Stem Cell Therapy treats shoulder injuries in German Shepherds.

March 24, 2015
Coincidentally I treated two very well-mannered German Shepherds with shoulder injuries within days of each other. They both had similar presentations; both had significant lameness from a shoulder injury, both were young and fit dogs, and both responded very well. Sally, however, is more of a pet than a working dog and she also had a slightly different shoulder injury.
After a radiographic and ultrasound examination it was determined that Sally had suffered a medial compartment injury to the inside of her shoulder. These can be difficult to treat successfully and often result in chronic lameness. The owners knew this and were willing to give stem cell therapy a try so we scheduled the procedure for the following Tuesday.
At Green Tree Animal Hospital we use adipose derived stem cell (stem cell harvested from fat) for our treatments. The procedure is relatively straight forward. The first step is to collect the fat. To do this we use a “cell friendly” liposuction technique to collect about 10-20 grams of fat from a small fat pad on the thorax just behind the scapula. The small stab incision is a vast improvement from the old 4 inch surgical incision technique with its many potential complications. Lipoaspiration, as we call it, can be done under heavy sedation and only takes about 20 minutes to complete the collection.
We also collect blood to harvest platelet rich plasma to add to our treatment. The growth factors in the platelets serve to activate the dormant stem cells and it has the additional benefit of an increased anti-inflammatory effect.
After just a couple hours to process the samples we are ready to inject. This can be done without sedation, but in most cases we use some sedation to expedite the process.
At the thirty day recheck Sally was 100% sound and we are prepared to step up her rehab program.

Leave a Reply