This is Hanna's story and why I am so thrilled that Dr. Gowen did the stem cell therapy for our girl.
Hanna was just a little over a year old when we discovered that she had severe hip dysplasia in her right hip. We took her to an orthopedic specialist and he recommended DARthroplasty because of her young age. This was surgery involving taking bone strips from the top of her hip, drilling holes in the hip socket and putting the strips into these holes to enlarge the socket joint to better hold the ball into place. The healing was quicker than a total hip replacement because the bone that was grafted into her socket was from her own body. This meant the healing was no different than a broken bone in the body because it wasn't a foreign body like the appliance that is used in a total hip replacement.
This surgery worked well for Hanna and she went 7 years without any real problems and was able to run and play like any normal dog. However when Hanna reached 8 years old she started having problems with her hip and the arthritis was getting pretty bad. She could no longer go out into the yard and run without severe limping after only a couple of minutes and I would have to give her pain medications to reduce her discomfort.
I had heard of some great results concerning stem cell treatment for dogs with HD and wanted to check it out. I took Hanna to an orthopedic specialist and he told us that the stem cell treatment would do Hanna no good because her hip was in such bad shape. His recommendation was a total hip replacement. However due to Hanna's age and medical background I wasn't too keen on putting her through this type of surgery.
I talked to Dr. Gowen about the stem cell therapy because I wasn't ready to give up on the idea because of all the good stories I had heard about it. We both decided that it was worth a shot and Dr. Gowen did the procedure this last May.
For the first 6 weeks I did not take Hanna outside to our big yard but rather followed the recommended protocol prescribed by the company that extracts the stem cells from the fat tissue. It was an easy protocol doing physical therapy and Hanna didn't mind it at all.
After 6 weeks I started letting Hanna out into the yard to run around on her own for very short periods. Hanna won't run hard unless I throw a ball for her to chase, so this was more trotting around the yard and not running. I increased her time outside and by the 7th week I gave her the first shot of actually chasing a ball across the yard. This was something she hasn't been able to do for a year.
This is Hanna's 9th week since the procedure and she is now her crazy lunatic self, chasing a ball and running happily out in the yard without limping or needing pain medications afterwards. Plus I have noticed a big increase in her energy levels. It's like we have turned back the clock for her and gave her more time to enjoy life without a lot of discomfort or pain.
Would I recommend stem cell therapy for a dog with HD. YOU BETCHA