Stem cell surgery used to relieve pain in pets

Man's best friend is getting one of man's best treatments.

For years, scientists have studied and applied the benefits of stem cell surgery for people, but they've also applied them to treat suffering animals.

It starts with removing fat cells and ends with what Veterinarian Doctor Noel Berger calls a miracle.

"His arthritis is so bad," said Berger. He's talking about the 14-year-old black lab mix, Beau, who has suffered with severely painful arthritis for the past few years.

"If he doesn't have this procedure, he's going to be euthanized within the next couple of months."

Berger runs the Animal Hospital of South Carolina in Pawleys Island. To combat what he calls one of the worst cases of arthritis in an animal, he's using stem cells.

The $1800 out patient surgery takes just hours and could heal Beau of his pain within weeks.

During the surgery, Berger and his team take some of Beau's fat cells, and by using a series of separations, cleanses and laser rejuvenation with the Medi-Vet America's patented technology, stem cells are harvested.

"We're going to take those stem cells and give it right into the hips and give it right into the vein," said Berger. "That way, it will circulate through his bloodstream, get to the areas that are inflamed that are painful that are diseased and injured. Those stem cells will begin to repair or restore to normal functions those areas that were once previously non-functional."

The hard thing is to get the stem cells mobilized so that they can get to the area that needs to be repaired, said Berger.

95 percent of animals getting the procedure see improvements.

"65 percent of patients will see dramatic improvements. 30 percent will experience improvement. So very few will not have any changes."

Though the surgery does cure his patients of pain, the pain often comes back within two years, said Berger. Those animals can get the procedure again.

But the time back for these animals is worth the procedure, said Berger.

"We don't know how much time we have left, but the important thing is that the time we have left today is of good quality and if we have as normal as possible life style. Stem cells procedure is going to allow that to happen for this dog and for others."