HomeLaser Therapy BlogCase Study- How Regenerative Medicine gave Duncan His Step Back

Case Study- How Regenerative Medicine gave Duncan His Step Back

Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating impact on a patient’s life. For the canine patient, spinal cord injuries are surprisingly common, accounting for approximately 2% of all cases that are presented to the veterinarian*. The most common forms of injuries arise from acute disc herniation, spinal trauma, fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy and chronic diseases including degenerative myelopathy and spinal stenosis. While the initial injury to the spine is a major concern, it’s the secondary effects of that trauma that have long lasting effects including impaired blood flow which can lead to “stroke-like” events.

Spinal tissue has poor regenerative properties, which can provide a challenge to the attending veterinarian when choosing a treatment program for their patient. Depending on the severity of the injury, some patients can make a significant recovery with a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Some patients, however, may remain unresponsive to physical rehabilitation and require further intervention. Below is an overview to a case study originally reported in Veterinary Practice News  (February 2016) by David R. Mason, B. Vet. Med, DACVS, DECVS, of Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center. This case study focuses on a young, 5-year-old Labrador Retriever named Duncan with Fibrocartilaginous Embolic Myelopathy (FCE).

FCE is a condition in which a fragment of disc material is somehow forced into the spinal vasculature. This migration of disc material causes a “stroke-like” event, cutting off blood flow to the surrounding spinal tissue. This event can cause partial or complete paralysis to the patient. FCE is most commonly reported in large and giant breeds, but is also prevalent in sheep dogs and miniature schnauzers. The most common treatment protocol for patients with FCE is based around aggressive supportive care and physical therapy.

Duncan’s owners reported that he was in the back yard when he vocalized and then was found unable to move his back limbs. After undergoing a thorough evaluation at Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center (LVVSC), it was determined that Duncan was suffering from FCE. Subsequently, Duncan was enrolled in a 16-month rehabilitation program, but his condition did not improve and he remained non-ambulatory in his back limbs. Knowing that additional treatment options were limited for Duncan, Dr. Mason elected to treat Duncan with a combination of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC). Duncan was treated with an epidural injection of PRP/BMAC solution which was produced using the Companion Regenerative Therapies System. After injection, Duncan recovered from anesthesia without incident and returned to his dedicated rehabilitation program.

By day 14, Duncan’s owners reported an increase in energy and after continuing his rehabilitation, Duncan is now able to take several steps without the assistance of a sling or cart. Although Duncan’s condition may not return fully to pre-injury form, this case provides a positive outlook to treating spinal conditions with regenerative medicine.

To read more about Duncan’s story, click here.

To learn about the Companion Regenerative Therapies System and upcoming educational opportunities, please click here.

* https://cvm.ncsu.edu/research/labs/clinical-sciences/canine-spinal-cord-injury/

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