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Suffering canines get stem therapy boost

Lucknow: Stem cell therapy has come to the rescue of canines suffering from spinal injuries.

For the first time in the country, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Bareilly has successfully used Allogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy – a cell transplant technique to cure canines.

"The Physiology and Climatology (P&C) and Surgery divisions of IVRI have achieved success in treating pet dogs with spinal injuries. The suffering canines could not be treated with conventional methods and owners were contemplating euthanasia," Institute`s Vice-Chancellor M C Sharma told media.

"This is the first research outcome in animals in the country," he said.

He said road accidents, trauma following fall from a height or dog fights are common cause of spinal injuries among canines which lead to prolonged problems.

"Scientists of the institute have been working on treatment through Allogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy and have finally achieved success and have treated two dogs by using this technique," Sharma said.

"A three-and-a-half-year-old male Dachshund dog had suffered a hind limb paralysis during a dog fight that resulted in compression of the spinal chord and fracture in vertebrae as a result the animal dragged the hind quarters," he said.

A team of scientists Tanu Sharma and Amar Pal aspirated bone marrow cells of the dog.

"Mesenchymal cells stem cells were isolated and cultured in the laboratory and transplanted at the site of the injury of the canine. After three months treatment, the animal was able to move freely and all the wounds of the hind feet had healed," he said.

Sharma said the institute scientists also successfully treated another Spitz dog, who had suffered a fall from height resulting in fracture of vertebrae and disk protrusion.

"After the initial success further research and clinical trials are continuing at IVRI and hopefully the stem cell technology will soon be used in specialised veterinary clinics to treat such cases that are not amenable to conventional methods," he said.

He said stem cells, considered as wonder cells that can be used for regenerating therapy, are a promising field of research with immense potential.

"Research related to mainly embryonic stem cells, cord blood and mesenchymal stem cells is being conducted at the institute which is funded by the Department of Biotechnology and India Council of Agricultural Research New Delhi," Sharma said.

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