Linda's Remarkable Rescue Dog - NuNu

Cutting Edge Procedure Hailed as Arthritis Cure for Dogs

From Charlottesville - WCAV.TV Channel 16, 27, and 19 (link below)

I guess we could say that NuNu is a new-new dog at this time since her operation.
May 27, 2008

Dogs crippled by arthritis are walking and even running again and there is hope the same procedure can be used on humans.

The cutting edge surgery is called stem cell therapy and it was performed for the first time on a dog in Charlottesville Tuesday afternoon.

Debilitated by arthritis, Nunu a 12 year old husky mix could barely get around. “She had to do a hand stand to get her back legs under her,” said Dr. Richard Freedman of the Albemarle Veterinary Health Care Center.

Dr. Freedman is hoping cutting edge medicine will cure Nunu’s pain. He is the only Charlottesville veterinarian licensed to perform stem cell therapy.

Nunu was asleep for the 20 minute operation, while Dr. Freedman removed a few ounces of fat from the dog's back. That fat is then over nighted to a company called Vet Stem in San Diego.

There they will harvest millions of Nunu's own regenerative stem cells. And on Thursday those cells will be injected into the Nunu's two arthritic knees.

“The cells will hone or be attracted to the tissue that is diseased,” said Dr. Freedman. In a matter of days Nunu will begin to grow new cartilage and her pain will diminish.

“What happens is over time this dog will have healthy cartilage tissue lining its joint. Now for what period we don't know yet,” he said.

It costs under $3,000 but the results are often spectacular and immediate. Nunu is expected to have improved comfort, improved range of motion and an improved quality of life in a matter of days says Dr. Freedman.

Nunu was able to go home Tuesday night and will return Thursday for the second part of the procedure…injecting the cells.

As hopeful as this is for dogs, there is also hope for humans down the road.

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