A Staffie crossbreed with chronic osteoarthritis in her elbow is now enjoying a pastime of truffle hunting following ground-breaking stem cell treatment at leading regenerative medicine vet practice Greenside Veterinary Practice in the Scottish borders.
Mowgli’s congenital elbow deformity, which resulted in severe osteoarthritis, has been treated with regenerative medicine at Greenside Veterinary Practice, which has two surgeries in St Boswells and Jedburgh.
Fourteen-year-old Mowgli’s amazing recovery over six months of treatment was further aided with laser therapy and hydrotherapy, together with close care and attention from Greenside’s regenerative medicine and rehabilitation team.
Happily, the treasured pet’s renewed flexibility has now seen her discover a new favourite pastime of truffle hunting in a cultivated orchard.
Stem cell therapy involves harvesting a small sample of fat from the patient. This is then processed in a specialist laboratory to isolate the stem cells and culture expand them, before being administered back into the patient at the site of injury or disease by injection.
Dr Andrew Armitage, clinical director at Greenside Veterinary Practice, has been pioneering the treatment.
He said: “Our knowledge of stem cells and their properties continues to grow, allowing us to successfully introduce new therapies and applications, resulting in an improved quality of life for our patients.”
Dr Armitage has developed new minimally invasive treatment options for elbow developmental diseases using regenerative therapies including stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapies.
He has recently published his novel approach to treating orthopaedic conditions in dogs in a peer reviewed scientific journal.
“Osteoarthritis is a common condition that develops when the joint has not formed properly, and stem cells provide a disease modifying treatment without the need for more invasive surgeries or drugs.
“Mowgli is now able to walk as freely as possible given her condition and it is great to hear she is enjoying her truffle hunting,” said Dr Armitage.
Mowgli’s owner Jane Houston from Edinburgh first realised there was an issue with her when occasional lameness in her beloved pet became more persistent in 2020.
Jane said: “The treatment has helped Mowgli’s elbow and the other affected areas are really good, too, so she is comfortable, happy and fairly active.
“She likes to be busy and work for treats and the treatment has allowed her to carry on enjoying life and doing various activities that she loves to do, albeit slowly and gently. I am pleased there is now an effective treatment for this condition.”
Speaking about Mowgli’s truffle hunting, Jane added: “We started truffle hunting as a hobby last year after going on a course. The orchard is a cultivated truffle orchard and the truffles belong to the landowner.
“Thanks to the stem cell treatments, it is a real privilege to still be able to work with Mowgli doing an interesting and unusual activity together, which helps to develop teamwork and exercises the dogs both physically and mentally.
“She loves truffle hunting and is able to search at her own pace, quite slowly and methodically. Other dogs are much younger and faster, and they cover a lot more ground, so it is a good mix that works well.
Dr Armitage’s research paper which included Mowgli as one of the 245 dogs followed in the study can be viewed here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.1014687/full
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