Vet Tries New Stem Cell Procedure To Help His Own Arthritic Dog

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Veterinarian Dr. Pat McInteer is the first vet in Nebraska to offer adipose-derived stem cell treatment. His first patient was his own 13-year-old chocolate Lab Max. Within a month Max’s arthritis pain should be minimized and he will be able to get around better.

McInteer had just been accepted into veterinary school when an 8-week-old Max came into his life. “My intention for Max was for him to be my companion and buddy,” said McInteer. Max has more than fulfilled that role. In addition to being McInteer’s best friend he also serves as the official mascot at Hillcrest Animal Clinic, greeting everyone who comes in. The past few years have been tough on Max as his arthritis has slowed him down. “As he has  gotten older he became more arthritic and stiff. He is not able to do the stuff he used to,” said McInteer.

That is why McInteer chose Max to be his first patient for a procedure that uses Max’s own stem cells. The procedure takes less than five hours total. Fat tissue was removed from Max and stem cells were separated from that tissue. The stem cells were then injected into the areas affected by Max’s arthritis. The injected stem cells will regenerate damaged tissue and ligaments. Within a month Max should be getting around better and have less pain.

The total cost of this  procedure is about $1,800 for dogs according to MediVet. There is limited clinical research on the effectiveness of this procedure. This is another reason McInteer picked Max as his first patient, so he could see what the results were like for himself. Stem cell therapy will not cure Max’s degenerative condition, but it will help minimize the pain and discomfort. “Stem cells are the next step in controlling inflammation and pain and minimizing the effect of arthritis,” said McInteer.

McInteer knows that this procedure won’t be a cure for Max, but he is hoping it will make Max’s life better. “I know this is not going to make a 13-year-old turn 4,” said McInteer. “I just want him to enjoy 13 as much as he can.”