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One-of-a-kind stem cell treatment heals burned paws

A dog that was left outside on a scorching hot rooftop for 10 hours last month will get its severe burns treated with a stem cell treatment that is the first of its kind, the Reading Eagle reports.

The dog, dubbed Bernie by staff at the animal shelter, was rescued after a police officer in Reading, Pennsylvania, found it stranded on the roof of a building. Bernie, an American pit bull terrier, had suffered severe burns on its paws, and also on its spine and nipples - officials believe it sustained those burns in efforts to take the weight off its burning pads, the news source reports.

Veterinarian Boyd Wagner decided to regrow the dog's pads with stem cells, per research he had done with Celavet Inc., a California-based biotechnology firm that has been conducting stem cell research on horses, cats and dogs.

The procedure, specially approved from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was performed August 4 and was the first of its kind for a canine. The dog was injected with another animal's stem cells to regrow its pads at a faster rate.

Previously, stem cells had been used in dogs to treat hip dysplasia and arthritis. The "regenerative medicine" provided a less expensive alternative to hip replacement, according to ABC News. 
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