Saturday, May 25, 2019


Our modern medical science owes a great debt to the veterinary community and the animal kingdom for the early treatment discoveries and advancements of STEM CELL research.  The science of regenerative medicine started in 1981 from early mouse embryos, which led to the development of growing cells in laboratories.  Today, the use of stem cells in humans is still considered experimental, while veterinary medicine has outnumbered human cases with the vast number of animals treated successfully. [1]

We reached out to Veterinarian and leading Stem Cell expert, Dr. Michael Hutchinson (PA) who has performed more than 1500 Adipose-Derived Stem Cell procedures on dogs, cats, horses, camels and a bird, among his 20,000 surgeries in 33 years of practicing veterinary medicine. His insights on this healing marvel for animals have proven its value in the preservation of life and wellness recovery- such that its growing popularity in the treatment of pets can reflect many similarities and future successes in humans to foster acceptance and confidence as a proven treatment option.

Interview with Dr. Michael Hutchinson
In 2005, I had a Saturday morning radio program in Pittsburgh where I focused on topics that interested me.  I was intrigued by a laboratory from CA who showed some success with stem cells in horses first, and then dogs & cats.  They were introducing this science only to specialists in the veterinary field, but it was my persistence in letter writing that encouraged them to offer this to general practitioners (including myself).

By 2008, I treated my first dog, and soon after, I started getting invited to treat horses (something I was quite familiar with out in Long Island from '86 to '98). I had experience with farm animals in my background, so I was interested in stem cells for all the issues that we saw in animals. It didn't matter if it was a bird or a horse - I was interested in getting these repair cells out and helping these animals with maladies that were not being treated very well with the standard of care.   This failure of the standard of care led me down the road of clinical research where we started doing studies on kidney disease, degenerative myelopathy (similar to Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS), liver disease, arthritis and autoimmune diseases where the immune system would attack the body.

Over time, we expanded to the use of blood stem cells. A doctor and researcher from Melbourne, AU- Dr. Vasilis Paspaliaris, developed a system to harvest significantly higher-level microscopic stem cells out of the blood. He offered me to compassionately try it in animals for different conditions, especially those related to liver disease, kidney disease, and some degenerative nerve issues.  This new blood protocol expanded my compassionate use in clinical trials for diseases that did not adequately respond to the fat-derived stem cells.

By 2010, my research has led me to align with MediVet Biologics for their impressive work with adipose-derived cells.  Their research and continued advancements earned my trust to help pave the way in this study.  MediVet’s procedure kit was considered a major scientific breakthrough for many disorders like osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament and cartilage injuries.

Patients journey from all over to experience the results of stem cell treatments for their pets. They suffer a wide range of issues from neurological deficits, autoimmune disorders to musculoskeletal damage. People who have had no success with other therapies are even willing to travel from different places in the US to have this available to them. Then we follow these treated animals to see if we're going to be able to help more animals or share protocols with the human side - which is my ultimate goal.

Importantly, stem cell therapy is not a panacea and is not meant for every condition out there. I don't think we veterinarians and doctors should be treating everything; I think we should be very mindful that we have reasonable expectations before recommending stem cell treatments. There is a finite list of disorders with pets that I am relatively confident in treating. One of them is Osteoarthritis (OA).  It's the predominant condition that I manage utilizing fat-derived stem cells with dogs and evaluating symptoms for this is relatively cut and dry. If your dog is having trouble going up and down the steps, getting in and out of the car, going to the bathroom in one place, exhibiting pain and discomfort in joints or having trouble getting up from a laying down position, those are the telltale signs for OA.

Upon examination, if the animal is experiencing these symptoms and is showing no other issues, then I have a reasonable expectation (90%) that your dog's going to respond very well. Of course, not every osteoarthritis case will end the same, but we can predict with a very high expectation that we're going to have success.  I base this on over 1,500 treatments, and the majority of them are Osteoarthritis.

When I treat this type of case, I inject the joints with stem cells after extracting and processing the fat (surgery to collect fat takes about 15 minutes and the processing an additional 2 - 3 hours). I would primarily choose fat stem cells, or MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) to treat OA.  They're the number one cell that's researched and published around the globe.  You get them out of bone marrow, fat or several tissue types, but it's fat that shows the highest harvest numbers.

If I'm treating Osteoarthritis, these MSC's come out of the same germ layer (Mesoderm) as the cartilage, as the tendons, as the ligament- as the bone…and because it comes out of the same germ layer, it's a more logical repair cell to use, especially if you're hoping to achieve some regeneration of cartilage along the affected joints.  We can also administer the cells through the use of a Hema-filter and an intravenous catheter… we're talking about (their own) autologous cells, so there is no risk of rejection. Since these stem cells are similar in size to the red blood cells, they can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and potentially help with the pain centers as well. We may not always get cell regeneration, but we almost always get a profound anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory effect that lasts around a year and a half on average. Now, if I have a severely arthritic dog, maybe it was an athlete and had several injuries throughout its life, that dog may require more than one treatment that may not last as long as a year and a half. It may last six to eight months. However, I call it my "Gold Therapy" because it's profoundly better than the standard of care in many cases.

(End of part 1)

2) Dr. Mike Hutchinson (website)-
3) MediVet Biologics (website)


About "Dr. Mike" Hutchinson-
A leading practitioner in stem cell therapy, Dr. Mike Hutchinson, DVM, is a highly sought after speaker at national and international veterinary conferences on the uses of animal stem cells.  He also has co-authored "Discussion of Animal Stem Cells in the Classroom: Engaging Students through the Lens of Veterinary Medicine", published in The American Biology Teacher, and co-authored a study on Serotypes of Bovine Astrovirus, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. He is the owner of Animal General of Cranberry and Chairman of the Board of VivaTech International, Dr. Mike is married and the father of five children. For additional interviews, you may contact Dr. Mike Hutchinson at 724-776-7930

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