Stem Cells Could Get Pup Walking Again | NBC Southern California

Stem Cells Could Get Pup Walking Again

Only half a dozen dogs have had the procedure in CA

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    A Labrador retriever is looking forward to walking pain-free after receiving a stem cell operation to ease pain in her right hip.

    Sierra, a 3-year-old Orange County black lab, has had chronic hip pain for months -- a condition that could be hip dysplasia, a common condition in labs.

    Sharon Oaks, Sierra's owner, said that she tried pain medication for the pup, but the problem has only worsened.

    "She keeps that right rear leg up in the air and she'll be hopping around on three legs…so I can tell it's really hurting her now," Oaks said.

    One option for Sierra was a total hip replacement -- a procedure that can cost upwards of $12,000. Instead, Oaks opted to get her pooch stem cell therapy, which costs around $1,800.

    Sierra is only the seventh animal to receive the stem cell procedure from MediVet-America in California. The goal is to encourage Sierra's own stem cells to repair her damaged hips.

    The procedure can be done in one trip to the veterinarian's office and has a recovery time of about three weeks, according to the company that invented the procedure.

    "I'm hoping she's just able to be her good old normal self and we can go on our long walks again" Oaks said.