New canine stem cell treatment launched in the UK

DogStem has been developed by TVM and is marketed as “the first and only licensed stem cell treatment for dogs with osteoarthritis”. It is indicated for use in cases of mild to severe elbow and hip osteoarthritis.

The use of stem cell therapy to treat OA has been increasing in popularity over the last decade or so, as owners and vets look for other ways to manage this debilitating disease.

Up until now, stem cell therapy has involved the patient undergoing an initial general anaesthetic and surgical procedure to harvest the mesenchymal stem cells from either adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow. The samples are then sent to the lab for separation and concentration. A second general anaesthetic is then required to inject the stem cells into the target area. The stem cells harvested from the patient can vary in quality due to tissue source, processing methods and age of patient.

DogStem simplifies the process by negating the need for the surgical harvesting procedure and only requiring the dog to have the one general anaesthetic for the injection(s). It also standardises the quality of the stem cells being given.

“DogStem offers a ready-to-use formulation of stem cells gathered in an ethical and sustainable way from equine umbilical cords after birthing. The source is not farmed and gathering is non-invasive.” The equine umbilical cord is considered by TVM to be a reliable source of good quality stem cells and has shown to be safe and effective when used in dogs.

TVM says DogStem has been shown to offer long term efficacy of 3 months to more than 12 months following a single injection.

In a prospective randomised, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial, results showed that:


  • 63% of dogs showed a clinically relevant improvement in force-plate gait analysis 8 weeks after treatment.


  • 77% had an improved orthopaedic examination by week 8.


  • 60% of owners reported improvement in walking, 27% in playing with other dogs and 42% reported reduced stiffness after sleeping, 12-18 months after administration.


  • 65% of owners considered the treatment improved their pet’s quality of life 8 weeks after treatment.


  • 59% reported the treatment’s effects lasted longer than 6 months.


But the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating, and we look forward to seeing the clinical outcomes of the use of DogStem and how vets think it compares to traditional stem cell therapy.

Here at Wellpethub, we hope that this new product will encourage the use of stem cells in the management of osteoarthritis and make the therapy more accessible to first opinion veterinary practices.