We have an interesting case that looks promising!
This cute little dog on the left is Taigi. In February she suddenly became paralyzed below the waist. She is only two, and no trauma was known to have occurred, so her owner Alexandra was very worried and rushed her to the ER. To make a bit of a long story of diagnoses short: it turned out Taigi had a ruptured disc. She was in quite a bit of pain, would yelp when her back was touched, and even would bite, which she had never done before. She had no feeling in her legs, and zero response when the vet tested her rear paws for reflexes.
At this point you might be wondering if you saw a fundraiser for Taigi. You didn’t! What happened is as we were researching vets for her, and getting estimates of around $6000-$8000, two things happened: 1) We got a good connection to a vet in Ensenada, Mexico that would do the surgery for $1000 (more on this coming later) and 2) An angel donor came forward and offered to pay the $1000. So, we didn’t start a fundraiser as we had the funds, and we started arranging to get Taigi to the vet in Mexico. Then something else happened! Animal Cell Therapies in San Diego offered to donate Stem Cells if Alexandra would agree to try treating Taigi with them. So we got that worked out, and Taigi received the Stem Cells on March 2nd.
Here is a video of Taigi shortly after her ruptured disc occurred. She cannot walk, and is annoyed and probably in pain here. We did get her pain medications, but it took some time to get the dosing right and for the anti-inflammatories to work:
It has now been a week since Taigi got the Stem Cells, and she is actually walking and has reflex response when her paws are pinched! She is also out of pain, she doesn’t yelp when touched on the back, and she no longer attempts to bite like she did. Animal Cell Therapies says it may take a month or so to see results, so we are super happy to see results already in week one. Here are two videos, take a look for yourself:
There are a few of things in Taigi’s future. Of course we need to see if she continues to improve. We may do another Stem Cell injection in a month, depending on how she is doing. We also would like to do an MRI to check the damage of the disc. One possibility is that the Stem Cells have repaired some of the nerves that were damaged or blocked, but the rupture could still damage them again. Hopefully an MRI can give us more specific details about this. Of course it is also possible that the improvements are not the result of the Stem Cell treatment. Dogs do sometimes recover partially from paralysis like this. However, we should note that there was no improvement until after the Stem Cell treatment. For the nearly two weeks until she received the treatment there was no improvement in walking, or reflexes. Of course we will be updating about Taigi and this treatment in our blog here. But right now, fingers-crossed, we are really excited about what this might mean for other dogs in the future! Also, listed here are links to videos of other dogs Animal Cell Therapies has provided Stem Cells to: