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Stem cell treatment, other breakthroughs giving pets longer, healthier lives

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Eight-year-old Sadie suffers from debilitating arthritis. To owners Greg and Marsha James, she is a miracle dog. Eight-year-old Sadie suffers from debilitating arthritis. To owners Greg and Marsha James, she is a miracle dog.
Stem cell treatment proves to be just one of many medical miracles at the Angel Care Cancer Center for Pets in Bartlett. Stem cell treatment proves to be just one of many medical miracles at the Angel Care Cancer Center for Pets in Bartlett.
This 2-year-old golden retriever has an unusual type of lymphoma. This 2-year-old golden retriever has an unusual type of lymphoma.
Lacey receives hour-long chemo drips. Lacey receives hour-long chemo drips.

(WMC-TV) - More than 60 percent of American households include at least one pet, and for many of us they are more like family than a four-legged friend.

Eight-year-old Sadie suffers from debilitating arthritis. To owners Greg and Marsha James, she is a miracle dog.

"She's my little girl, she's my baby," said owner Marsha. "I didn't know if we could do anything and what we could do, I thought we were gonna lose her."

Last year she could not even walk, but a scientific breakthrough using her own stem cells put the pep back in her step.

"Stem cell is used to treat chronic arthritic conditions," said Dr. Kathy Mitchener, DVM at Angel Care Center for Pets.

Dr. Kathy Mitchener removed a few ounces of fat from Sadie's tummy; a lab extracted the stem cells, which were then re-injected into her trouble spots.

"If there's joint destruction, if there's changes in metabolism then they change themselves and multiply to help address those issues," said Mitchener.

Stem cell treatment proves to be just one of many medical miracles at the Angel Care Cancer Center for Pets in Bartlett.

Take Rylee for example. The 2-year-old golden retriever has an unusual type of lymphoma.

"Riley was very young, and that's very , very frightening to have such a devastating disease," said Mitchener.

After 25 weeks of chemo therapy, Rylee went into remission.

"He's done great. It's been a long , long journey, but he made it," said owner Mike Dobrzeniecki.

Not every dog can be cured, but animals are living longer, happier lives. Like Lacey, who has a precious sheltie with a bladder tumor.

"We are never going to cure Lacey of her bladder tumor. It will always be there, but our goal is to make it smaller and to keep her happy and she's done great," said Mitchener.

Lacey receives hour-long chemo drips.

Scientific advancements in treatments for pets have come a long way since Mitchener began practicing more than 20 years ago.

"So, there's been a lot of changes, new drugs, better uses of the old drugs," said Mitchener. "Moms and dads always know what's best. You just have to find information, so please don't give up."

Mitchener says its important to know what options are out there, so you can make the best decision for you and your pet.

Pogo is in the early stages of treatment for an aggressive tumor on his abdomen, but he shows signs of improvement.

"I think it looks a little smaller," said Mitchener. "We've got a bunch more to go, but he's doing well ... You can be sad. You can be devastated. You can be scared to death, but you need to find someone who's going to walk you through sad devastated and scared to death so that you can do something."

Not everyone can afford the many treatments available. A stem cell treatment program can average about $3,000 thousand dollars. There are other less expensive options for pain management like acupuncture and laser therapy.

You can connect with vets at Angel Care Cancer Center for Pets by clicking here.

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