Hi all, I am new to this Forum and need some help for my GSD.
My boy Hans (9yrs old) has DM and I am looking for any and all information on the stem cell Therapy. Also, any information on vitamins or any thing else would be appreciated. I have him in a Biko Brace now to be able to exercise him more and that seems to be helping. I have had to put boots on both back feet because of dragging and wearing the nails down to bleeding. They also seem to be helping and he is such a good boy about anything I put on him. I also take him swimming every other day which he loves!
My 12 yr old female had bad hips. She would walk with her feet together, drag her paws and hold her back legs together until the very bottom and took very short steps. Glucosimine worked great for years but was no longer able to help. I went to her vet to discuss pain management options and learned about the treatment. We proceded in early May. I will try to describe her journey so far - good and bad. If you don't care to read it all, long story short, I would DEFINITELY do this procedure again. Not only is she able to stand up without struggling but is apparently no longer in pain, easily goes up and down stairs, plays with the other dogs and is truly enjoying her life again - not just living it out.
- Went to vet, found out about procedure and decided to proceed. While doing pre-procedure health testing, we discovered she had "breakthrough heartworms" that were not seen in her annual exam four months earlier. While on heartworm preventative her entire life, it seems she is one of the breakthrough cases found in the Mississippi River area. We chose to do the stem cell first then wait a month before starting heartworm treatment.
-Post surgery pain was more than I had anticipated. She was hurting pretty badly for a few days and was clearly sore for a few days after that.
- We saw no improvement unit about four weeks. Over night her stride started to get longer and longer. This continued to improve for the next few weeks.
-While her stride was improving, one leg seemed significantly weaker than the other. This lasted about 2 - 3 weeks until the leg seemed to catch up to the other.
- About 7 - 8 weeks post procedure, we saw that she started carrying her legs further apart and no longer had the mermaid effect going on.
-While her range of motion and spread of the back legs continued to improve, her legs appeared to be wobbling very badly at this stage. While I suspected, her vet confirmed that her muscles had atrophied from lack of use. Because of the heartworm treatment, we have to be very careful and conservative with her therapy for this. We take short walks in tall grass so she has to pick up her back legs. I also tickle her belly so she will kick the back legs. BTW, she had not kicked her back legs during belly rubs for YEARS until having the stem cell therapy. Now it happens every time she gets her belly rubbed and she seems to love it. Her legs muscles seemed to be improving slowly but surely. Her vet says this will probably take longer than the joint regeneration.
- It is the third week of July and this is where we are so far. My vet continues routine follow up on her (weekly) as he is extremely interested in her progress as she is only his third stem cell dog. His was his first. It was a bird dog with bad back legs and and a front shoulder degenerative disease that had plagued the dog since it was four years old. He says that while the experts say you can expect to see improvement for up to three months, he has seen his dog continue to improve for the last six months although not as significantly as the first few. He has posted a video on youtube of his dog before the procedure and two months later. You can view it by going to youtube, then search "Hillcrest animal hospital" and click on the stem cell video that comes up. For me, it is the first video under that search.
Good luck with your dog. I can truly empathize with you and hope if you choose to do this, your dog has as much success as mine.