Bay County - On October 22, Rascal looked his age.
The eleven-year-old Doberman-Collie mix was in a lot of pain and having difficulty doing just about everything.
"Rascal had arthritis in his joints and hip dysplasia. He was just real sluggish,” said Leslie Thompson, Rascal’s owner.
Three weeks later and that’s not the case. He’s standing, jumping, and even doing his favorite activity of all, playing Frisbee.
"Before, he could hardly run. He couldn’t get up and down. Now he's getting up real quick, playing Frisbee. He's full of life now,” Thompson said.
Rascal underwent the first in-clinic animal stem cell regenerative therapy in the state.
In less than a month, his owner says he's seen a complete 180 in Rascal's temperament and pain levels.
"Both dogs are currently off of all the anti-inflammatory pain meds they were on and are more active and less painful now after the stem cell procedure,” said Dr. Matt Lebleu, a veterinarian at the Animal Care Center in Panama City Beach.
Veterinarians use stem cells from the animal's own fat as opposed to their bone marrow, which was much more invasive.
The entire procedure now takes less than four hours
"For such a short procedure, it can be done in house, drop the dog off send him home on the same day, I mean we're very impressed with the results and happy. Anything we can do to prolong and provide a better quality of life for our patients is a plus for us,” Dr. Lebleu said.
The procedure costs between 1700 and 1800 dollars. This is about half the cost of former procedures.
Animal Care Center staff says they hope to offer the in-clinic animal stem cell therapy on a weekly basis, within a few weeks.
"We're real pleased. For a matter of fact, they could do it on me if it was legal,” Thompson joked.
Veterinarians say the other original stem cell participant, Hummer the yellow lab, is also recuperating nicely.
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