Basco, Army Dog getting Stem Cell Treatment

By Eliane Furst For Dog Files

Basco, a 7-year-old bomb sniffing German Sheperd Dog received revolutionary stem-cell therapy Thursday at the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Basco suffers from osteoarthritis in his left hip.

Pioneered by MediVet-America, the procedure involves removing fat tissue from an animal, separating fat cells from stem cells in a centrifuge, and injecting the stem cells into the affected area in the animal. The cells then repair the area by taking on the properties of the nearby cells; in Basco’s case, they will turn into cartilage.

The procedure will be performed by Wendy Baltzer, assistant professor of small-animal surgery at the college. The surgery is expected to be completed in less than four hours.

Though this will be the first procedure of its kind to be performed in Oregon, it has been performed elsewhere on dogs, cats, and horses with tendon and cartilage injuries.

Basco, who was trained by the U.S. military, served two tours of duty in Iraq. Debbie Richter of Medford, Oregon adopted him.

As thanks to Basco for his military service, MediVet-America is covering the cost of the procedure which is approximately $1,800.