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Stem cells are unique cells in our bodies that retain the ability to differentiate into many different tissues, including bone, cartilage, nerve, muscle, and blood vessels. This quality allows them to accelerate the speed and improve the quality of healing in tissues with poor blood supply and healing properties such as tendons, ligaments and joint surfaces.

Fat from the tail base or bone marrow from the sternum is harvested from your horse and shipped to a laboratory where the stem cells are concentrated and returned to your veterinarian. The stem cell rich fraction is then injected directly into the area of injury such as the deep flexor tendon or suspensory ligament.

There is a growing body of clinical and laboratory evidence indicating that tendon and ligament healing in response to stem cell therapy surpasses that observed with any other therapy currently available. Stem cell therapy has also been used in early treatment of subchondral bone cycts that occur in young horses with OCD, a developmental orthopedic disease.

There is a lot going on both in academic and commercial research laboratories concerning emerging stem cell technologies. Areas of interest include

Stall side bone marrow stem cell kits to allow immediate injection of stem cells into injured tissue at the time of collection.
Long term culture of your horse’s stem cell line that can be stored for future use.
Equine embryonic stem cell culture applications.
Stem cell therapy is expensive, but it also offers hope to many horses with injuries that would otherwise be career ending. The procedures of collection and injection of stem cells are safe and simple and can be performed readily in a field setting.

Ask Dr. C about horses she’s treated with stem cells and their outcomes.




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