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Vets help animals using stem cells

Jake the yellow Labrador retriever couldn't even walk down the stairs without extreme pain caused by his advanced arthritis. Medications left him depressed and joint replacement surgery was out of the question, but Kansas City veterinarian Les E. Pelfrey had an answer - stem cell therapy, The Kansas City Star reports.

This new and somewhat controversial procedure involves taking stem cells that are harvested in the fat of the animal's body and injecting them into its joints. Over a few weeks, the cells will regenerate missing cartilage, making arthritic joints healthy again, the news outlet reports.

However, the results are not proven, making many veterinarians skeptical that it will help animals. James L. Cook, a professor of orthopedics at the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine told the news outlet that he would recommend the therapy for horses with damages tendons, but never for dogs.

Last year, ABC News reported the way that this same stem cell treatment is being used in humans with arthritis. It is being called a potential alternative to joint replacement surgeries. 
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