Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stem Cells Re-Injected!!

About 18 months ago, I underwent the Vet-Stem procedure to get some of my adult stem cells. We injected my stem cells into a couple of my joints, as well as an intravenous injection for them to go to wherever it's needed.

Today, I was going to have an intravenous stem cell re-injection! Since Vet-Stem got my tissue 18 months ago, all that was needed was a call to the lab to have them "culture" more of my stem cells.

Brief description about Vet-Stem:

What is Vet-Stem?

The procedure involves getting some fat tissue out of an animal, and sending the tissue via overnight courier to a laboratory in San Diego, California where they will separate the adult stem cells from the fat tissue. They will then courier the separated stem cells back to the vet clinic where the effected joint/joints will be injected with the stem cells, as well as a dose intravenously. The fat collection is basically the only invasive part of the surgery as it does require the animal to be put under a general anesthetic while a 2.5 inch incision is made on the belly to harvest fat tissue.

What do stem cells do?

Stem cells has the ability of becoming virtually any kind of cells in the body. They can differentiate into tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, cardiac, nerve, muscle, blood vessels, fat, and liver tissue. When injected into a diseased joint, the stem cells will differentiate into whatever cells that are needed by the joint (ie, cartilage).

When injected intravenously, stem cells travel to the tissue/organ that's in stress and try to restore optimal health by becoming specific tissue cells.

Since my joints are still doing pretty good from the injections done 18 months ago, mum only chose to do an intravenous dose this time. (mum: joint injections require a 5-10 minute anesthesia. We try to avoid anesthetics as much as we can.)

Auntie Jen gave me a hug while Auntie Kate got the needle and catheter ready,

Auntie Kate asked if she could practice putting a catheter in me because she had just finished school. Mum said sure as long as she gets it first try! (no pressure at all!)

(mum: Jen and Kate are our techs. Jen is the senior (experience wise) tech, who can pass as a vet no problem. Kate had just finished tech school and is starting to work at the clinic. Since Sunshade is SO good about being poked, she was the ideal candidate for Kate to practice on.)

Auntie Kate got it on her first try!

I was all set, Auntie Jen fed me while we waited for my Auntie Janice to finish up with her last client. (mum: Janice is our vet.)

This was the box my stem cells came in, those tubes were meant for the fat extraction procedure. We did that 18 months ago, so we didn't need to use them this time.

My stem cells!

Look at my boootiful pink stem cells,

No, I wasn't impatient at all,

See, I was very patient with my Aunties!!

Here's my Auntie Janice, first doing a saline flush to get the catheter flowing. The saline was a bit cold, hence my wonderful expression,

Now the real deal - MY SuperSTEM-CELLS!! 1 ml per minute,

Auntie Janice asked Kate to find my pulse and leave her hand there in case I went into anaphylatic shock, (mum: not that it should happen since Sunshade has had her own stem cells injected intravenously previously already, but just to be safe)

As long as you keep on FEEEEEEEDING me, I won't go into shock!

OKAY... now I'm about to go into shock... Nobuddy is feeding me....!

All four of my Aunties with me! That's Auntie Sue (mum: Sunshade's other wonderful vet!) leaning against the door. Oh, and I had just realized there were two K-I-T-T-I-E-S watching me from inside the crates that were sitting on top of the counter,

ALL DONE! I need to be fed please, or I'm going into shock!

If you would like to read in detail about the fat extraction surgery and the stem cell injections (into joints), please visit my previous posts:

Video of MY fat harvesting surgery:

Video of MY stem cells being injected into elbow, knee and intravenous:

Monday, September 05, 2011

I'm sorry.......

Mum took us to one of my favouritest places, University of British Columbia for a walk today.

I saw a lovely hedge and I started running in circles, wagging my tail,

And then I jumped into the hedge, and came out,

And then this.....

The thing is though, I really didn't mean to hurt him. I just wanted to catch him, and then be friends with him.

I put him down on the ground,

I thought he would start crawling like my Mousie used to do when I would take him out of his cage and set him down,

I waited,

And waited..... but he never did crawl around...

(mum: Sunshade loves to walk on UBC campus. It all dates back to when I was going to school there, I would bring her to school with me a lot of the days. She knows to check every garbage can around the campus as rats like to hide under, and squirrels like to go inside the can. Today was no different, but it was a hedge instead.

We had walked past the hedge, and then Sunshade doubled back to it. She started running in circles around the hedge, and periodically sticking her head inside the hedge while wagging her tail. Then came the pounce, and she came out with a rat in her mouth. She sat him down gently, and just stared at him. She was expecting him to start crawling around.

I have no doubt that the initial pounce was that terrier hunting instinct. However, once it was in her mouth and she brought it out, she went back to the state where she actually wanted to be friends and be nice to the rat. You may recall I had inherited a pet hamster when Sunshade was about 3, and she used to open the cage, grab the hamster by the scruff or loose skin, and set him down and watch him run around (he always ended up behind the fridge scrounging for food).

So when this poor guy didn't move, Sunshade would go over, pick him up gently by grabbing his skin, and then set him down again to see if he would crawl around. I think she associated her picking it up, setting it down, to the rodent moving. When it didn't move, she just laid beside it and waited. She actually looked very sad and disappointed.

Now here comes the bad part..... I assumed the rat was dead when she brought it out, and for the longest time, I thought it was dead because it never moved. But it turned out to still be alive.... barely, but still alive. I don't think Sunshade ever meant to kill him, but the force of her pounce and catch was enough to almost kill him. When I realized he was still alive, and neither Sunshade nor Jaffa looked like they were going to end his suffering, I picked him up with a poop bag and laid him in the shade under some shrubs.

RIP rat...

Sunshade has no interest in dead animals, even one's she meant to kill (those get a shake). I thought it was weird the way she waited by him, it was almost like how she was with her bunny Georgie, and hamster Mousie. She must have known he was still alive....

The video below basically sums up what I have written above, about her trying to "wake" the rat up after she had waited. You may or may not want to watch it. I still had no idea he was alive until the very end of the video when he moved. You'll see that Sunshade also noticed he had moved and she stopping touching him and waited for him to spring back to life I guess....)

I'm so sorry Mr. Rat... I just wanted to bring you out and be friends with you....

You can see more of my interactions with mousies HERE!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Taiwanese Fest

We went to the Taiwanese Festival today in downtown Vancouver.

Mum is from Taiwan, so she said she was going to find her roots.

Well she found them alright, at the BEEF NOOOOOOODLE booth!

Here I was, guarding the seats for mum and D-Guy (they had better reward ME with the BEEEEEF from the noodle soup!),

After they had their bellies filled (not mine!), me and D-Guy took a break in the shade,

Okay... I sort of was in a comatose state due to the heat... Mum re-wet my shammy coat and put it on me to lower my core temperature...

And then I ended up home, not sure what happened in between... Hope you're all having a great Sunday!!