Terre Haute animal hospital in stem cell study for dogs

(Nexstar Photo)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO) — Maggie Mae and her owner, Robert Howrey, came from Paris, Illinois, for a check-up at the Wabash Valley Animal Hospital in Terre Haute.

She doesn’t act like it, but Maggie Mae is a senior citizen and she has problems with her joints.

“Arthritis is a common condition in older dogs and we like to help them out,” said Dr. Andrew Pickering, a local veterinarian.

A California company called Animal Cell Therapies has enlisted U.S. veterinarians to participate in a study of using stem cells for dogs with arthritis. Some of the canines in the study receive an injection of stem cells, others get just a saline solution.

Pickering doesn’t know which injections Maggie Mae is getting, but she no longer limps. He’s encouraged by the results.

“We’re hoping this particular type of treatment will cure the condition for a long period of time so we don’t have to keep giving the dog medication all the time,” Pickering said.

Howrey said it’s almost like having a new dog.

“It’s been about six weeks, so now she’s back doing normal activities, she runs, she chases squirrels.”

The research will continue for several more months. The local clinic is looking for owners who would like to involve their pets. Study participation is free for dogs that qualify. Plus, even the animals that receive the saline injections can get the stem cell treatment once the study is complete.

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