View Full Version : Installment 56 - Ask the Doctor with Larry Snyder, DVM

01-21-2013, 12:52 PM
Installment 56 - Ask the Doctor with Larry Snyder, DVM

About Larry Snyder, DVM
I have been involved with adipose stem cell use in small animals and horses since November 2011 at University Bird and Small Animal Clinic, PA (universitybird.com).
I have used MediVet-America’s technology exclusively in over 70 cases with exceptional response in conditions that traditional western medicine can only treat the symptoms of. MediVet-America (medivet-america.com) is based on technology developed in Australia by Dr. Visilis Paspaliaris for the human stem cell company Adistem. Fat is extracted either surgically or through liposuction with only 20 to 40 grams (2-4 tablespoons) of fat necessary for treatments. The fat is enzymatically digested to separate the stem cells and other cells present in the stromal vascular fraction (SVF). This stem cell rich fraction is rinsed and concentrated, mixed with platelet rich plasma (PRP) and activated with specific wavelength low-level laser light prior to being injected into the patient. This entire process in conducted in clinic and the stem cell suspension is ready to be administered within 3-4 hours of the fat being removed from the animal. Veterinary experience takes only basic surgical ability, processing of the adipose tissue uses standard laboratory procedures.

Q & A
Q:With the various lines of adult stem cells have you treated animals for ischemic brain damage? If so, what type of stem cells have you used and what were the results? If not, in your judgment what would be the best approach for treatment?
A: Ischemic brain disease in animals would be fairly difficult to diagnose with the currently available equipment in most veterinarians’ offices. In research or teaching institutions MRI, CAT scans, etc. would be available. I have therefore not treated any cases of ischemic brain disease in pets or horses. In my reading and research in stem cell therapy, stem cell usage will not only reduce the acute damage from ischemia on the brain, but also reduce the “ripple” damage radiating from the initial injury causing further damage to the brain tissue. Stem cell use in rats not only reduced the extent of damage to the brain by limiting inflammation, but facilitated “healing” and reconnections around the damaged area of the brain.

Q: My dog was recently diagnosed with myeloma. Hopefully, we caught it in time. Would stem cells help improve her overall health or would it not be a good idea because of the cancer? This would be assuming the cancer is removed and she is cancer free. She may have heart problems as well. She's 10.
A: Unfortunately, I encounter this question commonly in veterinary medicine and as of this date I do not recommend stem cell therapy for any cases of cancer. There are many factors in the fluid that we separate from the fat (called the Stromal Vascular Fraction) that promote new blood vessel growth, which is wonderful for healing but very bad for cancer victims because it may promote the growth of that cancer. There are many studies investigating the use of stem cells in cancer treatment both as a vehicle to carry treatments for cancer as well as specific stem cell types that have powerful cancer fighting properties. In your dog’s case, if you could be sure that all the cancer has been removed, stem cell therapy could be used if needed. The use of stem cells as a “tonic” has not been investigated for overall good health. Stem cells are attracted to areas of inflammation and from that standpoint their use would be beneficial along with their beneficial effect on the heart, which has been proved in human medicine. As to your dog’s age: We tell people that age is not a disease, and if she is healthy and able to undergo the surgery to remove the fat tissue – You will need to balance the benefits with the risks of surgery!

Q: What type of stem cell treatments appear to be the most successful for dogs? Are cats responding in the same manner as dogs to stem cell treatments? Do you believe similar responses are possible in humans?
A: At the current time I am only doing adipose stem cell therapy on animals. Our current success rate on dogs, cats and horses is over 90% of the animals are showing improvement from the therapy. With my reading and research into stem cells, adipose stem cells appear to be gaining recognition as the premier therapy for arthritis, muscle, tendon, and bone injury. Cats as well as dogs are benefiting from adipose stem cell treatments. All the treatments that were are using in animals are currently being used on humans throughout the world. There are human physicians in the US using stem cell therapy but keep a low profile due to FDA pressures.

Q: Since so much successful work seems to be going on with animals and stem cell treatments, why wouldn't the FDA recognize these as legitimate animal studies which would pave the way to allowing humans to get autologous stem cell treatment? It seems to me that the veterinarians doing treatments on various animals have already established safety.
A: Very good question!! In most research, animal studies are completed before human clinical trials are undertaken to work out the “bugs” in the procedure. Stem cells represent a complete reversal of that normal. The human use of stem cells occurred prior to animal use and therefore humans are the test animals and our dogs, cats and horses get to benefit. Success or safety in animals or humans is not an issue to this date. We are using the animals own stem cells, mixed with their own plasma in the treatment – There is very little to no chance of negative reaction!!

Q: I'm hearing different things on adipose stem cell treatments. Are the stem cells themselves safe? If the doctor does not handle them properly could they be unsafe or ineffective? In other words, how much depends on the doctor's expertise?
A: I have been using adipose stem cells on over 75 animals to date with no adverse reactions of any sort. When you realize that the stem cells are from the body that they originated from , only separated from the fat tissue they reside in, activated and reinjected into the joints or IV, there is little reason to suspect or anticipate a negative reaction. Stem cells are living cells so they need to be treated gently to be teased from their fatty home. Proper handling of the tissues during processing, using sterile technique, will ensure a safe and sterile product to be reinjected in the patient. Processing of the fat into stem cells is an art and takes practice and attention to detail by the technician. Reinjection of the stem cells by the doctor would follow sterile protocol both in the joint injection and filtered IV injection of the cells.

Q: Have you had any success in nerve regeneration or have you heard of any success? I am thinking of getting treatment for myself, but knowing if success had been reached in an animal model would be good to know.
A: Nerve regeneration in animals is reported to be occurring but difficult to measure in clinical veterinary practice. We have used stem cells IV in a dog with Degenerative Myelopathy (animal model of ALS in humans) and noted a slowing of the progression of the disease, but that may be the nature of the disease. Other vets are using stem cells IV and Intrathecally and are reporting longer remission times but the jury is still out. There are many humans that are getting stem cell treatments for MS with very good results. It is so sad that the US government through the FDA is effectively banning their use. More to point in veterinary medicine, we are relying on clinical response to stem cell treatments for CNS diseases rather than clinical trials. Most veterinarians involved in this work are very pleased with the response of the animals to stem cell therapy.

Q: How do you treat horses? Do you go to where they live? Do the horses and other animals have to be put under general anesthesia? After treatment, is response pretty immediate?
A: I have now been involved with 12 horse cases with Dr. Preston Hickman in Wichita, KS and have been equally amazed with the response of the horses to stem cells as I have been with the small animal response. Dr. Hickman has a very nice clinic and is one of the foremost equine lameness diagnosticians in the 5 state area. Other vets because of their poor prognosis have written off most of the horses that we have treated. Severe flexor tendon injuries, fractured sesmoids, ringbone, arthritis and laminitis have all be successfully treated with stem cells. The procedures are all done at Dr. Hickman’s clinic, using standing sedation and local infusion of an anesthetic solution into the area that the fat is collected, fat is collected using liposuction. Usually the fat pads on both sides of the tailhead are used and provide an excellent fat supply. Sterile injections into the affected areas or joints along with IV injection is done upon completion of stem cell processing and activation. The response on most horses is rapid, with pain relief initially and stem cell proliferation during the next 2-4 weeks and continues for up to 8-9 months. Proper physical therapy and levels of conditioning are essential to good response.

Q: Do you believe that suffering human patients should have the same right to access their own stem cells for treatments as animals do? If you do, what is your opinion as to why some researchers want to raise so many hurdles that many of us will be dead before we can get treatment? I wish I was a dog sometimes.
A: Absolutely!!! Humans, suffering or not, should have access to stem cell therapy upon demand and paid for by their health insurance. Regenerative medicine one of the fasted growing areas in medicine, veterinary and human, and most of the Pharma companies are positioning themselves to make as much money as possible. I am seeing autologous adipose stem cell therapy, such as I am using in animals, to be a potential competitor to the therapies being developed by Pharma. The use of in-house processed adipose stem cells is relatively low cost, safe and effective in both animals and humans, but there is little profit to be made by Pharma. This is the problem for them and the best way to protect their profit potential is to not let the human use of autologous adipose stem cells to become popular and especially to have insurance payment of these procedures. Unfortunately, the tail wags the dog, and FDA listens. I’m afraid that if I was faced with the need for stem cell therapy, I would have to go where they are available, in the US or not!!
Q: If you treat a dog with arthritis, is it something that needs to be repeated or does one treatment usually last the lifetime of the animal. I am assuming that the dog is probably late middle age to senior when it is treated.
A: When we treat younger animals with stem cells, we assume that they are going to be more active and therefore need to be retreated at some point. Most of the dogs we are treating seem to get progressively better for approx. 9 months to a year and if we have stem cell banked for them, they will benefit with a reinjection of stem cells at that point. We have banked stem cells on a 14 year old dogs that has benefited from repeat injections at 3-6 month intervals for arthritic changes of the spine. Once again, we do not consider age to be a disease and we really have no idea how much longer any pet will live.

Q: What animals can be treated with stem cells and for what diseases and conditions? I read stories about cats, dogs, horses, rats, mice but I haven't read anything about birds or zoo animals for instance.
A: Rats and mice are used extensively in stem cell research. We have treated dogs, cats and horses successfully. I am currently working with a zoo and hope to be treating a Red Kangaroo with severe arthritis in her hock in the near future. Many zoo animals have been treated with stem cells and benefit just as much from the therapy and domestic animals and humans. I know of at least 1 bird that was treated with adipose stem cells that worked very well. Stem cell therapy should be able to be used in any bird or animal. As degenerative or inflammatory diseases present themselves in any animal, I’ll probably be looking toward stem cells as a possible treatment.

Q: Is there any evidence that stem cell treatments on pets have any anti-aging effects?
A: Anti-aging effects are hard to quantify in pets. As we use adipose stem cells we are seeing many, of what we are calling, “Side-benefits” – Unexpected positive side effects of the stem cells. One of the first was owners of the at least 2 dogs noting that their dogs were no longer experiencing thunderstorm anxiety which had been severe in both dogs. Almost every dog owner notes that their dog seems to be qualitatively improved in mental cognition – they seem more alert and more “in the moment”. There are numerous reports of dog that had experienced urinary incontinence prior to the stem cell therapy that no longer were needing their medication to prevent “leaking”. Skin and coat improvement appears to be almost uniform in pets undergoing stem cell usage, and allergies seem to be reduced.

Dr Snyder's Experience and Education
Orman Lawrence (Larry) Snyder II, DVM was born in Missouri, raised in Kansas and graduated in 1969 from Salina High School. He attended Kansas State University and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1976.
Dr. Snyder was initially employed and then purchased Countryside Animal Clinic, PA in Wetmore, KS and served the small northeastern Kansas community as a mixed animal and commercial kennel veterinarian for 15 years. Countryside Animal Clinic, PA was sold by Dr. Snyder in 1990. He started University Bird and Small Animal Clinic, PA in Topeka, KS in 1984, focusing on avian, exotic and small animal medicine and surgery. He is still in active practice at that clinic and emphasizes cutting-edge regenerative medicine through the use of adult adipose stem cell therapy. Dr. Snyder continues to serve commercial and show kennels and breeders in Topeka and surrounding areas. He is a member of the AVMA, KVMA, AHVMA and is licensed to practice in Kansas, Colorado and California. He is certified as an in-house Adipose Stem Cell Technologist with MediVet-America and assists other veterinarians in learning and utilizing the procedure.
Dr. Snyder was trained in Acupuncture at Colorado State University and has special interests in Alternative/Complementary Medicine, Avian/Exotic and Adult Stem Cell Therapy. He has done over 50 in-house Adult stem cell procedures on dogs and cats since starting the use of this technology in November 2010.
Dr. Snyder and his wife, Jeanine, have bred and shown AKC Yorkshire Terriers nationally for 15 years. He was a founding member and past president of the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation, which was formed to investigate diseases and conditions specific to the breed and raise money for that effort. During this time, he also served on the AKC Animal Health Foundation as a representative of the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America.
Dr. Snyder is a federally accredited veterinarian and has developed and maintained ongoing health plans for commercial kennels and pet stores as well as writing interstate and international health certificates. He has supervised and conducted a pivotal clinical trial for an international pharmaceutical company that resulted in the successful release of a major flea product.
Dr. Snyder has presented RACE approved lectures throughout the state of Kansas and in Texas and Florida on adult stem cell technology to Veterinarians, breed clubs and national field trials. He has been invited to, delivered lectures and demonstrated the processing to Veterinary Technician students within Kansas.