I’d like to share with you a heartwarming story about stem cell treatments for pets. When Kitters the cat was brought in to see me, she was experiencing serious bodily decline. Kitters was 15 when she was diagnosed with kidney disease, a common development in older cats in which the kidneys begin losing their ability to rid the body of toxins via tubes called nephrons. When nephrons begin to build up scar tissue, they become much less efficient at filtering and expelling toxins. Kitters was drinking large amounts of water, inappetence (not eating), nauseous, and lethargic; very common signs for a cat with this condition. Unfortunately, these symptoms do not develop until around 60% of kidney function is lost. Because of this, kidney disease often develops unseen and, therefore, untreated.
As you can imagine, when I first saw Kitters things were not looking good. At that point, her kidneys had begun to fail and her symptoms were well-developed and severe. Traditionally, Kitters would be put on subcutaneous fluids (fluids under her skin) to help her stay hydrated, but this treatment only slows the progression of the disease.
Knowing that she had already received the standard methods of treatment, I decided to try a different approach: we started to use stem cells to treat Kitters. Stem cells are cells in the body which have yet to specialize and fully develop into a particular type of body-cell. You can think of them as the ultimate shape-shifters of the body, able to adapt and lend a hand wherever they are needed. This is what makes them SO potent: if they spread to areas of the body which are damaged (in this case, the kidneys) the body can signal them to develop into new, healthy versions of the damaged cells.
Amazingly, working with these cells is much simpler than you might assume. We did a minor procedure to harvest fat from Kitters’ abdomen and sent it to a lab in San Diego to harvest the fat for adult stem cells. Once we received the cells back from the lab, we simply injected them intravenously (IV or into a vein) back into Kitters. Since these are literally Kitters’ own cells, there is no danger of rejection.
The Positive Results of Stem Cell Treatments for Pets
After the injection is given, the cells travel throughout the body, so this treatment has the added bonus of improving Kitters’ overall health, not just her kidneys. After 35 days of treatment, Kitters’ appetite and energy levels were greatly improved and her blood work reflected these improvements. These are the kinds of treatments and results that are made possible when Western medicine is combined with integrative and alternative approaches. We are so happy to have helped Kitters live a happier and healthier life.