Forever Hound Trust is a charity dedicated to rescuing and homing greyhounds and lurchers in need. For most dogs this means a short stay with the charity while they are medically and emotionally assessed, receive any treatment they need, and matched with the right home for them.
However, occasionally a dog comes along with more complex needs and the charity needs to continue to be involved in their lives long after they have left their kennels. These dogs are known as ‘Sponsor Dogs’ and they live with experienced volunteers and continue to receive treatment while living in as normal an environment as possible.
One such Sponsor Dog is Bambi, a greyhound who lives with Forever Hounds Trust volunteer Julie in Gloucestershire. Bambi has a complicated medical history and as such requires ongoing treatment, which would be costly if it wasn’t for the combination of the charity supporting him and the comprehensive pet insurance taken out to help cover his medical needs.
One of the advantages of Bambi’s Sponsor Dog status is that he is surrounded by people who care intensely about his welfare and will do whatever is required to ensure he is safe and comfortable. As a result of this Bambi has recently underwent stem cell therapy, a treatment that is relatively new in the UK, to help ease pain from a shoulder injury.
Bambi’s vet diagnosed degenerative changes in his shoulder, which was causing chronic lameness. While stem cell therapy is still new, initial results have been very encouraging and there is an increasing body of evidence to support its use. Therefore, it was felt that it would be worth trying it to see if it would ease Bambi’s discomfort.
The vet was confident that the treatment would not only ease the lameness in Bambi’s shoulder, but would improve it to such an extent that they would be able to reduce some of the medication Bambi was being given.
The adipose derived stem cell therapy involved Bambi having some cells transplanted into his shoulder. The stem cells were cultured from Bambi’s own body and this regenerative medicine works by stimulating the body’s own repair mechanism to healed damaged tissues by regenerating, replacing or changing cells.
Stem cells are able to adapt to the environment they are in, and become different cells depending on where they are in the body.
Bambi’s vet, Rachel Mowbray at Vale Vets and Vale Referrals, has been using stem cells for a variety of cases, and it has proved successful. For Bambi this is certainly the case. He has responded well to treatment and is currently free of pain in his shoulder. Indeed, Julie says the treatment has given him a new lease of life!
To find out more about Forever Hounds Trust Sponsor Dog scheme, please click here.