue (pluripotent) under the appropriate circumstances and can additionally activate surrounding cells to aid in wound healing and tissue repair. Additionally, stem cells can also go through several cycles of cell division/ replication without differentiating into a specific tissue type.


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What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy is the process by which a tissue sample is obtained from the patient (either by fat or bone marrow extraction), and is then processed to isolate the stem cells, followed by administration back into the patient at the site of injury or disease by injection.

When stem cells are injected in a concentrated form, they act as a conductor for tissue repair by performing a number of tasks including:

South Paws Veterinary Specialists
  • Differentiation into surrounding tissue type
  • Activation of surrounding resident stem cells
  • Recruitment of other cell types
  • Release of cytokines and growth factors to accelerate healing and tissue repair
  • Regulation of inflammatory cytokines
  • Reduction and/ or elimination of scar tissue.
  • Immune modulation

What has stem cell therapy been used for?

In veterinary medicine, stem cell therapy has been used for a wide range of indications including:

  • Degenerative Diseases
  • Tendon injuries or tendinopathies
  • Ligament Injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Certain spinal conditions
  • Fracture Repair
  • Osteochondral Defects
  • Open Wounds
  • Bone Grafts
  • Acute Spinal Cord Injury

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Commonly asked questions about stem cells

How are BMAC stem cells obtained?

While under general anesthesia, a needle is inserted into the bone (most commonly the hip or femur). A small amount of bone marrow is collected and is then processed in less than 30 minutes. Once the processing is complete, the stem cells are then directly injected into the area of injury.

How long does the procedure take?

From start to finish, the collection and processing of BMAC stem cells takes less than 30 minutes.

Will my dog need anesthesia?

Yes- In most cases we are harvesting bone marrow or fat for stem cells. Your dog will need to be under general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure.

How long before I see results?

Similar to PRP therapy, results from BMAC stem cell therapy vary depending on the injury being treated. Only about 10% of dogs require a second treatment of BMAC stem cells for clinical results to be apparent.

How long do results last?

We have noted that dogs with moderate to severe osteoarthritis will show marked improvement for more than a year with one treatment of stem cells.


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Are there any side effects?

Similar to PRP therapy, since the cells are from your dog's own body, there are usually very few side-effects. Your veterinarian can discuss any risks with you prior to the procedure. Immediately after the procedure, your dog may be sore at the bone marrow collection site as well as the injection site(s). Post injection, it is extremely important to follow our recommendations for rehabilitation and follow up. If you have further questions or concerns about your pet following treatment, you should always contact us directly.

Can the cells be saved for future use?

Stem cells have the ability to be banked in the event that future treatments are needed. Costs may vary and should be discussed at the time of harvesting.

South Paws Veterinary Specialists

South Paws Veterinary Specialists

South Paws Veterinary Specialists