Peter Bloodworth and Raz - Stem Cell Therapy

At the beginning of this year, Koromatua Rottweiler dog Raz, was diagnosed with a severe case of degenerative arthritis that left the then nine-year-old limping slowly towards her deathbed.

As time went on she became increasingly stiff, was soon no longer able to jump, and had to be lifted in and out of vehicles when accompanying her owner on much-loved car rides.

But remarkably, owner Peter Bloodworth says the courageous canine is not only still alive today, she is gradually experiencing less pain and regaining movement each day.

According to local veterinarian, Dr Ivan Aleksic from CareVets, Raz’s ‘miracle’ recovery is something that dozens of arthritic Waikato dogs and cats have experienced since stem cell treatment for animals was introduced to the Waikato region.

“Stem cell treatment is the latest treatment for animal arthritic care. We introduced the therapy in March 2011 and Raz was the first from Koromatua to receive it from us,” he said.

“More than 40 Waikato-based dogs and cats with arthritis have also been successfully treated with stem cells since we introduced the therapy. From the time CareVets began administering the treatment, we have taken a keen interest in the dogs’ journey of improvement. Every single dog has experienced improvement, to some degree, from this purportedly degenerative joint disease. While I cannot guarantee a 100 per cent ‘miracle-success’ rate, I can confidently say, three years later, that stem cell treatment is still working extremely well,” he said.

Dr Aleksic describes stem cells as “the body’s own repair cells.” Ivan Aleksic

“They have the ability to divide and differentiate into many different types of cells based on where they are needed throughout the body. They can divide and turn into tissues such as skin, ligament, muscle, bone, cartilage, and nerve to name a few, however most importantly they provide very powerful anti-inflammatory action,” Dr Aleksic said.

“So, essentially, with stem cell treatment, we take a dog’s stem cells from its own fat and process the fat through a special patented technology. The final outcome is one tube of purified stem cells, which we activate by treatment with special light frequency and inject the stem cell extract into the joint that needs treatment. Following treatment, the dog’s quality of life is vastly improved. It typically offers improvement for about three years, saving owners a lot of money on painkillers and their side effects,” Dr Aleksic said.

And Raz’s physical improvement has been so outstanding that Mr Bloodworth has decided to get the same treatment for his daughter’s Golden Retriever, Chardy.

“When the alternative is having your pet put down, you’ll do almost anything to improve his or her quality of life. Without stem cell treatment, Raz’s arthritis would have got progressively worse. Instead, she is getting around so much better now. She has much less trouble walking and even jumps up onto the sofa,” he said.

CareVets also administer another type of stem cell treatment consisting of a monthly stem-cell activator injection. If dogs respond well to this system the best value is to upgrade to the full stem cell harvest treatment.

Upon review of the consistent positive results following treatment, Dr Aleksic’s message to pet owners is clear.

“There is a vast number of dogs out there in our region suffering through arthritis. The good news is that we have seen stem cell treatment work to prevent this. All 40-plus local dogs that received treatment have experienced remarkable improvement in their physical condition. Stem cell treatment has shown the best results by far, in managing as well as slowing down the progression of arthritis that I have seen in my history as a veterinarian. Pet owners should not consider this technology as a last resort treatment but should use it early on when arthritis affects the dog, before it becomes a welfare issue,” he said.