Oregon dog to get stem cells to help heal hip

Published 7:55 am Friday, February 11, 2011

MEDFORD, Ore. — A former Oregon military dog that did two tours of duty sniffing out bombs in Iraq is going to receive stem cell therapy to treat osteoarthritis in his hips.

The Mail Tribune reports the 80-pound German shepherd named Basco was adopted in November by Debbie Richter in Medford after he was discharged by the military.

Hip problems such as arthritis can lead to early death for larger dogs, and surgery options such as hip replacement have a limited chance of success for an older dog like Basco, who is 7.

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While researching alternatives, Richter says she found MediVet-America, which offers a stem cell treatment for joint problems in dogs and horses using the animal’s own stem cells to regenerate damaged tissue.

An Oregon State University veterinarian will perform the procedure.