Advanced Care

Stem Cell Therapy

VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital provides a number of different advanced veterinary diagnostic and treatment options for the pets of Las Vegas. Stem cell therapy is one example of a pet treatment that can lead to faster and more complete recovery from injury and disease.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are cells that have not "decided" what specific kind of cells they will be yet. They may develop into muscle cells, bone cells, nerve cells, or any other kind of body cell based on what the body needs in the area where the stem cells are produced.

How are stem cells used to treat pets?

Stem cells are found in abundant numbers in the fatty tissue of pets. A sample of fat is taken from under the skin of the pet and the stem cells are harvested from the sample. Once the cells have been processed, they can be re-injected into the same pet but at the site where they need treatment—oftentimes in an injured or diseased joint like the knees or hips.

The stem cells turn into the needed cells in the treatment area and cause healing and relief from a number of symptoms.

Can stem cells be harvested and saved for future use?

Yes, Vet-Stem BankTM is a service that provides storage of stem cells. The cells are prepared and frozen in liquid nitrogen for additional treatments of an existing injury or saved in the event a different need arises in the future. Cryogenically frozen stem cells have been shown to still be usable after 20 years of storage.

If you have questions about stem cell therapy and whether it would be of benefit to your pet, contact VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital.