Skip to main content
Sick dog laying on blanket

New stem cell therapies for dogs

Q: Our 10-year-old dog has been lame, and medications aren’t helping much. Our veterinarian took x-rays, diagnosed arthritis and recommended stem cell therapy. What can you tell us about this treatment?

A: In the new field of veterinary regenerative medicine, stem cell and platelet-rich plasma therapies are yielding impressive results. These therapies are helpful most often in dogs with osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, and in dogs with damaged tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

Stem cells obtained from the dog’s fat or bone marrow develop into other cells, including those that form bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. When stem cells are injected into an injured or diseased area, they create a scaffold for healing, break down scar tissue, decrease inflammation, stimulate new blood vessels and heal damaged tissues.

Research has shown that stem cells are effective in osteoarthritis, although dogs with severe disease respond better to a combination of stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP is the fluid part of the blood processed to concentrate its platelets and growth factors. Because PRP stimulates stem cells, the two therapies often are combined.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

dog out for walk in nature

After a long winter indoors, most of us...

dog outside chasing ball

Depending on where you live, it may not...

cute dog and cat

Folliculitis is a common infection that...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Woman with two dogs checking her phone

Technology has changed almost every aspect...

Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

small dog playing with toy

Your dog won’t come up to you and say, “I’m...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...