In 2014 our beloved Labrador, Chloe, passed away.
In the last months of her life she struggled through with a genuinely horrible, heartbreaking condition called Degenerative Myelopathy.
This disease essentially causes a breakdown between the brain and the body resulting in a loss of function normally in the dog’s hind quarters. As a result, the dog will appear to be dragging their back end and whilst the dog may not be in any extreme physical discomfort, the loss of mobility and subsequent impact of having to compensate for lack of back end mobility means the dog, in simple terms, struggles to move in anything like a free and fluid manner. It’s horrendous to observe in any dog but particularly in one who has previously enjoyed a very active life and who’s brain and senses are still in top shape.
Chloe was 15, so by no means was she a young dog and she certainly had 14 and a bit years of great health and a fantastic life doing all the things Labradors love to do.
In the process of investigating her condition I stumbled upon this.
A dog, younger than Chloe, showing the results of stem cell therapy.
Chloe was too old for this treatment to provide a realistic long term solution – even though, in our desperation we explored the possibilities. On balance, 15 years old is a good run, not that this provides much comfort when you see your dog quickly taken down by such a horrible, debilitating condition while their brain and other functions remain sharp. When we made the heartbreaking decision to let her go it was this disease that was the cause. Her lack of mobility reached an extent where the balance of positive, enjoyable elements of her day were eventually out-weighed by her struggles. She had a healthy appetite and her mind was sound. It is emotionally devastating to say goodbye to a dog in such circumstances and this is the first time I’ve even written a single word about her passing.
I didn’t want this to be an emotional post about the loss of Chloe – my wife has covered that very well. I do want people should know that stem cell therapy is a treatment that is now more widely used, particularly in the USA according to our research, and one that is clearly providing dramatic results in some cases.
Have a look at the video below. It shows GSD called Riley before and after stem cell therapy for the treatment of Degenerative Myelopathy.
When I first watched the video I was in a pretty delicate state, having just learned of Chloe’s condition and wanting to do ANYTHING we could to help her. It made me smile and, I’ll admit, cry. Please watch it and see for yourself. It’s truly inspiring.
Stem Cell Therapy Treatment for Dogs: Resources
- StemCellVet (Stemcellvet UK is a team of Veterinary Surgeons and nurses dedicated to improving the lives of cats and dogs in the UK)
- Cell Therapy Sciences (Cell Therapy Sciences is a UK-based regenerative medicine company producing innovative stem cell therapies for companion animal and equine use)
- Tuta Vet (Tuta Vet is a division of MediVet, an animal health company, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with a global reach that spans the entire world.
- Animal Health Trust Stem Cell Research
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