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Flory's Story - Amputee With Severe Arthritis

All she had left was her right front leg and that leg had severe elbow arthritis. She had suffered serious trauma when she was young. The left front leg had suffered such serious trauma that the animal shelter was forced to amputate that leg; the trauma her right elbow sustained set the unrelenting arthritic process in motion. The arthritic clock was ticking but Flory's regular veterinarian didn't have a full grasp of what Flory needed done so precious time was lost as the disease ran unabated.

Florence was 12 years old when we first had the opportunity to work with her. Arthritis had progressed over an 11 year period. Despite being on chronic NSAID and tramadol therapy, Flory was getting worse; especially over the 4 months prior to her evaluation. She was stumbling, falling on her nose, taking shorter and shorter walks, and she would wake up in the early morning hours crying and panting in pain. Flory's veterinarian told her Mom that there wasn't anything else that could be done for Flory but she suggested that the APMC be consulted before she gave up all hope.

Flory's allopathic pain medications were expanded to create a more balanced multimodal strategy. Acupuncture and physical rehabilitation therapy sessions were immediately incorporated into her multidisciplinary management program.

With her pain coming under control Flory's muscle strength and flexibility as well as her sense of balance were addressed with increasingly aggressive therapy programs conducted both at home and at the practice. Flory's home environment was modified to aid in her mobility and to minimize her Mom's own risk of injury; the risk of injury for any human helping a dog with poor mobility.

Within 6 weeks her elbow range of motion had increased by 40 degree! Flory became much brighter. She was able to go on much longer walks with her Mom and she once again patrolled her yard with enthusiasm. Flory (and her Mom) slept much better.

Flory's progress was so stunning, her Mom elected to have Flory under mesenchymal stem cell therapy (MSCT). Source fat was collected in step one, the sample was overnighted to Vet-Stem in San Diego where it was processed and returned the following day for direct implantation into the elbow joint. The sequence went off without a hitch, further optimizing the quality of her joint surfaces as well as her comfort level.

In the end, Flory wasn't lost to her elbow arthritis; instead, an acutely worsening severe spinal pain event over one Memorial Day weekend forced her family to let her go.

We only wish that we could have intervened in Flory's arthritic disease at the time of her initial injury; when the earliest seeds of arthritic disease are planted.

We suggest that all amputees and all arthritic patients be evaluated at the earliest possible point in time to maximize the patients comfort and quality of life in a manner that should predictably add years to the patient's life expectancy.

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