Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jasmine's Stem Cells Are In

Jasmine got her stem cells injected last week as scheduled.

Of course it wouldn't have been Jasmine if she didn't find a way to make things more interesting.

She was getting the treatment for arthritis in her left elbow. I was worried about complications with the anesthesia but clearly Jasmine would have found that too boring, since that's what happened last year.

Friday evening, the weekend before treatment, she suddenly started limping on her hind left leg too! 

I can't begin to tell you how tired I am seeing her limp on one leg or another, and how much it hurts me! The only comfort was that her stem cell therapy was already scheduled and it was only matter of days.

But what was going on? She did so well through the entire summer!

The main task was making sure that we can get an additional dose of stem cells in. 

There was no time to assess the situation before the stem cells got shipped early Monday. However, we felt that getting the extra dose was the best course of action in order to avoid an additional anesthesia. We can assess on Tuesday, and we will already have the cells to put them where needed.

Vet-Stem was very forthcoming in response to our situation.

On Monday, one IV and two injectable doses were on their way.

Did that make me less worried about potential complications with the anesthesia? Not really, but it certainly provided sufficient distraction.

Needless to say that the week prior the treatment Jasmine got spoiled beyond comprehension. 

We decided that she should spend that week as if it were her last—with the best walks, time at the farm and gourmet steak dinners.

If there was a real reason to expect serious trouble we wouldn't have gone ahead with the plan. But with Jasmine, there doesn't need to be an obvious reason. There wasn't the last time. (If you're not familiar with that part of Jasmine's Odyssey, you can read about it on Dr. Huston's blog, Jasmine’s Condition Deteriorates: Another ACL Injury and an Abdominal Abscess.)

We were doing what we believed was best for her, but in case things did go wrong again, we didn't want to have any regrets.

On Tuesday she got a thorough evaluation of the lame hind leg, which turned out to have inflamed muscle. However, her right knee was also inflamed, and resisted bending. It was decided that the best plan was to inject the stem cells into her elbow and right knee and let the IV dose deal with the rest.

We were all set for potential delays at the customs and our plan worked out well. Hubby was back with the cells before Jasmine's oral cleaning and surgery were finished.

All was done by 3PM and the anesthesia was uneventful. 

Jasmine was further monitored before release.

When Jasmine came home she was still quite wobbly and dazed. By 10PM, however, she was steady on her feet and was looking for treats! That was a great sign!

I should have known better than think that things would just go smoothly for change.

Next morning she was limping on her front left leg so heavily that she almost tipped over! That was not what we expected! We were expecting improvement, not things looking worse!

I was quite sure that this couldn't have had anything to do with the treatment. When I called, Jasmines' vet confirmed that the elbow surprised him with swelling before injecting the stem cells.

What has happened?

I don't think we'll ever know. The upside was that the stem cells were already in and hard at work. Indeed, the leg improved almost before our eyes!

Today it's a little over a week since Jasmine's treatment. Her gait is still a little uneven here and there, but for most part—particularly when outside having fun—one would be hard pressed to see anything wrong.

We are truly hoping that she will have smooth sailing from now on. Fingers crossed.


Related articles:
Stem Cells for Dogs? Oh yeah, baby!
Interview with Dr. Robert J. Harman, D.V.M., M.P.V.M. - CEO and founder of Vet-Stem
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child! 
Zeus Gets Stem Cell Treatment 
Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment


Vet-Stem has been providing stem cell training and services to hundreds of veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada since 2004. Over 6,000 animals have been treated for arthritis and/or tendon and ligament injuries, many of which were not responding to other treatment methods.

You can follow latest Vet-Stem news on Arthritis in Dogs Blog
or connect with Vet-Stem on Facebook or Twitter


  1. Phew! That sounded worrisome there for a bit. Glad she has turned around!

  2. Yeah, it was! I was going out of my mind! All's well what ends well, right?

  3. Hi Y'all,
    So glad Jasmine is doin' well now...been keepin' my paws crossed for her!
    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  4. I love that you did those special things to spoil her. Regrets are awful. So very glad to hear she is doing well through all of this. Such a blessing and they so deserve the best!

  5. Kim, yes, I've seen too many times what regret can do to a person. Why not be proactive in avoiding it? Jasmine surely didn't mind ;-)