When we received an email from the Westie Yahoo Group that a female senior dog was in a desert shelter, we sent a volunteer right over. Nilla was brought in by a couple that said she was thirteen years old, and they found her wandering the streets. They adopted a puppy and left. More often than not, seniors that end up in shelters are brought there by their owners because they have aged. Upon her veterinarian examination, it was noted that she had severe osteoarthritis in her front shoulders, spine, and hindquarters. Nilla was up for adoption, but those that inquired about her eventually declined. Not because of her age, but because of the cost associated with keeping her comfortable. Though we were managing the pain with medication, it became clear that Nilla would need much more help physically and that becoming a WROC Forever Foster was her best chance of getting everything she needs.
We started to notice that Nilla’s appetite was being affected by the pain associated with the osteoarthritis and it was getting much worse much faster so we brought her to our vet for another consult. Because Nilla is spry and so wants to enjoy all the pleasures that senior hood brings our vet suggested stem cell treatment would be Nilla’s best bet. After doing the research and talking with other owners that have done SCT, and because our vet facility specializes in SCT, we’ve decided this is the way to go.
Nilla is an ideal candidate for stem cell treatment which is a procedure that collects fat cells from the dog’s body. The regenerative cells that are collected do several things: They release chemicals that help decrease inflammation; they send out chemicals to the body to bring healing cells into that area; and they have the potential to regenerate damaged tissue – in other words, nearly reproducing tissue as it was at a younger stage. Under local anesthesia, the cells will be re-injected back into Nilla’s arthritic areas in greater concentration than her own body could’ve accomplished.
The cost of the procedure is very expensive but it is worth extending the quality of Nilla’s life. With the generous sponsorship that Nilla received from a previous adopter and WestieMed, Nilla now has the funds to start treatment!
Rescue is their last chance, so we are going to make it their best chance!
Thank you WestieMed for helping us fulfill our commitment to our seniors!
Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond
Update July 3, 2014
We don’t recognize this dog! We are approaching three months since Nilla had her Stem Cell Therapy. It appears she reacted to the stem cells rather quickly and we saw rapid improvement in her movement, mobility, agility, and temperament. We have eliminated all medication and today, she struts with confidence and gets up off the floor with ease. Her appetite has returned to normal with a weight gain of two pounds which we couldn’t be more pleased! Should her improved condition plateau, enough stem cell was collected to repeat the treatment; typically done six months apart.
We are impressed by the ease of procedure, with little in the way of invasive surgery (primarily, anesthesia for the collection of fat and re-injection two days apart) which meant that Nilla left the hospital as though nothing took place.
Currently, the process is open for the treatment of osteoarthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, and poorly healing fractures, however studies are presently ongoing for use of this therapy in the treatment of liver failure, feline kidney disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and various autoimmune conditions. Thus far the procedure is most commonly used to arthritis and the results have been impressive. Decreased pain with improved mobility, a win-win combination. It is exciting to think where this therapy could lead us. Because the fat cells are taken from the patient, there is no chance of rejection. What it has to offer presently, and what it could offer to our animal companions in the future could change the way we look at traditional veterinarian medicine.
Thank you WestieMed! Improving the quality of life for our seniors is our mission; one we take to heart.
Karen and Kay
Westie Rescue of OC & Beyond (WROC)
Update July 14, 2015
My sweet girl passed away in December from kidney failure.