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Today’s science of regenerative medicine makes it possible for many beloved pets to live longer, happier and more pain-free lives. Regenerative veterinary medicine is a breakthrough treatment option for traumatic and degenerative diseases in companion animals. It offers the potential to improve your pet’s quality of life so that you and your pet can enjoy many additional years of companionship.

Regenerative adult cell therapy has successfully treated horses and other large animals for years but is only now being offered to smaller, companion animals through the advancements made by Vet-Stem, Inc.

Dr. Kim Nicklaus is one of a small number of veterinarians in Minnesota to complete the Vet-Stem Regenerative Medicine Credentialing course. She will consult with you to determine whether regenerative cell therapy is appropriate for your pet and discuss options based on your pet’s history and medical condition.

What is Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy?

Tissues are constantly renewing in order for us to sustain life. This process is possible because we have stem cells that can give rise to more specialized or differentiated cells that are able to become different types of tissue like tendon, bone, etc. There are two types of stem cells:

Embryonic Stem Cells: Found in the inner cell mass of an

embryo and are intended to form a whole animal, they aren’t intended for repair. They are ethically controversial, can cause rejection in their host as well as other undesirable side effects. THESE ARE NOT THE TYPE OF STEM CELLS USED BY VET-STEM.

Adult Stem Cells: Are found in most tissues in the body.

They are able to differentiate into many different tissue types, won’t cause rejection, since the patient’s own cells are used, and they have a very low chance for side-effects when used correctly.

So how can these adult stem cells help diseased/traumatized tissue?

They home to the site of injury

They adapt to the microenvironment

Modulate the immune system by regulating

inflammatory mediators (decrease pro-inflammatory mediators and increase anti-inflammatory mediators)


Angiogenic – they release VEGF (vessel endothelial

growth factor)

Differentiate into the needed tissue type (i.e. cartilage

in an arthritic joint)

Block cell death after injury

The Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy Process

2-3 tablespoons of fat is harvested from the patient either

behind the shoulder blade, in the inguinal area or from the falciform ligament. (Fat is used because it has high numbers of adult stem cells, its easy to access and its renewable.)

The sample is then shipped to the Vet-Stem lab in CA. The

following day the lab separates and concentrates the adult stem cells. The cells are then placed in syringes for injection and shipped back to the clinic. If any cells are remaining, they can be cryogenically frozen for future use.

2 days after the harvest, the stem cells are then injected

into diseased joint(s) and/or tissues.

Uses for Regenerative Therapy

Osteoarthritis: those patients that we aren’t able to

adequately help with conventional methods like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, surgical intervention, and other pain management modalities. Also patients that can’t tolerate many medications or aren’t good surgical candidates.

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis



Fracture repair (may be used as an adjunct to sx fixation or

in inoperable situations)

Current studies are being done on the use of adult stem

cells in liver disease, kidney disease, multiple neurologic disorders and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia.


This is a new modality being used clinically, although it has

been researched for years both in humans and animals

Potential for infection

Anesthetic risks are minimal, but still exist

Infection, swelling, fluid accumulation at the harvest site

(similar to potential problems related to a mass removal)

Risks of needle insertion into a joint (like injecting

anything else into a joint)

To date: no patients have become clinically worse after

regenerative therapy but some simply haven’t responded at all


Your pet’s health must be thoroughly assessed: a complete

examination including labwork, radiographs or even more advanced diagnostics are required.

As with any other modality, there is no guaranteed efficacy.

All treatment options must be evaluated to determine the

most beneficial course of action.

For more information about Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy, visit their website www.vetstem.com

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