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Should I Save or Bank My Dog’s Stem Cells When They Are Spayed or Neutered?

  • September 1, 2019
  • By MaggieLovesOrbit.com
  • 0 Comments
Should I Save or Bank My Dog’s Stem Cells When They Are Spayed or Neutered?

This post was sponsored by Gallant. I conducted my own research, all opinions are my own.

3 years ago when I had Maggie and Orbit spayed I didn’t consider stem cell storage. I thought it was just an option mothers did for their babies. But when I heard that veterinarians were now using stem cells to treats older dogs I got curious. So, I did some research to find out more about dog’s stem cells.

So, should I save or bank my dog’s stem cells when they are spayed (or in the case of a male dog – neutered)?  If having an upper hand in the event your older dog gets sick, then; Yes. Saving and banking stem cells while your dog is young would be ideal. Stem cells decline in quality as your dog ages so saving and banking them preserves these younger and healthier cells. Furthermore, preserving the tissues collected during spay and neuter means that it’s less invasive than a procedure that extracts stem cells from fat tissue or bone marrow later.

Dog parents who elect to save or bank stem cells do so because it can help treat a range of ailments and diseases that dogs may face when they get older.

Should I Save Or Bank My Dog's Stem Cells

What Exactly Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are often called Master Cells. They form the foundation for your dog’s entire body as building blocks for the blood, immune system, tissue and organs. They can replicate over and over again. This process is called self-renewal and continues throughout the life of the organism.Self-renewal is the defining property of stem cells. Specialized cells such as blood and muscle do not normally replicate themselves, which means that when they are seriously damaged by disease or injury, they cannot replace themselves.

Stem cell can also regenerate themselves and have the ability to differentiate into any kind of specialized cell in your dog’s body.

Gallant states that the benefits that stem cells promote are:

  • Navigate to areas of inflammation
  • Repair and regenerate tissue
  • Prevent premature cell death
  • Regulate immune responses
  • Assist in blood vessel growth
  • Reduce scarring
Should I Save Or Bank My Dog's Stem Cells

What Kind of Illnesses or Ailments are Treated with Stem Cells?

I wanted to understand what kind of treatments or therapy stem cells could do. The list I found on the Gallant website is as follows:

– Osteoarthritis (OA)
– Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS; dry eye)
– Partial cruciate tears
– Atopic dermatitis
– Bone healing in TPLO surgery
-Bone healing – trauma
– Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
– Perianal fistulas
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
– Renal disease
– Liver disease

Certain breeds can benefit by planning ahead and banking their dog’s stem cells from the spay and neuter procedure. For example TPLO surgery often results in operation to both knees. Some dogs might elect to do stem cell therapy instead of surgery. Certain breeds prone to torn ACLS include:

– Newfies
– Labrador Retriever
– Rottweiler
– Bichon Frise
– St. Bernards

I can also see stem cell therapy being extremely beneficial to dog breeds prone to IVDD such as:

– Bassett Hounds.
– Beagles.
– Bulldogs.
– Corgis.
– Cocker Spaniels.
– Dachshunds (most common)
– Pekingese.
– Poodles.

In the case of Boston Terriers, it would be great to bank the stem cells in case we needed it for Atopic Dermatitis or IBD. Both girls had an early history with allergy and yeast issues. Thankfully two years later it’s under control. That said I always worry that it might rear its head again when they get older.

Knock on wood they have been symptom free for a year.

Should I Save Or Bank My Dog's Stem Cells

How Do I Bank My Dog’s Stem Cells?

With Gallant they make it easy. You sign up on their website and Gallant sends the tissue collection kit to your vet. Your vet will collect the tissue during the routine spay or neuter and store it in a temperature controlled preservation kit.

Within 24 hours a Gallant courier will pick up the kit and FedEx it to their lab in La Jolla, CA. There the Gallant scientists will process the tissue and cryogenically preserve the stem cells for future regenerative treatments.

Their scientists adhere to the following steps:
– Step 1. The tissue is accepted and inspected.
– Step 2. The tissue is washed.
– Step 3. Stem cells are then isolated from the tissue.
– Step 4. The stem cells are counted.
– Step 5. Stem cells are placed into vials for cell doses.
– Step 6. Cells are frozen in liquid nitrogen.
– Step 7. The cells are stored for later use.

Should I Save Or Bank My Dog's Stem Cells

How Much Does it Cost to Bank My Dog’s Stem Cells?

Gallant offers two plans:
– Annual Plan: $95/year plus a $395 collection & courier fee.
-Lifetime Plan: A one-time payment of $995 and a $0 collection & courier fee. For the Lifetime option, a pet parent can use Affirm™ to make monthly payments.

How Are Stem Cells Retrieved?

The Gallant team will retrieve the stored stem cells, thaw them out and prepare the shipment to arrive at your vet’s clinic within a few days.

How Much Will Future Stem Cell Treatments For My Dog Cost?

According to Gallant:

We anticipate being able to offer stem cell treatments to Gallant pets within twelve months. These treatments are estimated to cost between $200-500, plus your veterinarian’s procedure fee. Right now, we offer a kit to your veterinarian for treatments called PRP (platelet rich plasma) which is for dogs that have osteoarthritis or other musculoskeletal ailments. Before Gallant, stem cell treatments cost upwards of $3000+, but our goal is to make regenerative medicine accessible to everyone.

I thought this was extremely affordable. I have heard of TPLO treatment costing in the range of $4500 to $6500.

I’ve heard of allergy treatment plans costing upwards of $3000 to $6000 so having stem cell treatments estimated between $200-500, plus your veterinarian’s procedure fee, currently sounds reasonable to me.

Should I Save Or Bank My Dog's Stem Cells

What if You Didn’t Bank Stem Cells at the Time of Spay or Neuter?

In my case, since I didn’t bank Maggie or Orbit’s stem cells when they were spayed, my only option is to retrieve their stem cells from their fat cells or bone marrow IF I need to. The downside to this is that the stem cells won’t be as young. And theoretically won’t be as healthy and vibrant.

Where Can I Learn More About Saving or Banking My Dog’s Stem Cells?

Visit Gallant to learn how it works. They break it down to three easy steps:.

1. Collect
2. Preserve
3. Treat

If you need more information their FAQ section is an excellent resource [FAQ | Gallant](https://gallant.com/faq/)

In Conclusion

After learning more about stem cell therapy and the ability to save and bank my dog’s stem cells at the time they are spayed or neutered I have come to the conclusion that this will be something we do when we get puppy number three. Had I known about it sooner I would have elected to do this for both Maggie and Orbit.

By MaggieLovesOrbit.com, September 1, 2019
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