My cat Pasha has been such a great companion throughout the years. When I got Pasha some 16 years ago, it was love at first site. Although cats are in general much more independent than dogs, Pasha loves affection. He loves giving it and even more so, he loves being kissed and getting belly rubs. When we aren’t cuddling, Pasha enjoys people watching out the window and playing with his toys. A few months ago I started noticing changes in Pasha’s behavior. He seemed to be having some difficulty getting around. He was not jumping; which prevented him from getting up to and down from the window ledge that he enjoyed watching the world around him from. I also noticed that it was taking Pasha longer to stand up and lay down; as if each move required a tremendous amount of effort and was causing a great deal of pain. Were these changes Pasha just getting older? Was he destined to living out the rest of his life as an inactive cat? Was there anything I could do!?
I took Pasha to the veterinarian who examined him and found that Pasha had arthritis and back problems. Which is common in all dogs and cats. The only solution my Veterinarian could offer for this problem was doping Pasha up on pain medicine or doing back surgery. Surgery for my 16 year old, little Pasha!? I couldn’t bear the thought. Aside from the expensive price tag, surgery meant going under the knife, possible infection and a long and very painful recovery. Also there were no guarantees that a surgery would correct the problem. There had to be another option out there…and I was going to find it!
I remembered my friend telling me about a holistic Veterinarian in New York City that was using alternative therapies to care for animals. Pasha’s condition was worsening each day, so I figured I had nothing to loose and contacted Babette Gladstein, VMD.
I spoke with Dr. Gladstein about a number of alternative treatments that we could utilize to help get Pasha back to his feet and comfortable again. Dr. Gladstein told me about regenerative medicine and how such treatments could regenerate damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves.
The first of Pasha’s treatments would be Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy (proliferative therapy), also known as ligament reconstructive therapy, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that non-surgically stimulates the body’s natural healing processes to strengthen tendons and ligaments around joints weakened by trauma, arthritis or the aging process. Dr. Gladstein administered these treatment injections, in Pasha’s hips and back and knees. The stimulatory solutions were injected into ligaments, tendons and joints to cause a natural repair of damaged and lax tissues. This help to stabilize my cats back very well.
The more I learned about Prolotherapy, the more I believed in it. The proof was in the pudding! Pasha appeared to be getting stronger with every treatment he received from Dr. Gladstein.
It is important for ligaments and tendons of animals and humans to be strong as they ensure bones and joints are appropriately held together to provide the body proper ambulation. Pasha’s joints had weakened because they had been stretched, torn, or fragmented and had become hypermobile and painful. Pasha has shown much progress after two sessions of Prolotherapy on his back and hips.
What’s great about Prolotherapy is that it directly addresses the cause of instability and repairs the weakened sites, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint. When precisely injected into the site of pain or injury, Prolotherapy creates a mild, controlled inflammation which fuels the body to create new tendon or ligament fibers, resulting in a strengthening of the weakened structure. When the joint becomes strong the pain is relieved.
Prolotherapy has been used for years in Veterinary medicine and all those practitioners published in the Journal of Prolotherapy have reported 80-90% success rates.
Regenerative medicine usually but not exclusively implies the use of stem cells; which was Pasha’s second type of treatment with Dr. Gladstein. Dr. Gladstein has injected Pasha with cells called ACell -ECM(extra cellular matrix), which are biologically active mediators of stem cells that cause tissue healing.
In combination with Prolotherapy, which has thickened the ligaments around Pasha’s hip and back, stem cell injections are acting to regenerate Pasha’s hip joint. Pasha has shown extensive progress. He is moving around with greater ease and is able to get up to and down from the window ledge.
I’m so glad I went the regenerative medicine route for Pasha. Surgery would have been a big mistake, as it often fails to stabilize the joint and relieve pain permanently and is a set up for residual arthritis.
Now, more so than ever, regenerative medicine is finding its place in mainstream medicine. Regenerative treatments cost a fraction of traditional surgery and spare our furry friends from exaggerated pain and discomfort and long recovery periods.
With all the alternatives now available in veterinary medicine and a large body of evidence that Prolotherapy works the question shouldn’t be “why Prolotherapy” but “why not Prolotherapy—why not regenerative medicine.” Regenerative medicine is the medicine of the future.
Babette Gladstein, VMD is a licensed veterinarian in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and California. Specializing in animal physical therapy. Dr. Gladstein’s practices in both traditional and non-traditional approaches to the care and maintenance of dogs in all types and sizes.
Dr. Gladstein’s skilled therapeutic treatment options include acupuncture, ultrasound, chiropractic and massage therapy and prolotherapy.
Dr. Babette Gladstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. She did post-doctoral work in veterinary acupuncture at the American Academy of Veterinary Medical Acupuncture at Colorado State University, as well as pre-veterinary studies at Hunter College in New York City.
Babette Gladstein, VMD