The State of Stem Cell Use in Horses

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The State of Stem Cell Use in Horses
Stem cell therapy is a rapidly evolving research area. | Photo: The Horse Staff

Veterinarians first used stem cells as a regenerative therapy in horses in 1995. Since then, scientists have learned a lot about stem cells and how they work, and the treatment is becoming more common for certain types of injuries. The field is rapidly evolving, though, and veterinary researchers have many more questions they hope to answer in their quest to help horses.

Lauren Schnabel, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, is an associate professor of equine orthopedic surgery in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. She recently spoke at the 2020 Northeastern Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium, held virtually, where she shared the current use of stem cells in horses and the research leading us into the future.

Autologous vs. Allogeneic Stem Cells

Stem cells are cells that have two unique properties: the ability to self-renew, creating more new stem cells, and the potential to develop into many types of cells, such as muscle, blood cells, or bone

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Stacy Pigott is a freelance writer based in Tucson, Arizona. For 25 years, Stacy served as editor for various equine publications in the Quarter Horse racing and Western performance horse industries. She currently works at the University of Arizona, where she is a public information officer covering health sciences news and research. She hopes to compete in eventing and jumping with her OTTB Nicky.

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