Stem Cell Treatment Going Out to Dogs With Arthritis
New tests show promising results as scientists discover potentially very effective and affordable stem cell treatment for dogs with arthritis. 

One of the worst parts of owning pets is living with the knowledge that they will age a lot quicker than you will. For me, it was always heartbreaking to see my dogs enter old age – even though I've always known they've had a great life, because I'd looked after them with love and care, seeing them get older and struggle to do things like go for hour-long walks was devastating.

It's even sadder if you adopt dogs that are already of age and come with their geriatric problems. However, now there's new hope for dogs with arthritis.

According to CBS Local, researchers are now looking into using stem cell treatment for arthritis in dogs, and are hoping that it will take off as a successful method of removing the disease altogether in the canine population and eventually in humans too.

At the moment, arthritis in dogs is treated with a few different medications, and other therapies such as acupuncture and laser therapy are available.

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This new stem cell research is currently trialed in a clinic in San Diego. The scientists use cells from puppy umbilical cords, which is supposed to really help with both strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation in joints.

A few pups are already on the test, which needs to pass trials to be FDA-approved. If it does pass and settles as a method of treatment for arthritis in dogs, then it could be revolutionary for both our pets and owners of arthritic dogs, who are tired of seeing their animals in pain.

This is great news, because stem cell therapy and treatments have been making major breakthroughs as solutions for many health issues in people and animals.

What should you do if your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis?

Make sure you go to all your follow-up appointments with your vet. Those conditions need to be monitored constantly, as well as the medication that your dog receives. Make sure you follow the vet's instructions and keep to the medication as strictly as you can.

Most dogs will struggle when having to ingest medication. I know it's never easy – the amount of bites I've gotten when I've had to give injections, crushed pills and other medications is nearing the infinite. But you need to persevere. Just like a child, a dog doesn't understand that this is for their own good, but you do, as their parent. So, remember that it's giving your pet a better, pain-free life.

Finally, watch out for their weight. When my dog, Cow, was battling arthritis, the pain was so bad that he was losing all of his appetite. When we switched his medications and started him on something better, he gained his weight back, and then some more. I decided then that I was happier seeing him plump than thin and unhappy.

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Rita has a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences and has worked in many different research laboratories. As a long-time dog owner, she's been trying to apply her skills, expertise and experience in the scientific field to writing about dogs and providing science-based information for other dog owners.