Courtesy of Dr. Norm Griggs
A two-year-old Florida panther named Buddah has a new lease on life thanks to the staff of the Tallahassee Museum of Natural History and veterinarian Dr. Norm Griggs’ interest in regenerative medicine.
According to his fascinating blog, My patients, My life, Dr. Griggs looked forward to meeting the new “kitty”. But shortly after the cat arrived, he received a phone call from Mike Jones, the curator of the museum. From the tone of Mike’s voice, Dr. Griggs knew that he had some bad news coming.
Buddah injured his shoulder or elbow a few months prior to arriving at the museum. While he appeared recovered, suddenly he started limping again on his front left leg. The panther’s medical history was sketchy, so it was difficult to learn how his injury had been treated. A thorough evaluation, including X-rays to get to the root of his lameness, was in order.
After evaluating the panther’s elbow, Dr. Griggs ascertained that at one point the cat had injured the joint surface of the radius; the main bone in his foreleg. Deciding the best course of treatment for this beautiful young panther was a challenge.
With pain management and medication to slow the progress of the devastating arthritis that was attacking his elbow, Buddah was doing well. He was active and playing. But when Dr. Griggs received a phone call from Mike one Saturday night, he braced for even more devastating news; while playing, Buddah had injured himself running into a fence. The panther hadn’t been putting weight on the leg, and Mike feared it was broken.
While the X-rays revealed no break, Buddah’s range of motion was impaired. As such, Dr. Griggs primary concern became giving this cat a good quality of life.
In approaching the panther’s medical situation, Dr. Griggs recalled his interest in regenerative medicine. Could stem cell treatment be a possible solution? He contacted Vet Stem, tops in the field in veterinary regenerative medicine, completed a credentialing course and was certified to utilize the treatment.
Dr. Griggs’ thoughts on regenerative medicine proved to be right on target. He administered stem cell treatment to Buddah. One week following the procedure, Buddah began to show improvement. Seven weeks later he was pain free, off medications and once again a happy young cat. And while he is carefully monitored and his exercise time is slowly being increased, Dr. Griggs is quite optimistic that a happy future lies ahead for this magnificent cat.
I hope that one day in the near future this incredible technology will be available to alleviate the suffering of human beings as well. Do you agree?