berner.org
Google Search

from the berner-l

You can read more about the procedure here: http://www.vet-stem.com

The original studies in dogs were on arthritic hips, resulting from hip dysplasia. Newer research is promising that it works well when injected into the joint for elbows as well. Stem cell therapy has only been commercially available for dogs since January 2008 I believe, but has been used fairly commonly in horses since 2001, for various sorts of damage to joints/ligaments. (of course, research studies had been on going for some time before that.)

A few tablespoons of belly fat are taken from the dog's own abdomen, kinda like a mini-liposuction, the incision is about 3" long. The fat is sent to the VetStem company for processing, then the processed cells are injected into the dog's joint 48 hrs later. (Darn it, they wouldnt let me donate any of MY fat to use!!) The dog will limp a bit more immediately after the injections, but w/in a few days the dog's activity is pretty much back to normal. It then takes about 60 days to see results, so you have to be patient. My dog's orthopedic surgeon says they expect the results to last 12-18 months, tho they are not sure exactly how long results last. The vet can usually get enough fat cells harvested (and stored at VetStem) to reinject a couple times. The joint injections themselves are very simple, like a person getting a cortisone injection.

It was about $2,000 the first time, but only $300 for any subsequent injections.

I had the stem cell therapy procedure done on the elbow for one of my Berners and I have been happy with the results. I would definitely suggest you look into it and discuss it with your dog's orthopedic surgeon. It is very low risk, and potentially of significant benefit.


1. Get her weight waaaay down! Cut her food way down and increase her caloric expenditure. She can eat green beans and carrots to fill her up if you feel guilty. She needs to get to the point she is very slim and trim and all that extra wt is no longer pounding on her bad hips with every step. Obesity is extremely dangerous to dysplastic dogs.

2. Give her a lot of steady exersise to build up muscles around the joint, to support the joint. Swimming, long walks, free running exercise on dirt or grass is best. (not on concrete and not forced running like by a bike)

3. Consult an orthopedic expert at a referral center. Sometimes hip replacement surgery is even needed.

4. Go ahead and get her on those supplements you mentioned. They can help a little for some dogs.

5. Please put her info in Berner-Garde (and notify the breeder) so that owners of relatives are aware. Hip dysplasia is a genetic problem. Did her parents/grandparents have OFA clearances?


Links