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Pandu, a Malayan tiger and Ivy, a black jaguar from The Houston Zoo underwent stem cell treatment for arthritic pain at the Houston Zoo last week. The animals are both getting older and experts saw that they began to suffer from arthritic pain, similar to the arthritic pain humans suffer from.

Dr. Maud Merid as well as a team of physicians performed the surgical procedures on the zoo animals which were deemed complicated, with medically advanced technology and precision. Assistance was called in from the Gulf Coast Veterinary Services and InGeneron, Incorporated for the stem cell treatment portion of the surgery.

Physicians fostered a plan to extract fat from the abdomen the animals, which would then be processed. Then doctors would extract the stem cells from fat on the animals. The procedure further called for doctors to position the animals for the arthroscopy in the joint and find a cause for the arthritis in the animals. Once the fat was removed from the animals, doctors then cut the fat into small pieces. Cutting the fat into small pieces helped the surgery team’s enzyme mix gently remove the cells from the fat tissue.

Both the tiger and the leopard underwent the procedures at the same time in neighboring operating rooms. It was the hope of physicians that the cats’ own stem cells will propel healing. While it would normally take the felines approximately two months to heal from the surgery, doctors are hopeful that the cats will only take two weeks to heal with the state-of-the-art surgery performed, involving their own stem cells.

Anyone with an aging pet that suffers from arthritic pain can also have a similar procedure performed on their pet. The surgery would cost almost the same as a year’s worth of arthritis medication for a pet. Both Pandu and Ivy are reported to be recovering well and are expected to be back within their natural habitats, greeting visitors at the Houston Zoo soon.

View pictures of the surgery and visit the Houston Zoo soon to visit with Pandu, Ivy and other animals.

Tiger, Black Leopard From Houston Zoo Undergo Stem Cell Treatment [Photo Gallery]  was originally published on