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Australians make progress in arthritis treatment for dogs

Australian veterinarians are seeing great success with stem cell treatments for arthritic dogs, The Australian Broadcasting Company reports.

Veterinarian Ray Ferguson of Melbourne has been focusing on arthritis in dogs for about 30 years, and says that he has seen improvements in the 40 dogs he has treated with the stem cell therapies.

"For individual joints where a dog has one bad knee or one bad elbow, the treatments are very simple," he told the news outlet.

The stem cells come from donor dogs, many times during the neutering or spaying process. Arthritic dogs go under "very light" anesthesia and veterinarians can inject the stem cells straight into the joint. The whole process takes about five minutes, Ferguson told the news source.

While the treatments have been effective, Ferguson warns owners that the solution is not a miracle.

"I have to point out to them, look I'm not offering a fountain of youth. This isn't going to turn an old dog into young dog," he told the International Business Times.

Richard Boyd, a professor and director of Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories at Monash University, told the news source that the technology may soon be available for humans, too.  
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