The problem might be osteoarthritis, an age-related disease characterized by progressive deterioration of the joints. Hips, elbows, stifle, even the lower back – all are susceptible to degeneration over the course of an animal’s life. Whether it’s your dog, your horse, or another companion or service animal, osteoarthritis is a certain risk as the animal ages.
ANATOMY OF A JOINT
Joints are designed to move, to articulate when muscles flex and relax around them. As such, they have built-in mechanisms to facilitate movement – cartilage to provide cushion between bones, synovial fluid to provide lubrication, etc. But there’s a flaw in the design…
CAUSES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
Articular cartilage can’t repair itself. Most tissues can heal, but most cartilage can’t. The cells that make up cartilage, chondrocytes, don’t undergo cell division once fully formed and don’t receive blood flow – two main mechanisms for tissue repair in the body.
Over the course of time, movement of the joint (compounded by injury or repetitive stress) breaks down the cartilage between bones. This deterioration of cartilage exposes bone to impact and causes the bone to change in unhealthy ways:
- Bone sclerosis or hardening.
- The development of cysts in the bone.
- Abnormal bone growths called osteophytes.
Currently, there is no cure. Traditional approaches to treatment include the non-pharmaceutical (exercise to strengthen muscles around the joint, weight loss to relieve stress on the joint) to drugs like pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. Neither of these approaches fix the structural deficiencies in the joint. Instead, they target the symptoms.
Regenerative stem cell therapy, however, attacks osteoarthritis at the cellular level – repairing tissues, replacing chondrocytes, and introducing natural anti-inflammatory factors into the joint.
THAT'S WHERE WE COME IN.
The ways in which stem cells help arthritic joints are varied and sometimes technical. For a helpful primer, check out our page How Stem Cells Work. JangoPet is committed to leveraging the current state of knowledge to provide customers and veterinarians cutting-edge therapeutic options to help animals affected by the degenerative effects of aging. Click below to explore our stem cell therapies or contact us now.