Stem cell research helping treat pets - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Stem cell research helping treat pets

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BOSTON (WHDH) -- The advancements over the years in stem cell research is not only helping humans - it's also benefiting our four legged friends.

"He's just a real sweet personality, you can't help but love him,” said Susan Enright.

Susan and Tim Enright's 5-year-old chocolate lab, Norman, had a stroke in April that left him paralyzed.

Now his veterinarian is performing stem cell treatments to help Norman recover.

The procedures may cost over $2,500. For the Enrights, it's worth it.

"If it works, if it gets him up and walking at any quality of life again... we don't expect him to be out there chasing the frisbee, but if he does that will be a bonus,” said Tim Enright.

Fat cells are pulled from Norman, and sent them to a lab to duplicate and create 4 million stem cells.

They are sent back, and injected into Norman.

Norman's doctor says this new technology makes treating animals worthwhile.

"It makes it much easier but it also makes it more rewarding because you see a patient like this that we couldn't help years ago that now we're able to help. The dog in most cases would be put to sleep but in this case the dog continues to thrive,” said Dr. Ronald Anders, veterinarian.

For animal owners, this new technology allows families to hold onto the family pet a little longer.

"Five years ago even the vets would've said there's nothing we could do and we probably would've just said put him to sleep. So it opens up a whole new avenue of choice for people,” said Susan Enright.

Stem cell therapy has also shown promise in treating dogs with arthritis.

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