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FEMA Search and Rescue Canine Receives Stem Cell Therapy So He Can Continue to Save Lives

January 02, 2014 --

Phizer is a seven year old black lab belonging to Ohio Task Force 1 that recently had stem cell therapy by Vet-Stem, Inc.  Phizer was brought to Cleveland Road Animal Hospital for a limp in his right hind.  Dr. Chad Bailey recommended stem cell therapy.  Both Vet-Stem and Cleveland Road Animal Hospital value the working dog and offered their services pro-bono in hopes that Phizer’s stem cell therapy would permit him to continue to provide search and rescue service.       

Phizer is one of only five search and rescue canines owned by Ohio Task Force 1, one of 28 Task Forces across the US that make up the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue System.  Phizer is trained to find living victims who may be trapped under collapsed buildings.  He is unique because he is certified to work with more than one handler meaning that he can be used on more missions.  If one of his handlers is not available the other may be.  Phizer is trained to cover obstacles and treacherous terrain, climb metal ladders and investigate acres of terrain quickly and efficiently.  These skills came in handy when Phizer was assigned to a mission recovering victims from hurricane Sandy. 

Handlers Maureen May and Deana Hudgins noticed an intermittent limp in Phizer’s right rear leg when he first started moving, but got better with exercise.  Although the limp was not preventing Phizer from his job, he was started on pain medicine, joint supplements and taken for exams to the local veterinarian.  His radiology report showed signs consistent with mild degenerative joint disease in addition to another injury.  Deana and Dr. Bailey started Phizer on injectable treatments, laser therapy, and discussed stem cells. 

Since Phizer’s stem cell therapy used his own stem cells, a small portion of fat was collected and sent to Vet-Stem’s lab in California.  Within 48 hrs the doses of stem cells were ready for injection by Dr. Bailey.  Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types and reduce pain and inflammation thus helping to restore range of motion and regenerate tendon, ligament and joint tissues (Vet-Stem.com/science).  For Phizer this means that all of the issues identified in his exams may be helped with one therapy.

About Vet-Stem, Inc.

Vet-Stem, Inc. was formed in 2002 to bring regenerative medicine to the veterinary profession.  The privately held company is working to develop therapies in veterinary medicine that apply regenerative technologies while utilizing the natural healing properties inherent in all animals.  As the first company in the United States to provide an adipose-derived stem cell service to veterinarians for their patients, Vet-Stem, Inc. pioneered the use of regenerative stem cells in veterinary medicine.  The company holds exclusive licenses to over 50 patents including world-wide veterinary rights for use of adipose derived stem cells.  In the last decade over 10,000 animals have been treated using Vet-Stem, Inc.’s services, and Vet-Stem is actively investigating stem cell therapy for immune-mediated and inflammatory disease, as well as organ disease and failure.  




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