Like a blank slate, stem cells can develop into any cell type. As a result of this property, stem cells offer the promise of regenerating tissue where disease has damaged it and caused it to lose function. For decades, researchers have promoted stem cells as a potential treatment for multiple types of illness. Doctors already use stem cells to treat human patients with lymphoma, leukaemia and other solid malignant tumours. We believe that pets can also get benefit from stem cell treatments for injuries to bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and the spinal cord; and diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Early research has shown that that stem cell treatment might successfully treat stomatitis (a severe and painful oral disease) in cats and dry eye in dogs. The process is as follows: stem cells are injected by a veterinarian into the affected tissue, such as a knee joint damaged by osteoarthritis. The stem cells move to the damaged or inflamed tissue, cause new tissue to grow, reduce the inflammation and relieve pain. This new tissue closely resembles the original tissue, in fact more so than the scar tissue that would typically grow in an untreated inflamed area.