In this medical health video learn about veterinary treatments that may someday impact what your doctor prescribes for you.
Read the full transcript »
Dr. Dean Edell: Dogs are cherished parts of our families. So when we are sick or if they become sick, the relationship becomes even more important. Canines can care for us as we care for them. With a wet nose and willingness to please, it seems like our dogs live just to make us feel better even when they don't feel well. Just as Tootsie’s owner Melina Bell (ph). Melina Bell: She is lovable, she is perky. Dr. Dean Edell: Perky on the outside but inside Tootsie was a very sick pup. Melina Bell: She started making a spiny sensation with her bottom lip and her jaw. It would quiver. Dr. Dean Edell: Melina thought it was her teeth turns out, it was a malignant melanoma in the back of Tootsie’s mouth. Melina Bell: I’m a physician assistant. I specialize in oncology. I have been doing that for 26 years, and it never even donned on me that this could have happened to a dog. Dr. Dean Edell: The survival rate is one to five months but a new treatment, a canine cancer vaccine is changing that. Stacy Santoro: Overall, it has been showing a significantly effect on survival. Dr. Dean Edell: Study showed dogs that get a vaccine along with surgery or radiation have lived four times longer. Stacy Santoro: The point is to assimilate their own immune system to recognize tumor cells and then kill those affected cells. Dr. Dean Edell: The $4000 treatment will not cure Tootsie but prolonging her life serves a greater purpose. Stacy Santoro: One of my dogs, kind of closely mix the natural disease in people that maybe once we get more data available on dogs, we could actually transition it to a similar type of vaccine to be available for people. Dr. Dean Edell: Two-year-old Maggie Mae is another medical dog on a special mission. From the time she was rescued and adopted a year ago, Maggie Mae's owner knew she needed special care. Terry Hays: She was limping that we didn’t know why. I mean she could -- it could have been an injury per se. Dr. Dean Edell: They found out she had arthritis. Terry Hays: Both hips are really bad, really bad and here left front elbow is also real bad. Dr. Dean Edell: Maggie is undergoing a special kind of stem cell therapy. Jeff Peck: It’s not from the embryo and it’s not from the bone marrow, it’s taken from fat. There’s a fairly high concentration or high numbers of stem cells within the fat tissue. Dr. Dean Edell: Veterinarians extract from Maggie Mae. The tissue is send to a lab sensual lab where stem cells are isolated. Within a few days those cells are then injected directly into her joints. Jeff Peck: We know we are not going to make these tissues normal but it will suppress inflammation, slow the progression of the gene changes. Dr. Dean Edell: Who says you can't teach an old dog a new trick? Six weeks after stem cells derived from her own fat were injected into her joints to treat arthritis, Maggie Mae is better. Terry Hays: Yeah, he wants to play, don’t you? Yes, he do. Dr. Dean Edell: And what we learned could one day provide cures for other animals too. Jeff Peck: It's going to be a great benefit to dogs and cats and maybe pretty much to animals in general, and to animals that typically are treated for arthritic type problems. Dr. Dean Edell: Including the two-legged type. Jeff Peck: This is done in people as well. Of course, it’s not as highly publicized as some of the other forms of stem cell therapy. There have been several human clinical trials. Dr. Dean Edell: Fat-derived stem cells may one day be used to treat not only arthritis but to regenerate blood vessels, cardiac muscle, and help people with spinal cord injuries.
Copyright © 2005 - 2015 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline.