Study aims to give dogs with arthritis greater comfort in old age

- A new nationwide stem cell study is hoping to give dogs with arthritis a better life. Minnesota is one of about a dozen states involved in this ground breaking clinical trial. 

Fourteen-year-old Max has arthritis and his owner, Lynsey Rossi says, "When he walks sometimes he can't keep balance and he doesn't have the stability." Rossi is excited Max was selected to participate in this new double blind stem cell study, even though she doesn't know if Max was injected with the placebo or the stem cells.

Dr. Ann Valenti at the Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital is tracking dozens of dogs' progress.

"They're taking the stem cells from the umbilical cords of puppies that would typically be waste material and they're purifying it and making it into a product that has a very rich stem cell component to it," Valenti said. 

The hope is the stem cells will produce more cartilage and joint fluid. 

Max gets a lameness test every few months for up to six months to test his ability to walk and jog.

The good news for all dogs in this cutting edge trial, in the end, every single one will get injected with stemcells.  

If you'd like to know if your dog could participate there are several qualifications, such as the dog has to be older than a year. Also it has to be in general good health besides arthritis.

Owners have to keep a diary about their dog plus they receive $400 in compensation for participating.

You can find out if your dog would qualify and learn more by going to dogstemcellstudy.com

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